Urupukapuka Island
Urupukapuka Island
4.5
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3 within 6 miles
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  • Luckyphil
    Auckland, New Zealand38 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Magic spot. Must visit
    What a magic spot. The ferry across was fun, weather was a little wild but the kids enjoyed the waves. They had a soft drink on board and you can purchase snacks and alcohol as well. It took about 1 hour from Paihia and was cheapest if you book advance on bookme (around 40%off). This trip arrives at 12:15 and returns at 4:15- ample time for us. You can down load a map of the island walks. You can do the walks or stay at the otehei beach as the cafe/bar is right there on tge beach. Lots of grass and shaded spots. Kayak hire available right there too. Once there the tracks have markers. They are quite steep for most small children and anyone that can’t walk well. The walk over to urapukapuka bay is the shortest (straight up and down). Lots of people camping over there. We chose to go to sunset bay- it was beautiful, we were the only ones there and even say a stingray. The walk there and back +swim there was about 1.5 hours. We had lunch at the cafe/bar, staff were wonderful. They do a beer on the island especially brewed for them and sell jugs and towers of beers. Icecream for the kids and they have their menu on line. The fish and chips we ordered wasn’t great, small fish and thick bready batter so the staff happily swapped for toasted sandwich which was superb. Great spot, awesome day and will definitely return to do more walks.
    Visited January 2024
    Traveled with family
    Written January 21, 2024
  • Holly K
    Auckland, New Zealand18 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great Way to Spend a Summers Day!
    The boat ride out to the island was beautiful with the captain and his staff funny and helpful. The island itself was packed making it very hard to get a table and chairs outside the only cafe on the island. The cafe food was mediocre, I would suggest making a picnic yourself if possible. We went snorkeling and unfortunately, that day we saw only 3 fish maximum, however, the water was wonderful. Kayaks, paddle boards, and snorkels are all available to hire for not too big of a rip-off.
    Visited January 2024
    Traveled with family
    Written February 12, 2024
  • BuzzieFamily
    Kitchener, Canada119 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Circumnavigating an island with great views and beaches
    Hiking the trails around islands is a great thing to do in New Zealand -- try also Waiheke Island near Auckland (although that one can be very busy) and Quail Island near Christchurch. All three are reachable by nice ferry rides at reasonable prices; in the cae of Urupukapuka, it's about a 40-minute ride. There are many trials on Urupukapuka, but doing the circle island one is terrific. You can do it in 3 hours or so, depending on how long you stop at one of the beaches for a refreshing swim virtually alone even at the height of summer. On the hike, there is something beautiful to see at basically every turn in the trail. And when you get back to the ferry dock, there is a nice bistro with lots of brews on tap after the hike. A great day trip!
    Visited February 2024
    Traveled with family
    Written March 6, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles173 reviews
Excellent
129
Very good
35
Average
5
Poor
3
Terrible
1

Anglokiwi1
London, UK181 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2022
We took the Explore ferry from Paihia ($50 return each) at 10am and booked the 4.15pm return ferry. A lovely cruise to Urupukapuka Island with a stop at Russell to pick up more passengers. There was a commentary on the way giving information about the other islands. We arrived at 10.55am which left us plenty of time to explore the many walking tracks (which are graded easy/medium hard), beaches etc. There are some amazing views from the peaks of the hills. Giving views of other Islands nearby. Lots of beaches for a picnic spot or swimming/paddling. There is a cafe/restaurant/bar with toilets at Otehei Bay which we enjoyed having a drink overlooking the beach waiting for our return ferry.
Written February 7, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

David M
Shrewsbury, UK104 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2023 • Couples
We booked via the bookings and information centre at the harbour. The ferry was ‘fullers great sights’. We paid $60 pp for a trip out to the island via the harbour at Russell. This is about a 45 minute trip to Otehei Bay on the island. We left at 11:30am and caught the ferry back at 5:45pm. That allowed us a good 5 hours on the island. We were able to swim, & relax and walk to other areas of the island. It was a fabulous trip and well worth the money we paid. We found a beach on the other side of the island with very few people on it and swam there. We were even joined by a large stingray in the shallow waters. The island has a great little cafe that serves hot & cold food and soft drinks/alcoholic drinks. All in all, it was a great day out. You don’t need to pay anymore money for fancy trips around all the islands. You’ll get enough from this trip alone.
Written March 13, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

p4sta
London, UK159 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020 • Couples
Many of the Cruises stop here. The cafe / restaurant on the island is dire. The menu is hot food invariably with chips. As you can be here at 11.30 am the food I’d woeful. They need more cabinet food/ light lunch items. And the service is very slow. A boat arrives and large queues form as they are not ready. Strange as they know what times the boats arrive. I ordered coffee and the first 5 minutes was spent watching the area being prepared , rubbish emptied, milk being brought from store; this stuff should have been done before we arrived and staff should have been waiting ready. After all they just wait for the boats to arrive. Food delivery wasn’t much better. Waited an age for the coffee to be made, one was made in advance of the other as the milk was heated in different containers so one was luke-warm and other hot. And no I couldn’t lean over / get the first one as they were kept away from the customers. So my advice is get a coffee from the cruise ship before hitting the island, take your own food/water. There is a walk and that takes 30/40 minutes and you can potter around the beach/mooring area. All in all I wouldn’t bother with the island and some cruises miss it out so it’s no loss.
Written April 10, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Holly K
Auckland, New Zealand18 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Family
The boat ride out to the island was beautiful with the captain and his staff funny and helpful. The island itself was packed making it very hard to get a table and chairs outside the only cafe on the island. The cafe food was mediocre, I would suggest making a picnic yourself if possible. We went snorkeling and unfortunately, that day we saw only 3 fish maximum, however, the water was wonderful. Kayaks, paddle boards, and snorkels are all available to hire for not too big of a rip-off.
Written February 13, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Luckyphil
Auckland, New Zealand38 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Family
What a magic spot. The ferry across was fun, weather was a little wild but the kids enjoyed the waves. They had a soft drink on board and you can purchase snacks and alcohol as well. It took about 1 hour from Paihia and was cheapest if you book advance on bookme (around 40%off). This trip arrives at 12:15 and returns at 4:15- ample time for us. You can down load a map of the island walks. You can do the walks or stay at the otehei beach as the cafe/bar is right there on tge beach. Lots of grass and shaded spots. Kayak hire available right there too. Once there the tracks have markers. They are quite steep for most small children and anyone that can’t walk well. The walk over to urapukapuka bay is the shortest (straight up and down). Lots of people camping over there. We chose to go to sunset bay- it was beautiful, we were the only ones there and even say a stingray. The walk there and back +swim there was about 1.5 hours. We had lunch at the cafe/bar, staff were wonderful. They do a beer on the island especially brewed for them and sell jugs and towers of beers. Icecream for the kids and they have their menu on line. The fish and chips we ordered wasn’t great, small fish and thick bready batter so the staff happily swapped for toasted sandwich which was superb.
Great spot, awesome day and will definitely return to do more walks.
Written January 21, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

BuzzieFamily
Kitchener, Canada119 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Family
Hiking the trails around islands is a great thing to do in New Zealand -- try also Waiheke Island near Auckland (although that one can be very busy) and Quail Island near Christchurch. All three are reachable by nice ferry rides at reasonable prices; in the cae of Urupukapuka, it's about a 40-minute ride. There are many trials on Urupukapuka, but doing the circle island one is terrific. You can do it in 3 hours or so, depending on how long you stop at one of the beaches for a refreshing swim virtually alone even at the height of summer. On the hike, there is something beautiful to see at basically every turn in the trail. And when you get back to the ferry dock, there is a nice bistro with lots of brews on tap after the hike. A great day trip!
Written March 6, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ceceliainDC
Washington DC576 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2023 • Couples
Supposedly part of the marine mammal reserve but more like a party island. People stopover here for lunch as part of a larger tour or spend the day here to drink.
We kayaked and snorkeled but the place was devoid of fish and there were so many boats moored in every tucked away beach and cove. There were no fish to be seen. The kayak rental agency actually suggested we take a rock and crush a sea urchin in order to see fish. I was horrified. And as we took the final ferry back to mainland at 5:45 I was appalled at the drunken state of so many people.
No wildlife to be seen but we did see one man puking in the bushes and his drunken friends laughing at him.
Written January 21, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

CiTyBee
53 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2021
Stayed on the island after a dolphin tour; such a good idea! Island is beautiful, surrounded by gorgeous blue water. You can rent out kayaks to explore around. There's some nice walks to get panoramic views. Lots of nice spots to sunbathe or lounge about. Almost reminded me of a tropical island!
Written August 6, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ann & Chad
Auckland, New Zealand124 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2020 • Couples
A beautiful island with many walking trails and gorgeous sandy / pebble beaches with crystal clear water.
Recommend a visit if you have time whilst visiting the The Bay of Islands.
We enjoyed our tour with Sea shuttles....wish we could have spent the whole day.
Written July 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

alisstoftravels
82 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Friends
A 25 minute picturesque ferry from Paihia/Russell to Otehei Bay. This Island is full of hikes (steep hills pack your walking shoes) and great beaches to have a relaxing swim. We relaxed with a few drinks on the lawn of the restaurant in the beanbags whilst waiting for the ferry. Allow at least 5 hours to explore the island fully.
Written January 18, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Urupukapuka Island - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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