AN ISLAND SANCTUARY
Visible from much of the Eastern Bay of Plenty coast, Moutohorā (Whale Island) is one of the country's most protected wildlife sanctuaries because it is home to some of our most endangered plant, bird and reptile species.
This 143-hectare island is all that remains of an old volcanic cone that has since eroded, leaving two distinct peaks which can be seen from many vantage points along the Eastern Bay of Plenty’s coastline.
Over the past 50 years, conservationists have been working hard to create a pest-free sanctuary on Moutohorā to ensure a safe home for kiwi birds, grey-faced petrels, saddlebacks, blue penguins, tuatara reptiles and fur seals.
Due to its Department of Conservation status, only three tourism operators have permission to land on the island and tours are limited to small groups of people.
Visit the Moutohorā fur seal colony then dig your own hot pool at Sulphur Bay beach and watch geothermal hot water rise up through the sand. Don’t forget to bring your togs, towel and sunscreen with you!
Because Moutohorā is pest-free, there are strict biosecurity rules all visitors must follow. Your clothing, bags and shoes will be checked for soil and seeds at the start of your tour, at the Whakatāne wharf, and only commercially-packaged food is allowed on the island.
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MOUTOHORĀ (WHALE ISLAND) EXPERIENCES