With golden sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and abundant reef life, this beautiful island is perfect for camping, hiking, snorkelling and kayaking.
The largest island in New Zealand’s Bay of Islands, Urupukapuka Island is bliss for active travellers, with sea kayaking, camping and outdoor activities aplenty. Hike around this secluded island for outstanding views of the coastline and Pacific Ocean and book a dolphin-watching charter to get out onto the sea.
The island is a place of exceeding natural beauty and tranquillity. Explore a stunning pohutukawa forest and vast kikuyu grasslands. Look for a large wetland habitat, fascinating archaeological sites and the island’s major bays: Entico, Otehei and Urupukapuka.
Launch a sea kayak or paddleboard from Otehei Bay and explore this beautiful island by water. Rent snorkel equipment and dive below the surface to witness the bay’s extensive reef life. Otehei Bay is home to an open-air restaurant where visitors can dine in a peaceful outdoor setting.
Follow the Urupukapuka Island Walk around the outer edge of the island and take in great views of the bays and jagged coastline. The walk is just over 7 kilometres (4 miles) long and takes about 5 hours to complete. Be on alert for different species of birds, such as oystercatchers and dotterels. Dolphin and whale sightings are also common on the island. Bring along your swimsuit for a refreshing post-hike dip in one of the island’s swimming bays.
The striking Urupukapuka Island is about 240 kilometres (150 miles) from Auckland and can only be reached by boat. Water taxis run from Paihia and Russell. During summer, boats depart several times daily, making it possible to enjoy a daytrip to the pretty island. If you want to camp overnight, bear in mind that campsite bookings are essential. Some, though not all campsites feature shower facilities.
Spend a day relaxing on Urupukapuka Island’s quiet, uncrowded beaches or stay and camp for a few nights to fully experience the island’s many natural wonders.