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TRAVEL & LEISURE

Auckland's Recreational Islands Are Reopening This Weekend for Walks, Swimming and Exploring

A trip to the islands, even in lockdown? Don't mind if we do.
By Sarah Templeton
November 10, 2021
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By Sarah Templeton
November 10, 2021
  shares

Put day-tripping to the islands on your to-do list for the weekend, as Hauraki Gulf's conservation islands are opening back up to the public for the first time in months.

The Department of Conservation and local ferry company Fullers have announced that from Friday, November 12, sailings will resume to Rangitoto, Tiritiri Matangi and Rotoroa Island.

Each island offers something stunning: coastal walks, beaches for swimming and kicking back on the sand, plenty of island history and an array of native wildlife — all just a quick ferry ride from the Viaduct.

It's the perfect chance for Aucklanders to stretch their legs after long, rainy weeks stuck indoors. If you're feeling energised, you can climb to the top of Rangitoto for some epic views of the city — or for a more relaxed Sunday snooze, you can opt for relaxing on Rotoroa Island's white sand beaches and taking a paddle in the crisp waters.

Rotorua Island

That said, visitors are asked to remember that essential workers have been maintaining the DOC-protected islands throughout lockdown, keeping them pest free and protecting the native and endangered species that live on the island. So, don't throw away all their hard work.

"We welcome and encourage Aucklanders to experience the beautiful conservation we have right on our doorstep while respecting the rules of no dogs and checking and cleaning gear when coming on and off the island," DOC operations manager Kat Lane said in a statement.

COVID-19 safety and travel restrictions will also still obviously apply. You'll have to wear a face mask onboard and inside ferry terminals, and scan in using the NZ COVID Tracer app. Also, sailings will be operating with reduced capacity to enable physical distancing onboard.

We'd recommend packing a picnic lunch and making a day of it — it's the closest thing many of us have had to a holiday in months.

Fullers' sailings to Rangitoto, Tiritiri Matangi and Rotoroa Island will recommence from Friday, November 12. To find out more about ferry travel, to view timetables and to book your ticket, visit the Fullers website.

Published on November 10, 2021 by Sarah Templeton

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