An Escape from Auckland City: Kawau Island
Kawau Island is the perfect idyllic spot to get away from Auckland city if you have a day or two before your departure. You don't need to stray too far from the airport; it takes less than two hours to get to the island by rental car or shuttle transfer to Sandspit and then by taking the ferry.
For those who would like a spectacular scenic flight over the Hauraki Gulf first, why not arrive in style on a seaplane - or if you’re lacking in time we can simply organise the ferry transfers for lunch in this island paradise.
Accommodation options situated on the beach are few and far between in New Zealand, but on Kawau Island you just need to step outside and you’re there. While the beach isn’t technically private, it’s really only accessible to the handful of people who are there - that is you, two or three locals and the pods of dolphins who pay a visit occasionally.
There is a handful of rooms that were all redone in 2014 and have either courtyard or sea views. The other major plus to this accommodation comes in the form of the manager who ran a successful restaurant in another life, he’s an excellent chef and as you will be served all of your meals on site, your taste buds will be enthralled three times a day (and that’s without counting morning and afternoon tea!).
There is no superette or other restaurant close by so just relax and enjoy your time spent by the seaside. You can do some nice bush walks over the island and use the complimentary kayaks and snorkel gear to get out on the water and see if you can find some dolphins. You can also visit the famous Mansion House on another part of the island with a quick boat transfer, it was originally the residence of the mine manager back in the day when copper and manganese were mined on the island but it was vastly extended by Sir George Grey, a New Zealand governor in the 1860s who was fascinated by exotic animals and who introduced monkeys, peacocks and wallabies to the island.
Let yourself be tempted by Kawau Island, a unique island utopia not far from Auckland.
The organisation by OUAT was excellent, communication was brilliant, facilities on the Milford Track were of a high standard and Hippo Lodge in Queenstown...
John Dali, Australia
Carolyn, I thought we should tell you how much we enjoyed the trip. NZ was great - the people, the food, the scenery. We liked all the places you booked for...
Glynis Williams, USA
Although my brother and I know we wanted to Journey across NZ, we didn't know exactly where to start. We had 5 weeks and we wanted to see as much as...
Nicholas James Foley, USA