Motuarohia (Roberton) Island Track...

Motuarohia (Roberton) Island Track

Motuarohia (Roberton) Island Track

Your Nature Guide

Marios Gavalas's avatar

Marios Gavalas

Author And Researcher

Nau mai, haere mai

Nau mai, haere mai

I'm Marios, delivering the best of Aotearoa's nature walks to your device.

I've personally walked hundreds of New Zealand's tracks and spent months in libraries uncovering interesting information on New Zealand/Aotearoa. And you'll find a slice of that research on this page - enjoy!


Deep Nature

FREE MAP - The best of 21 nature guidebooks on one map.

Online Maps

FREE Header

Deep Nature NEW

Author Marios Gavalas, Rankers and hundreds of contributors bring you a free web map to help you get lost (and find yourself) in Aotearoa's nature.


700 metres return| 15 minutes return

The views from the summit in all directions show the splendour of the Bay of Islands.


The information centres in Russell and Paihia can advise on the tour operators who run boat services to the island.


The track is even and climbs to a lookout platform. The final section has been aided with elaborate wooden steps.


Motuarohia Island was once two separate islands, which are now joined by a tombolo, or sandspit. On the southern side is an uninterrupted beach, which stretches the length of the sandspit. On the northern side three shallow lagoons enclosed by rocky islets have deeply scalloped the coastline so the beaches back onto the southern beach. The lagoons are ideal for snorkelling and DoC have constructed an interpretive snorkel trail with underwater plaques.

European History

The island is also called Roberton Island and is named after John Roberton, who lived here from 1839. He purchased the island from chiefs Warerahi, Meko and Rewa, built a house and established a farm. After drowning in 1840, a fate coincidentally shared by his five brothers, his widow stayed on the island.

With a servant named Thomas Bull, she looked after Motuarohia, her three children and Maketu, the son of a Kororareka chief. A moody and lazy boy, proud of his high standing and noble lineage, he resented their rebuking after instances of mischief. He killed all five island residents and for his murderous deed was taken to Auckland and hanged.

On 29th November 1769, Captain Cook and his men landed on Motuarohia. He noted the island was numerously populated and substantially cultivated. On being surrounded by a large party of threatening Maori, Cook ordered a shot to be fired at the young chief leading the party, causing them to retreat.


Feature Value Info


North IslandNorthlandBay of Islands


  • Walking
  • Free


No written reviews!

Can you contribute? If you've experienced Motuarohia (Roberton) Island Track then please and write a review.

DOC Managed

Thanks to all the good people working for the NZ Department of Conservation - for all your hard work - making NZ more beautiful, accessable and healthy! Cheers 😍

Nick Morrison's avatar

Nick Morrison

Rankers owner