Quail Island is the perfect destination for a day's adventure. Take the ferry(external link) across the harbour and go walking around the island, swim at the beach, see a ship graveyard and learn about the multitude of historical events the island played host to. Find out more on the Department of Conservation website(external link).
Start: Ferry Jetty.
Finish: Same as starting point.
Time: 2.5 hours return.
Toilets: Whakamaru/Swimmers Beach, Skiers Beach and Caretaker's Cottage.
Description: Follow the road from Ferry Jetty towards up the short steep hill to the Caretaker's Cottage. Head through open grassland and over the basalt cliff tops to the northern point of the island. Here, view the harbour and across to Rapaki or look out for native birds. Further along the track there is a great view of the ships' graveyard which contains the wrecks of about 13 ships.
Continue along the track to see the site where the quarantine buildings once stood and the replica leper patient hut. Further along, make the short climb to see the replica dog kennels where Scott and Shackleton housed their dogs before their famed Antarctic expeditions.
Return to the main track track and head down to Whakamaru beach where the restored quarantine barracks are and take a moment to learn about their fascinating history. Finish the walk by heading along the beach past the old stock jetty before arriving back at Ferry Jetty.
For more information about walking on Quail Island, head to the Department of Conservation website.(external link)