Moturiki Island

Moturiki Island

In most places, the walk along Moturiki Island in the Bay of Plenty would rate highly, at least for visitors, but it is probably overshadowed by the climb up Mount Maunganui. Technically, it is no longer an island as you can walk onto it at high tide.

Moturiki is also known as Leisure Island and there is an interesting panel just after the start of the walkway that describes its history. It was once a pā and largely denuded of trees. Then it was quarried on the south side for 12 years from 1911, resulting in some large pits. From 1966, the pits were used by Marineland for dolphin pools, then by Leisure Island for various water activities from the early 1980s till 1990. All you can see now are the remains of retaining seawalls and some graffiti and the creep of forest regrowth around the edge of the old quarry.

After the short walk to the old quarry and pool remnants, take the main walk along the north-facing coast of the island, now mostly shrouded in young pōhutukawa trees. There are a couple of places where you can get down to the rocks below the cliff edge, otherwise walk all the way to the scenic rocky point at the end.

The point is spectacular and a popular hangout as the sun sets, with great 270 degree views from Maunganui Beach and the Mount around to Motuotau Island and the 30 kms of beach to the south.

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