Ōtamahua-Quail Island Walkway

Catch the ferry out to Ōtamahua-Quail Island and spend the day exploring and learning the island's fascinating history.

Quail Island

Ōtamahua-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  Ferry Jetty
Distance  4.5 km
Time  2.5 hours return
Toilets Whakamaru Beach, Skiers Beach and Caretaker's Cottage 
Dogs  Prohibited

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 Rāpaki 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 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.

Get ready for this track using Plan My Walk(external link)(external link) by the NZ Mountain Safety Council. You can find track alerts, weather forecasts, trip reviews and a packing list, so you are set for your adventure.