• Moutohorā: Island Sanctuary

  • Important info
  • What to Bring
  • Protecting Moutohorā
  • Moutohorā: Island Sanctuary tours operate weekly on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, weather and demand permitting. Additional tours may be added during the summer months so please use our online booking button to check availability.
  • Bookings are essential.
  • We recommend that children be at least 8 years of age, however, the minimum age is 6 years old. Please see our FAQs page for more information.
  • The tour is very weather dependent, and a minimum number of passengers is required. We will confirm with you before 8pm the night prior whether the tour is able to operate.
  • Check-in is at Awa Motel, 15 The Strand East, Whakatāne. Check-in is required 30 minutes prior to your advised departure time.

Tour departure times:

We aim to depart at 10am, however, a number of factors such as weather, sea conditions and tides can affect this time. We will confirm the departure time with you the night before your tour.

Moutohorā is a pest-free island and a bio-security clearance check is required before departure.


Adult: From $149
Child: From $64 (15 years and under)

(Pricing is subject to change, please check the booking calendar for pricing on the date you wish to take the tour).

  • Warm clothing for the boat ride and walk on the island
  • Sturdy footwear for the walk. Sneakers/sand shoes are perfect. Jandals/thongs/flip flops are not suitable.
  • Small backpack – biosecurity guidelines require all bags to be closable by zip. Drawstring and open bags are not suitable.
  • Swimwear and towel (optional, should you wish to swim at the hot water beach)
  • Sun protection – hat and sunscreen
  • Water bottle
  • Lunch or snacks (no fresh fruit due to the risk of seeds being introduced to the island)
  • Moutohorā is rodent and predator free. To keep it this way it is important for us to enforce strict bio-security checks on behalf of the Department of Conservation.
  • Before arriving for your tour please check clothing, bags and shoes for soil and seeds. This is to prevent weed species becoming established on Moutohorā.
  • Backpacks and bags must be able to be sealed closed with a zip or similar device. Open bags are not permitted.
  • Please do not bring fresh fruit. You are welcome to bring other food.
  • Following check-in for your tour you will be directed to the bio-security Caravan on the wharf. Please try to bring as little as possible to the island.
  • Inside the bio-security caravan you will be required to un-pack any bag you may have. Items will be inspected by a Ngāti Awa Tourism staff member to ensure that they do not inadvertently contain rodents, insects or seeds.
  • You will be requested to dip the soles of your shoes into a water bath containing a strong disinfectant prior to boarding the boat.
  • Moutohorā is an extremely dry environment and as such there is a high fire risk. Please do not bring matches or lighters on the tour. Smoking is not permitted on the island or on the boat.
  • All items taken to the island must be removed again.

For more information on protecting NZ’s offshore islands, please see the Department of Conservation brochure here.

Discover more about Ngāti Awa Tourism

  • This is definitely a jewel in New Zealand's crown. Have spent my whole life exploring and adventuring in and around New Zealand and absolutely loved this trip on many levels. Don't miss it.

    Tom Mulholland - New Zealand

  • An excellent trip done with work colleagues. Luck gave us a perfect day and the chance to see a pod of dolphins on the trip out and back. It's a short boat ride and then a guided hike (not hard work at all) on the island. We had time to go for a swim on a hot-water beach (geothermal water vents providing the hot water). Beautiful views and a great day. Very friendly crew. A really great trip to do.

    Anon - Ohope, New Zealand

  • Thank you to the staff members who made our Waitangi day, Moutohora Island experience unforgettable. Great ride out and back, excellent commentary on board and on the Island. Fantastic weather and the sea was beautifully flat. What a magical place Moutohora Island is. I would recommend this trip to everyone. Also special thanks to the cook who made the yummy ginger biscuits for the ride back. Top marks you guys.

    Sandy Connelly - New Zealand

  • Had a great trip to the island and learnt a lot from our guides. Would highly recommend this trip to anyone visiting the area. A great way to spend half a day.

    Anon - New Zealand

  • Great trip. All the staff were knowledgeable and personable which made the trip even more enjoyable. From the dolphins and seals on the way out to picking the rock formations on the way back in it was an enjoyable four and a half hours on the water.

    Anon - Te Puke, New Zealand

  • My husband and I treated ourselves to the day tour of Moutohora Island for our wedding anniversary. What an amazing day it turned out to be. Our experience included seeing dolphins, seals, tuatara, saddleback birds, geckos and kiwi tracks in their natural settings... We had time to dig in the sand for hot water and swim in a bay. The crew were attentive and knowledgeable about the history, flora and fauna of the island. We had a wonderful day and highly recommend the Moutohora Island day tour.

    Anon - Whakatane, New Zealand


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