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9 Islands in NZ worth visiting

New Zealand islands are diverse and feature many stunning landmarks. From sub-tropical atolls, lush bird sanctuaries and protected marine reserves to active volcanoes and blustery southern outcrops, each is just begging to be explored. In no particular order, here are some of our favourite ones in the country.

Waiheke Island, New Zealand

Waiheke Island

For those that know New Zealand, this one goes without saying. A 35 minute ferry ride from Auckland Waiheke is renowned for its vineyards, golden sand and quirky island vibe. Visit in summer for bluebird days, beachside lounging and good local wine.

Mou Waho

This unique island is located in the South Island resort town of Wanaka. Cleared of all predators and pests, this island is a sanctuary for native birds. A nice hour long walking track takes you to the top where you’ll come across a lake with a small island in the middle and spectacular views of the mountain surrounds!

Roberton Island

One of the subtropical atolls off the Bay of Islands, Roberton has an interesting and chequered past. A beautiful tropical landscape featuring several natural lagoons, this island was previously inhabited by Maori natives, as evidenced by Pa sites, gardening lines and cooking pits scattered. Be sure to take the 15 minute stroll to the lookout at the centre of the island.

Roberton Island, New Zealand

Stewart Island

The last point of civilisation before reaching Antarctica, Stewart Island is just 30 kilometres south of Bluff, New Zealand's Southernmost town. Over 85 percent of the island is National Park making it a haven for Brown Kiwi and other rare native birds. The island has only 400 residents and one settlement - Halfmoon Bay. Explore one of the many overland walks, or wander the coast to see seals, little blue penguins and dolphins.

White Island

New Zealand’s most active volcano, White Island is just off the east coast of the North Island and can only be visited with an organised tour. In a constant state of unrest, the many fumaroles and vents continually release steam and 800-degree celsius toxic gases. We recommend taking a Heli-tour and landing in the crater.

Great Barrier Island

A destination for diving, fishing, hiking, kayaking and mountain biking, Great Barrier harks back to a simpler time. Many of the houses run off solar power, and there is a prevalent eco-theme throughout. The native forest covering the island is crossed with walking tracks, natural hot springs and the historical Kauri Dam, while the coastal areas are home to picturesque family-friendly beaches and calm waters.

Great Barrier Island, New Zealand

Goat Island

A tiny atoll of the east coast of North Auckland, Goat Island is New Zealand's first and most accessible marine reserve. A fantastic spot for snorkelling, diving, swimming or sunbathing. The island is perfect for those wanting to experience the natural beauty of New Zealand.

Rangitoto

The youngest volcano in New Zealand, Rangitoto is an Auckland icon and a popular day trip for walkers. Emerging from the sea a little over 600 years ago, Rangitoto is a protected scenic reserve. It has the largest forest of pohutukawa trees in the world, vast lava fields, lava caves and funnels and an impressive crater - all of which can be explored.

Tiritiri Matangi

Another Auckland Island, Tiritiri Matangi is a wildlife sanctuary just four kilometres from the end of the Whangaparaoa Peninsula. Following extensive reforestation and pest-eradication, the island is now home to growing populations of rare native birds such as the Kokako and the Takahe - a bird once thought to be extinct. Visit for an insight into New Zealand's native mammals.

Tiritiri Matangi Island, New Zealand