Mayor Island (Tuhua), the visible part of an ancient, undersea volcano and famous for its black volcanic obsidian, now has a place for visitors to stay. The Tuhua Trust Board and Department of Conservation (DOC) have joined forces to manage the cabin and tent accommodation – and bookings can be made through the DOC Tauranga Office.
'This is a great opportunity for us to enable people to enjoy the island and generate some financial return on our assets, whilst ensuring that its pristine environment and rare inhabitants are protected,' says Tuhua Trust Board Chairperson, Magda Williams. 'We’ve been working with DOC for many years now and this venture will bring us one step closer to establishing a sustainable management regime for the island.'
The trust board has employed a caretaker who, in addition to managing on-island accommodation, will provide a bio-security and quarantine service, to maintain the Island’s pest-free status, and prevent visitors from accidentally bringing rodents or other unwanted vermin with them.
The privately-owned Maori freehold Island offers visitors the opportunity to enjoy tranquil beaches, and walking tracks through regenerating pohutukawa forest filled with bird song. There’s also diving or snorkelling in the marine reserve at the northern end of the island.
A restricted fishing area extends one nautical mile offshore around the rest of the island, including Tuhua Reef. Set nets (including gill nets) and long lines (lines with more than three hooks) are prohibited - but all other legal fishing methods are allowed.
It’s great to see so many people taking up the opportunity already, says DOC officer Barbara Strange who’s been managing accommodation bookings.
A $5 landing fee applies and landing is permitted only at Opo (South-East) Bay. Ten tent sites and eight cabins are available for visitors to use by prior arrangement. Bookings can be made by contacting DOC: Tel: 07 578 7677, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about Mayor Island:
Photos courtesy DOC