Tiritiri Matangi Island
Tiritiri Matangi Island © Claire Gribbin
Tiritiri Matangi Island is a wildlife sanctuary and one of New Zealand's most important and exciting conservation projects. It is located 18 miles (30km) north east of central Auckland and just 2.5 miles (4km) from the end of the Whangaparaoa Peninsula. A hundred and twenty years of farming had seen this 220-hectare island stripped of almost all its native bush but between 1984 and 1994, volunteers planted between 250,000 and 300,000 trees. The Island is now sixty percent forested with the remaining forty percent left as grassland for species preferring open habitat.
Visitors can access the island by a regular ferry service, which leaves from Auckland and Gulf Harbour. The Ferry runs from Wednesdays through to Sundays each week, though it may be cancelled at short notice due to weather or other circumstances. When on the island, visitors can enjoy a guided walk, explore the beaches or simply admire the natural beauty of the place. Note: the ferry leaves the Island at 3.30pm sharp, and it is important to be back at the wharf by 3.15pm so that boarding and departure can take place without delay.