Kawau Island

Kawau Island is one of the larger islands that make up the Hauraki Gulf and can be found 8kms off the coast about 45 km north of Auckland. The climate is sub-tropical with majority of the island covered in bush, mainly Kanuka, Manuka and Pohutukawa but there are also excellent stands of Puriri and Kauri plus many more pockets of other native species. It is very pretty and makes a lovely day out.

The island covers an area of approximately 5000 acres, is 8km by 5km at its longest axes, and is almost bisected by the long inlet of Bon Accord Harbour which is geologically a “drowned valley”. The island has remained largely in private ownership except for around 10% which is owned by the Department of Conservation (DOC) and this includes the famous Mansion House in Mansion House Bay. Access to the island is by boat and ferry and water taxis travel daily from Sandspit, near Warkworth, about one and a half hour’s drive from Auckland.

The island has a small population of permanent residents and many holiday dwellings, and is a popular destination for pleasure craft cruising the Hauraki Gulf. The crystal clear waters of Kawau Bay are a paradise for fishing and sailing and there are many sheltered anchorages for boaties.
The elegant historic Mansion House of Kawau, with links to Sir George Grey (one of New Zealand’s first Governors), has been turned into a marvellous museum. During his time on the island, Governor Grey imported many exotic plants and animals that remain today.

The island has walking tracks leading to beaches, Maori pa sites and old copper mines. Walks range in length from half-an-hour to several hours duration. Most walking tracks are easy walking and suitable for families. Many walks follow old nineteenth century paths originating from Mansion House Valley.

Activities and attractions on Kawau Island include:

– Mansion House
– Exotic gardens
– Historic mining sites
– Picnics, beaches and swimming
– Coastal, garden and exotic forest walks

There is also the Mansion House cafe / restaurant on Kawau Island that is open during summer months.
Access to the Kawau Island is by boat, ferry and water taxi. Daily ferries depart from Sandspit.

Ring Freephone 0800 111 616 for Reubens crises and ferries.