Motukorea / Browns Island

Motukorea / Browns Island is a 10,000 year old volcanic island in the Hauraki Gulf, less than 4km offshore from the Auckland suburb of St Heliers. After centuries of cultivation and very little fresh water it has an unusually bare landscape, mainly long grass with a few trees.

I’ve been past the island so many times on ferries out to Waiheke but it’s tricky to visit, only being accessible by private boat or kayak. I went with Auckland Sea Kayaks on a beautiful day at the end of their season at the start of May. It was a pleasantly small group of four, with a pair of Americans visiting NZ, myself and the guide, sharing a pair of sea kayaks. We met at St Heliers and headed across to the far side of Motukorea / Browns Island.

We landed at Crater Bay, an empty sweep of beach with a handy map of the island.

From there it was short but steep walk to the highest point of the island, at the trig 68m above sea level.

This offered wonderful views back toward Auckland and across the Hauraki Gulf, great to get a new perspective on this beautiful part of New Zealand.

After a spot of lunch on the beach we headed back to St Heliers, looking quite different with the tide out. A very enjoyable way to spend half a Sunday.

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