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Kawau Island

Photo of Kawau Island

About Kawau Island

Kawau’s beautiful waters, green and rocky interior and position just off the coast made it a covetable spot for Maori tribes and it was a hotly contested piece of land. Under European ownership the island was briefly a copper mining community before being bought in 1862 by Sir George Grey the Governor of New Zealand who used it as a wonderful private paradise, which is what it can be for you now. The best places to stay in Kawau Island are quiet spots on the beautiful coastline, with views both inland and out to sea.

What Not To Miss

  • The island’s main sight is Mansion House, Governor Grey’s house. This has been restored to its original wooden glory, and inside there’s a fine collection of Victorian antiques and collectables.
  • Grey used the land around his house to create a tropical botanical garden with a variety of different species of plants making it both an interesting and tranquil experience.
  • The garden also has a few different species of wildlife including peacocks roaming the grounds.
  • Spot The island’s natural inhabitants including Kiwi and the rare North Island Weka.
  • Step back in history with a visit to the ruins of the old copper mine dating back to the 1800's with a few of the original buildings still remaining.

Our pick of the best places to stay in Kawau Island are both situated on the north of the island and both have wonderful views. They offer a perfect spot for some R&R on your tour of New Zealand.

For an eco-lodge

  • Kawau Lodge is an eco-lodge on the north cove of the island, with just three rooms, a balcony running all the way around the property and spectacular views of both the ocean and the forest. You also have direct access to the beach. And wonderful, home cooked meals.

For a beach break

  • The Beach House is a luxurious hotel with just 11 rooms, opening out onto the beach, onto the bush, or onto a lovely courtyard. There’s plenty of public space, including lovely sun decks with plenty of private feeling nooks, and a great restaurant.

For an apartment

  • If you'd prefer your own space, don't hesitate to visit our online partner, Booking.com for a range of apartments to suit the requirements of all visitors.

Travel Information

  • Fly to Auckland Airport located about 90km (55 miles) from Sandspit. The airport serves a substantial number of international and domestic connections.
  • Catch a ferry or water taxi from Sandspit to Kawau Island, with regular daily services.
  • If you want to rent a car to explore the beautiful New Zealand scenery - for prices visit our online partner, Holiday Autos.
  • Best time to visit - the summer from December to February provides the warmest weather, ideal for exploring the beautiful island.

Still not sure?

Best Hotels in Kawau Island

  • Kawau Lodge 3 rooms from $134

    Kawau Island

    Simple and modern rooms in eco-friendly lodge at North Cove of Kawau Island. Terrace with great forest and sea views and direct access to beach pier. Activities include birdwatching, scenic walks, beach trips and sailing trips. Home cooked food and friendly owners.

    Birdwatching  -  Including wood pigeons, tuis, fantails
    Views  -  Forest and ocean views
    Kayaking  -  Free use
    Sailing  -  Can be booked nearby.
    Check prices
  • The Beach House 11 rooms from $211

    Kawau Island

    Luxury accommodation located on a private island. Beachfront, courtyard and bush rooms to chose from. Restaurant serving free range food. Glorious sun decks and private seating areas off rooms. Range of watersport activities available. An exclusive beach stay.

    Birdwatching  -  Trips to bird sanctuary of Tiritiri Matangi
    Great walks  -  Good for walkers.
    On the beach  -  In front of the hotel.
    Fishing  -  Excellent fishing nearby.
    Check prices