Mokoia Island

Travel Guide
Mokoia Island which includes a small town or village, a lake or waterhole and a sunset

Accessible only on a guided tour, this small island at the centre of Lake Rotorua is rich in native birdlife and Māori history and culture.

Rising some 180 metres (590 feet) out of the centre of Rotorua, the tiny Mokoia Island is the site of New Zealand’s most cherished love story and home to some of the country’s rarest birds. Visit the island to discover its rich Māori heritage, to explore the endangered wildlife sanctuary and to bathe in its geothermic waters. Mokoia Island is operated by the Te Arawa indigenous people and can only be accessed as part of a tour.

Board the Mokoia Island boat in Rotorua township to speed across the lake’s glassy water in the direction of the island. Listen to tour operators as they tell the legendary story of Hinemoa and Tutanekai. Their families separated these two young lovers before Hinemoa swam across the lake so the couple could be together. Listen to the famous Māori song that tells their story.

As you arrive you’ll receive a warm Māori welcome before being led onto the island. Bathe in the naturally heated pools located along the island’s shores for a truly relaxing experience. Sit back and gaze across the lake in the evening as the sunset provides glorious colours reflecting in the water.

Bring your binoculars for some of the best bird watching in the area. The endangered wildlife sanctuary at the centre of the 1.4-square-kilometre (0.5-square-mile) island is home to rare species, including the North Island robin and the papango. Afterwards, take a guided bushwalk across the island to learn about the local flora and fauna.

Back on the boat, enjoy circumnavigating the island to see its rocky shores and to capture photos of the island against the lake behind it.

Mokoia Island is located in the centre of Rotorua and can be reached via boat. Sign up for the Mokoia Island Wai Ora Experience in Rotorua. A fee applies for the experience. Visit the island year-round.

Prince's Gate Hotel
Prince's Gate Hotel
4.5 out of 5
1057 Arawa Street, Rotorua, Bay of Plenty
The price is NZ$122 per night from 6 Dec. to 6 Dec.
This family-friendly Rotorua hotel is located near the airport, just steps away from Rotorua i-SITE Visitor Centre and Sir Howard Morrison Performing Arts Centre. ...
4.3/5 Excellent! (993 reviews)
"Lovely staff, room was well presented and clean. Great thermal pools."

Reviewed on 19 Sep. 2021

Prince's Gate Hotel
Millennium Hotel Rotorua
Millennium Hotel Rotorua
4.5 out of 5
1270 Hinemaru Street, Rotorua
The price is NZ$179 per night from 4 Dec. to 4 Dec.
This family-friendly Rotorua hotel is located near the boardwalk, just steps away from Rotorua Arts Village and Tamaki Maori Village. Polynesian Spa and Redwoods ...
3.9/5 Good! (991 reviews)
"Overall it was a good stay, beautiful facilities and friendly helpful staff but the aircon unit was very loud through the night making it difficult to sleep."

Reviewed on 29 Nov. 2021

Millennium Hotel Rotorua
Holiday Inn Rotorua, an IHG Hotel
Holiday Inn Rotorua, an IHG Hotel
4.5 out of 5
The price is NZ$170 per night from 6 Dec. to 6 Dec.
This family-friendly Whakarewarewa hotel is steps away from Whakarewarewa Hot Springs and Whakarewarewa: The Living Maori Village. Redwoods Whakarewarewa Forest ...
4.4/5 Wonderful! (998 reviews)
"Great property, central location, great amenities. The boys enjoyed the breakfast service too."

Reviewed on 14 Nov. 2021

Holiday Inn Rotorua, an IHG Hotel
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Cosy Cottage Thermal Holiday Park
Cosy Cottage Thermal Holiday Park
2.5 out of 5
67-69 Whittaker Road, Rotorua
The price is NZ$85 per night from 4 Dec. to 4 Dec.
Offering direct access to the beach, this Koutu cabin is 0.7 mi (1.1 km) from Rotorua Hospital and 1.7 mi (2.8 km) from Polynesian Spa. Kuirau Park and Tama-te-Kapua ...
4/5 Very Good! (169 reviews)
"The facilities and grounds were very well maintained, safe,clean and tidy. Special thanks to Andrew and his wife for being helpful and very welcoming. Absolutely enjoyed my stay and will definitely go back and stay again.."

Reviewed on 3 Oct. 2021

Cosy Cottage Thermal Holiday Park
Luxury Golf-Side Lodge K Lodge Rotorua
Luxury Golf-Side Lodge K Lodge Rotorua
4 out of 5
14 Gwendoline Street, Rotorua
The price is NZ$874 per night from 5 Dec. to 5 Dec.
Located in Glenholme, this holiday home is within 2 miles (3 km) of Whakarewarewa Hot Springs, Redwoods Whakarewarewa Forest and Polynesian Spa. Rotorua Golf ...
5/5 Exceptional! (1 review)
Highly reccommended
"Absolutely fantastic place. Lots of space with enough privacy for a group of 9 of us. Highly reccommended as it is very located."

Reviewed on 18 Dec. 2019

Luxury Golf-Side Lodge K Lodge Rotorua
Rotorua Thermal Holiday Park
Rotorua Thermal Holiday Park
3.5 out of 5
463 Old Taupo Road (South End), Rotorua
The price is NZ$86 per night from 5 Dec. to 5 Dec.
Located in Springfield, this campsite is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Whakarewarewa Hot Springs and within 3 miles (5 km) of Redwoods Whakarewarewa Forest and Polynesian ...
4/5 Very Good! (187 reviews)
"The cabin was great. Very cosy. Beds were comfortable. The outdoor pool was nice. Indoor pools are in need of updating. Wish there were some plates and things available in the kitchen. Overall we enjoyed our stay."

Reviewed on 6 Aug. 2021

Rotorua Thermal Holiday Park
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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