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Tiritiri Matangi Open Sanctuary, Hauraki Gulf Marine Park

Hauraki Gulf Marine Park
By ferry (or private boat) from downtown Auckland or Whangaparoa Peninsula
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This island sanctuary offers the best birding experience in Auckland.

Either catch the ferry from downtown Auckland or from Whangaparoa.

You can freedom walk Tiri, but it is worth paying $5 to be guided by a volunteer who can share information on birds, plants and trees as well as the island’s history.

Head towards the lighthouse on the Wattle Track, a walk of nearly 4km through regenerating bush. There are numerous feeding stations for stitchbirds along this track as well bird baths where tui, saddlebacks, robins and many other native birds come to clean themselves. You could easily while away the time sitting on the benches watching their antics.

Grab a free cup of tea at the lighthouse and have lunch before continuing to explore the island,s numerous tracks. The route provided here combines the Ridge, Kawerau and Hobbs Beach tracks to get you back to the wharf.

Walking along the spine of the island on the Ridge Track, you will get impressive views back to the lighthouse and beyond to the Coromandel Peninsula. To the left is Whangaparoa Peninsula.

The Kawerau Track is back amongst the bush and more birds will immediately become visible. Birdlife on this part of the island does seem more varied and prolific – perhaps because fewer people walk these tracks, preferring instead to walk the more direct tracks to and from the lighthouse.

The Hobbs Beach Track skirts the coast back to the wharf.