Rising some 180 metres (590 feet) out of the centre of Rotorua, the tiny Mokoia Island is the site of New Zealand’s most cherished love story and home to some of the country’s rarest birds. Visit the island to discover its rich Māori heritage, to explore the endangered wildlife sanctuary and to bathe in its geothermic waters. Mokoia Island is operated by the Te Arawa indigenous people and can only be accessed as part of a tour.
Board the Mokoia Island boat in Rotorua township to speed across the lake’s glassy water in the direction of the island. Listen to tour operators as they tell the legendary story of Hinemoa and Tutanekai. Their families separated these two young lovers before Hinemoa swam across the lake so the couple could be together. Listen to the famous Māori song that tells their story.
As you arrive you’ll receive a warm Māori welcome before being led onto the island. Bathe in the naturally heated pools located along the island’s shores for a truly relaxing experience. Sit back and gaze across the lake in the evening as the sunset provides glorious colours reflecting in the water.
Bring your binoculars for some of the best bird watching in the area. The endangered wildlife sanctuary at the centre of the 1.4-square-kilometre (0.5-square-mile) island is home to rare species, including the North Island robin and the papango. Afterwards, take a guided bushwalk across the island to learn about the local flora and fauna.
Back on the boat, enjoy circumnavigating the island to see its rocky shores and to capture photos of the island against the lake behind it.
Mokoia Island is located in the centre of Rotorua and can be reached via boat. Sign up for the Mokoia Island Wai Ora Experience in Rotorua. A fee applies for the experience. Visit the island year-round.
Situated in Rotorua, this luxury hotel is 0.3 mi (0.4 km) from Te Amorangi Museum and 2.1 mi (3.4 km) from Haiku Pathway. Redwoods Whakarewarewa Forest and Redwoods Gift Shop & Visitor Centre are also within 6 mi (10 km).
This family-friendly Rotorua campground is located near the airport, within 3 mi (5 km) of Te Amorangi Museum and Haiku Pathway. Rotorua Central Mall and Rotorua Night Market are also within 6 mi (10 km).
Nestled on the beach, this Lake Rotoiti hotel is 2.7 mi (4.3 km) from Mokoia Island and 2.7 mi (4.4 km) from Okere Falls Scenic Reserve. Hell's Gate and Wai Ora Spa and Lake Rotoiti are also within 6 mi (10 km).
Situated in Rotorua, this hotel is 0.4 mi (0.6 km) from Te Amorangi Museum and 2.2 mi (3.6 km) from Haiku Pathway. Redwoods Whakarewarewa Forest and Redwoods Gift Shop & Visitor Centre are also within 6 mi (10 km).
Situated on a lake, this bed & breakfast is 0.5 mi (0.8 km) from Te Amorangi Museum and 2.3 mi (3.7 km) from Haiku Pathway. Mokoia Island and Redwoods Whakarewarewa Forest are also within 6 mi (10 km).
Situated near the airport, in Rotorua, this vacation home is close to Te Amorangi Museum, Haiku Pathway, and Sulphur Point. Local attractions also include Government Gardens Golf and Rotorua Museum.
Situated in a rural location, this apartment building is 2.6 mi (4.2 km) from Okere Falls Scenic Reserve and within 6 mi (10 km) of Rotorua Rafting and Mokoia Island. Hamurana Springs and Lake Rotoiti are also within 6 mi (10 km).
Situated on a lake, this luxury lodge is 1.5 mi (2.5 km) from Skyline Rotorua and 5.5 mi (8.9 km) from Te Puia New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute. Hell's Gate and Wai Ora Spa and Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland are also within 25 mi (40 km).