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Tiritiri Matangi is a bird-watcher’s paradise

Just 30 km from the heart of Auckland and teeming with native birds and other unique wildlife, Tiritiri Matangi is the perfect addition to your nature holiday.

Calling all bird-lovers: We've found your ultimate destination.

Located about 30 km out of downtown Auckland, the island of Tiritiri Matangi is alive with a huge variety of bird species, making it the perfect addition to your nature tour of New Zealand.

The area was once on the brink of becoming an inhospitable rock due to excessive farming. However, in true New Zealand fashion, around 300,00 trees have been planted on the island since 1984 by a handful of volunteers, according to the New Zealand Department of Conservation. Today, the Tiritiri Matangi Open Sanctuary reports that 60 per cent of the island is covered in rich forest, with 40 per cent left as vegetation for species who prefer the grasslands.


Tiritiri Matangi is perhaps the best place in the country for bird-watching. With a quick eye and a good pair of binoculars, you'll spot many of the 19 species of native New Zealand birds that have either been successfully relocated or migrated to the island of their own accord. Some of the country's most iconic birds can be found here, including tui, North Island robin, Red-crowned parakeet and many more. Alongside the endemic birds, there is a huge number of non-natives and shorebirds that also call the island home.

Bellbird at Tiritiri Matangi

Other wildlife

The island is most famous for its bird-life, but there's also a diverse collection of non-avian critters who reside on Tiritiri Matangi. Keep an eye out for an assortment of lizards, including geckos, skinks and New Zealand's ancient dinosaur descendant, the tuatara. You'll also find dolphins, weta and various species of butterflies.

How to get there

The 360 Discovery ferry departs from Auckland's waterfront and runs daily between December and mid-January, and from Wednesday to Sunday the rest of the year. In order to preserve the island's wildlife, there are strict limitations on the daily number of people who can visit Tiritiri Matangi