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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 M?ori 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.

Kawau Island is only about 40kms north of Auckland, off the Maharani Peninsula, and it’s relatively easy to get to. You can get either a ferry or water taxi from Sandspit.  The main problem comes in getting around the island; there are hardly any roads and the locals mostly get around by boat.

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 and little zoo, importing several plants and animals. The island’s natural inhabitants include kiwi and the rare North Island weka.

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.

Still not sure? Browse through our list of all the best places to stay on Kawau Island, or contact one of our friendly Gurus for advice. Or you can extend your search and check out all our North Island recommendations.

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