Nature and conservation
Waiheke Island is a Treasure Island
On the southeast side of Waiheke Island lies Te Matuku Marine Reserve, which contains the largest area of intertidal mudflats in the inner Hauraki Gulf.
Te Matuku Bay Scenic Reserve protects the coastal fringe of part of the bay, including taraire/tawa forest with pohutukawa and kauri. Fortunately Waiheke Island is free of possums - a pest animal which threatens native forest.
Waiheke is a large island in the Hauraki Gulf between the Auckland mainland and the Coromandel Peninsula.
A number of commercial ferry operators run both car and passenger ferry services to Waiheke Island.
A regular bus service to the main villages on the island operates daily. Taxi and car rentals are available on the island. Get information from the Waiheke Island i-SITE.
Know before you go
The western end of Waiheke is a residential area with around 8,000 permanent inhabitants. The eastern end is a mix of farm blocks and settlements. There are shops and a variety of accommodation.
Looking after the island
Waiheke Island is free of some pests - help keep it this way.
You can help ensure the long term success of keeping pests off this island and preventing reinvasion. Before you leave the mainland or travel between islands in the Hauraki Gulf:
- Check your boat or kayak and gear for rats, mice, Argentine ants, rainbow skinks, soil and seeds.
- Clean footwear, clothing and gear of soil and seeds – weeds are a significant problem on the island.
- Pack luggage and all food you are bringing to the island in pest-proof containers – not in open bags/boxes/containers or plastic bags.
- Leave your dog and other pets at home – they pose a risk to the native species on this island.
- Read the Treasure Islands biosecurity information.
Other ways you can help look after Waiheke Island
- Do not light fires.
- Take your rubbish away with you – follow DOC’s ‘Pack in, pack out’ code.
- Do not remove or disturb artefacts or other historic remains.
- Do not camp on reserves.
- Don't disturb threatened birds like the New Zealand dotterel. Watch them from a distance. Report any disturbances to the Department of Conservation.
Looking after the marine reserve
Rules and regulations:
- No fishing of any kind is permitted.
- Do not take or disturb marine life, including shellfish and seaweeds.
- Do not remove any part of the sea floor, including rocks or dead sea shells.
- Please leave your dog at home as dogs disturb nesting seabirds. Dogs are not permitted at the marine reserve at any time.
- Do not exceed 5 knots in a boat or on a jetski within 200 m of the mainland or a dive flag, or within 50 m of a boat or person in the water.