Also very close to Auckland city; a recreation reserve with an interesting history, and very popular with day trippers on fine summer days. It has a beach and sheltered anchorage for every wind direction: Ocean Beach on the north side is a beautiful long golden sandy beach and on the south side is a smaller lovely beach. In 2005 it was declared pest free and native bush and wildlife are now being restored to the island. There are numerous walking tracks and it is possible to walk around most of the coastline at low tide.
It was for many years the Quarantine Station for Auckland, later became the Training establishment of the Royal New Zealand Navy, and was in World War One a prison camp for German prisoners of war. Famously, Count Von Luckner escaped from the island by stealing the Commandant's Launch... go ashore and see if you can hear the echoes of the past on this lovely little island!