• Moutohorā: Island Sanctuary

  • Important info
  • What to Bring
  • Protecting Moutohorā
  • Moutohorā: Island Sanctuary tours operate weekly on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, weather and demand permitting.
  • Bookings are essential.
  • We recommend that children be at least 8 years of age, however, the minimum age is 6 years old. Please see our FAQs page for more information.
  • The tour is very weather dependent, and a minimum number of passengers is required. We will confirm with you before 8pm the night prior whether the tour is able to operate.
  • Check-in is at White Island Rendezvous, 15 The Strand East, Whakatāne. Check-in is required 30 minutes prior to your advised departure time.

Tour departure times:

We aim to depart at 10am, however, a number of factors such as weather, sea conditions and tides can affect this time. We will confirm the departure time with you the night before your tour.

Moutohorā is a pest-free island and a bio-security clearance check is required before departure.


Until 31st March 2020
Adult: $99
Child: $59 (15 years and under)

From 1st April 2020
Adult: $119
Child $59 (15 years and under)

  • Warm clothing for the boat ride and walk on the island
  • Sturdy footwear for the walk. Sneakers/sand shoes are perfect. Jandals/thongs/flip flops are not suitable.
  • Small backpack – biosecurity guidelines require all bags to be closable by zip. Drawstring and open bags are not suitable.
  • Swimwear and towel (optional, should you wish to swim at the hot water beach)
  • Sun protection – hat and sunscreen
  • Moutohorā is rodent and predator free. To keep it this way it is important for us to enforce strict bio-security checks on behalf of the Department of Conservation.
  • Before arriving for your tour please check clothing, bags and shoes for soil and seeds. This is to prevent weed species becoming established on Moutohorā.
  • Backpacks and bags must be able to be sealed closed with a zip or similar device. Open bags are not permitted.
  • Only packaged food is permitted on the island. No fruit or home-grown produce is allowed. Food may be taken aboard the boat but must be in a sealed container or commercially packaged.
  • Following check-in for your tour you will be directed to the bio-security Caravan on the wharf. Please try to bring as little as possible to the island.
  • Inside the bio-security caravan you will be required to un-pack any bag you may have. Items will be inspected by a White Island Tours™ staff member to ensure that they do not inadvertently contain rodents, insects or seeds.
  • You will be requested to dip the soles of your shoes into a water bath containing a strong disinfectant prior to boarding the boat.
  • Moutohorā is an extremely dry environment and as such there is a high fire risk. Please do not bring matches or lighters on the tour. Smoking is not permitted on the island or on the boat.
  • All items taken to the island must be removed again.

For more information on protecting NZ’s offshore islands, please see the Department of Conservation brochure here.

Discover more about
White Island Tours

  • This is definitely a jewel in New Zealand's crown. Have spent my whole life exploring and adventuring in and around New Zealand and absolutely loved this trip on many levels. Don't miss it.

    Tom Mulholland - New Zealand

  • An excellent trip done with work colleagues. Luck gave us a perfect day and the chance to see a pod of dolphins on the trip out and back. It's a short boat ride and then a guided hike (not hard work at all) on the island. We had time to go for a swim on a hot-water beach (geothermal water vents providing the hot water). Beautiful views and a great day. Very friendly crew. A really great trip to do.

    TripAdvisor - Ohope, New Zealand

  • Thank you to the staff members who made our Waitangi day, Moutohora Island experience unforgettable. Great ride out and back, excellent commentary on board and on the Island. Fantastic weather and the sea was beautifully flat. What a magical place Moutohora Island is. I would recommend this trip to everyone. Also special thanks to the cook who made the yummy ginger biscuits for the ride back. Top marks you guys.

    Sandy Connelly - New Zealand

  • Had a great trip to the island and learnt a lot from our guides. Would highly recommend this trip to anyone visiting the area. A great way to spend half a day.

    TripAdvisor - New Zealand

  • Visited on new year's day. Thanks to our very informative guide, we saw lots of saddlebacks close up, seals, skink, gecko, petrel, fantails, and paddled at the thermal hot water beach. Very professional with a thorough biosecurity check!

    TripAdvisor - Australia

  • The Bay of Plenty certainly meets up to its name. One of the best things to do in Whakatane is the Moutohorā Island Sanctuary (Whale Island) trip. The crew is phenomenal and the scenery is idyllic. There is a hike involved, and the views from the top blew me away. The care that is taken to preserve the natural habitat of the island is incredible. After hiking and sitting on the beach to eat lunch, with a quick dip in the ocean the boat goes around the entire island. If the front was interesting, the back side of the island looked like a movie set. Things to remember, bring your towel and bathing suit and lots of water. There are restrooms on the island. And fear not, if you forget your towel they will borrow you one for a nominal fee. Book early! This tour sells out (and it’s worth every penny!)

    TripAdvisor - USA