• 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 White Island Rendezvous, 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.

Vaccine Pass:

Under the COVID-19 Protection Framework we are required to ensure all passengers aged over 12 years and 3 months have a valid My Vaccine Pass when our district is in Red or Orange status. Your My Vaccine Pass will be checked prior to boarding the vessel. We request that face coverings are worn during check-in, biosecurity checks and onboard the vessel.


Adult: $119
Child $59 (15 years and under)

  • 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 White Island Tours™ 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
White Island Tours

  • 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


If you've left your Xmas shopping to the last minute we can help! Gift vouchers can be purchased from our website using the Book Now button then selecting "Gift Vouchers". Vouchers can be instantly emailed to the recipient or to yourself so that they can be printed or forwarded on at a time that you want them to be received.
Looking for an activity for the kiddies that ticks all the boxes these July School Holidays, why not book a family excursion to Moutohorā, one of New Zealand’s most protected wildlife sanctuaries!

Educational? ✔️
Fun? ✔️
Engaging? ✔️
Free? ✔️✔️✔️✔️ 🥳 That’s right folks, book a tour to Moutohorā between 4th - 19th July 2020 (inclusive) to take advantage of our deal: one child travels FREE with every full fare paying adult. That’s a saving of $59.00!

Terms & Conditions
.  Direct bookings only. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other Moutohorā tour specials, discounts, or promotions.
.  Spaces are limited and subject to availability .  Recommended minimum age is 8 years old
.  TO BOOK: please call us on 0800 733 529, email us info@whiteisland.co.nz (sorry this cannot be booked through our website) or stop by the office. At the time of booking please specify that you wish to book the ‘School Holiday Promo’. We can’t wait to have you join us!

Following New Zealand’s move to Alert Level 1 on Tuesday 9th June, we’re thrilled to announce that our Moutohorā Island Sanctuary tours will begin operation from THIS Saturday 13th June.

To celebrate we’re offering our adult tickets at the special price of $95.00 per person - that’s a 20% saving! - whilst our child rate (8-15 years) remains steady at just $59.00 per person.

This deal runs until 30th September 2020 with the tours offered exclusively on Saturday and Sunday at approx. 10am*

We cannot express enough our gratitude for all your support during lockdown and look forward to getting back out on the water and introducing more visitors to Moutohorā and our beautiful backyard! ☺️🌿🦋🐬
(*Exact departure time is weather dependent and confirmed the evening before via email.)
It is with great excitement that New Zealand transitions to Alert Level 2 today.

It has been heartening to see how far we have come over this period of lockdown and to see so many businesses reopen their doors today. 
At this stage our Moutohorā tours remain on hold whilst we continue to assess the Level 2 requirements and how tours may operate.

Thank you for your continued support, we very much hope to begin operating tours again soon, so please keep checking in for updates.

#whakatane #moutohora #whaleisland #bayofplenty #newzealand #NZmustdo #COVID19 #AlertLevel2 #goodmorningworldnz #NoPlaceLikeHomeBOP
Today is the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day. 
With the current COVID-19 pandemic impacting our global community, locking down many of us in our homes, Earth Day 2020 at home is an opportunity to stop and appreciate our special corner of the world, whilst simultaneously acknowledging that we are all connected and collectively responsible for protecting the Earth for future generations.

Unique to New Zealand, the Tuatara is the last survivors of an order of reptiles (Sphenodontia) that survived in the age of dinosaurs.

There is a small population of these rare and special reptiles (New Zealand’s largest) on Moutohorā. It is believed that the pest-free status of the island has enabled them to thrive. Another conservation success story. (Source: @docgovtnz) .

#whakatane #moutohora #whaleisland #bayofplenty #newzealand #NZmustdo #wildlifesanctuary #goodmorningworldnz #NoPlaceLikeHomeBOP #roamtheplanet #natgeotravelpic #ourplanetdaily #nakedplanet #travelgram #stayandwander #lonelyplanet #passionpassport #travelgram @whakatane.nz @bayofplentynz
Moutohorā from the air.

Throughout the years, Moutohorā, has been more commonly known by her European name of Whale Island. These day, however, she is officially referred to by her Māori name: Moutohorā.
‘Motu’ meaning Island and ‘Tohora’ meaning Whale. With, Moutohorā, a loose abbreviated translation.

#whakatane #moutohora #whaleisland #bayofplenty #newzealand #NZmustdo #wildlifesanctuary #goodmorningworldnz #NoPlaceLikeHomeBOP #roamtheplanet #natgeotravelpic #ourplanetdaily #nakedplanet #travelgram #stayandwander #lonelyplanet #passionpassport #travelgram @whakatane.nz @goodmorningworldnz @bayofplentynz
Dive into Autumn with a visit to Moutohorā, a pest-free wildlife sanctuary located just a short boat ride off the coast of Whakatāne.

Listen to the bird calls and you walk through the regenerated bush, keep and eye out for the resident tuatara who call Moutohorā home, and spend time relaxing at the private hot water beach at Onepū Bay.

A trip to Moutohorā has it all! Book today!

#whakatane #moutohora #whaleisland #bayofplenty #newzealand #NZmustdo #wildlifesanctuary #goodmorningworldnz #NoPlaceLikeHomeBOP #roamtheplanet #natgeotravelpic #ourplanetdaily #nakedplanet #travelgram #stayandwander #lonelyplanet #passionpassport #travelgram @whakatane.nz @bayofplentynz @purenewzealand