A unique arts, heritage and conservation island opens in Auckland's Hauraki Gulf.
Rotoroa Island, off Waiheke Island’s east coast, was off-limits to the public for over a century as New Zealand’s first and longest running alcohol and drug addiction treatment centre.
Today, it is a conservation and heritage estate thanks to the generosity of local philanthropists who negotiated a 99-year lease from the Salvation Army, establishing the Rotoroa Island Trust (RIT), and a programme of restoration and redevelopment designed to return island access to the people of New Zealand.
Visitors to Rotoroa can explore the heritage buildings at the heart of the island’s old community including the jail, chapel, school house and cemetery.
A state-of-the-art exhibition centre showcases the history of Rotoroa while a major conservation programme has seen over 350,000 native plants reintroduced to the island along with a pest eradication strategy.
A monumental artwork by leading New Zealand sculptor Chris Booth was installed in April 2011 and dominates the island’s southern headland.
The island has four beautiful sandy beaches, walking trails, and brand new amenities including free barbeques.
Cell phone access and fresh water are available on the island.
Rotoroa is a predator free island, so dogs are prohibited. A pest eradication programme is ongoing. Camping is not permitted.