Aroha Island (C1)

Aroha Island Kiwi preserve.

GPS: -35.191140 174.003058

Aroha Island--KeriKeri overview

Aroha Island–KeriKeri overview

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On the road to Aroha Island

On the road to Aroha Island

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Photo from Aroha Island Ecological Center brochure

Photo from Aroha Island Ecological Center brochure

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Aroha Island entrance

Aroha Island entrance

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Campground area at Aroha Island

Campground area at Aroha Island

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Campground area at Aroha Island

Campground area at Aroha Island

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The resident ducks inspecting the rental kayaks

The resident ducks inspecting the rental kayaks

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Aroha Island visitor center---neat kiwi displays and infos

Aroha Island visitor center—neat kiwi displays and infos

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Spot the Kiwi bird! damn, they do blend-in really well.  This is a flash photo from a nighttime self-tour of the island.  The caretaker gave me permission to try to take a photo of a Kiwi.  Amazingly, I got lucky!!

Spot the Kiwi bird! damn, they do blend-in really well. This is a flash photo from a nighttime self-tour of the island. The caretaker gave me permission to try to take a photo of a Kiwi. Amazingly, I got lucky!!

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Close-up flash photo of the wild Kiwi bird!

Close-up flash photo of the wild Kiwi bird!

In my opinion, Aroha Island prsents the best chance of anywhere in New Zealand to see a Kiwi bird in the wild.  I think I’ve spotted one 4 out of my 5 times staying at Aroha Island.  Last year I arrived and there was a couple camping there who had my book.  At 11pm we headed out together for a night tour.  Not two minutes into the walk we froze as we heard alot of leaf-crackling in the forest next to the track…and wahdddaya know the next instant a young Kiwi bird actually ran OVER the foot of the man I was with.  Oh my god!  It happened so fast that we didn’t hardly know what was going on…but we saw the little guy running away as we laughed in surprise!

Another different year I had done the nighttime lap twice without hearing or seeing anything.  Deflated, I walked back to the camp area on the gravel road.  A I got to the metal gate at the campground, there stood a Kiwi right on the road by the gate, as if waiting for me to return–Ha!  He didn’t hang around to chat (like the one at Trounson Park did)…but as he speedily ambled away I was able to follow him for a bit before he disappeared into the bush.

Needless to say, I LOVE Aroha Island!

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Map of Akeake Point viewpoint/beach loop track

Map of Akeake Point viewpoint/beach loop track

Akeake Point is just a 10-minute drive from Aroha Island—out towards the middle of the bay.  There’s a little loop track here visiting a beach cove and then up to a great Bay of Islands viewpoint.  Worth a look!

Akeake Point DoC signage at the carpark trailhead

Akeake Point DoC signage at the carpark trailhead

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The Akeake Point view platform.  Well done DoC! A great sweeping Bay of Islands vista.

The Akeake Point view platform. Well done DoC! A great sweeping Bay of Islands vista.

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One Response to “Aroha Island (C1)”

  1. Jonathan Mace Says:

    Great recommendation! We saw a kiwi! Also, it’s fine to come kiwi-stalking after dark, even if not camping. They recommended we come during the daytime to check out the paths and get the lay of the land, and then after dark just park on the main road and walk in.

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