Kawau Island

Photo of Kawau Island

About Kawau Island

One of the largest islands on the Hauraki Gulf, Kawau is famed for its verdant landscapes and gorgeous deep green waters. An area of major cultural significance to the Maori community, Kawau later became a private escape for the 19th-century Governor of New Zealand. Remnants of this layered past can now be glimpsed alongside the island’s rich natural beauty and abundance of fascinating birdlife. Tranquil and inviting, our selection of the best places to stay on Kawau Island are set right on the ocean, promising striking views and easy access to a plethora of activities for couples, families or groups of friends travelling together.

With fewer than 100 permanent residents, Kawau is a quiet, relaxing destination, ideal for keen hikers, birdwatchers and water sports enthusiasts. Head out on the water for picturesque days of sailing, kayaking and swimming, or venture inland for leafy hikes and birdwatching excursions. Expect to spot kiwi, weka, fantails, wallabies and all manner of intriguing endemic wildlife. For a glimpse of the impact of European settlement, visit Mansion House, once the home of Governor Grey, or enjoy a stroll through the forest to the ruined pumphouse and small smelter which were once part of the island’s copper mine. The gardens surrounding Mansion House are a tropical wonderland, brimming with colourful flora and fauna.

Whether you’re dreaming of a wellness-focused escape, a birdwatching trip or a fun family sailing holiday, the best places to stay on Kawau Island offer a real taste of paradise.

The Best Places to Stay on Kawau Island

For Families or Groups

  • Kawau Lodge sits on the North Cove, and boasts eight airy rooms with stunning views of the forest and the sea. Pick this place for a family or group trip and book multiple rooms; cook up a storm in the kitchen or kick back on the sun-drenched deck. Sailing, kayaking and birdwatching are all on the agenda. Lovely.

For a Wellness Retreat

  • Parohe Island Retreat promises restorative and rejuvenating wellness escapes for couples, friends or families in a lovely coastal spot. Book a room or villa and enjoy yoga, hikes and plant-based fare. Regular two-, three- and four-night retreats are led by wellbeing experts.


  • If you'd prefer a self-catering option, we suggest that you visit our online partner Booking.com.

Travel Information

  • Fly to Auckland Airport, and hop aboard one of the regular ferries from Sandspit to Kawau Island. Alternatively, travel by private helicopter transfer from the airport to the island.
  • New Zealand is wonderful for a road trip! Contact our online partner Rentalcars if you would like to hire a car.
  • Travel during the spring or summer for the best weather, with temperatures peaking at around 23°C between December and April. For a quieter trip and great deals, look at May or October-November, though these months will be cooler and showers more frequent.



Monthly Weather in Kawau Island

Best Hotels in Kawau Island

  • Kawau Lodge Kawau Island 3 rooms from £103

    Back to Nature  -  In picturesque surroundings on Kawau Island, this is a top spot for nature enthusiasts and birdwatchers
    Birdwatching  -  Listen out for tui, fantails, wood pigeons and kiwis during the day and evening
    Views  -  Expect impressive forest and ocean panoramas from guest rooms and the deck
    Kayaking  -  Head out to explore on one of the lodge's kayaks
    GardenPet friendlyViews

    A striking modern lodge tucked amidst the forest on Kawau Island's North Cove. Rooms are fresh and airy with a shared kitchen and sitting room. The eco-lodge offers birdwatching, scenic hikes, kayaking and sailing excursions. One for nature lovers or big groups looking to escape together. See More

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  • Parohe Island Retreat Kawau Island 14 rooms from £290

    Back to Nature  -  An inviting wellness retreat for guests looking to reconnect with nature through yoga, hikes, watersports and plant-based food
    Private villas  -  Book the two-bedroom villa if travelling as a group, or hide away in the honeymoon cottage
    Groups  -  Great for group retreats or special occasions with friends — including small weddings
    Organic food  -  The restaurant specialises in plant-based dishes using local, seasonal ingredients
    SpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenViewsParking

    An easy-going wellness retreat with cabins and a two-bedroom villa on Kawau Island, Parohe encourages guests to unwind in blissful natural surroundings. Enjoy daily yoga classes, scenic hikes, rejuvenating treatments and delicious plant-based cuisine. Restorative, calming and very stylish. See More

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