Where in the world are we?


Kawau Island is in the Hauraki Gulf, close to the north-eastern coast of the North Island of New Zealand. At its closest point it lies 1.4 km (0.87 mi) off the coast of the Tawharanui Peninsular, and about 12 km (7.0 mi) by sea journey from Sandspit Wharf, and shelters Kawau Bay to the north-east of Warkworth. It is 60 km (25 mi) north of the major city, Auckland. Tourists usually arrive at Sandspit by car, where there is a public carpark. Sandspit is a small seaside settlement, situated along an estuary (fed by the Matakana River), and is the entry into Kawau Bay and to the Hauraki Gulf. The turn-off for Sandspit from State Highway One is at a tricky traffic light intersection at Warkworth. The road also leads to the popular Matakana coast, but for Sandspit turn-off to the right towards Snells Beach, about 500m from the intersection. Some 5km along there is a well signposted road to the left, winding down to Sandspit. 


Ferry and Water Taxis

Kawau Cruises

Regular timetable shuttle services, departing Sandspit & Kawau Island. 


Low Season Timetable (2018)

Summer Timetable (2019)


Royal Mail Run Cruise

Departs Sandspit Daily at 10:30am
This is the largest mail run by water in the Southern Hemisphere, and is a delightfully relaxing way for people of all ages to learn about the history and admire the natural beauty of Kawau Island.



Bookings essential

Please ensure bookings are made at least two hours before departure.

09 425 8006 or 0800 111 616

Adult (12+) $29.50 one way
Adult $55.00 return
Child (5-11yr) $16.50 one way
Child $39.00 return
Children under 5 free

Hauraki Express

We are a new organisation offering a water taxi service around the Hauraki Gulf. We are based in both Auckland and Sandspit but will travel from anywhere, to anywhere, in the Gulf.

We operate two vessels; Midnight Express and Midnight Special. Both are fast, fun and comfortable. They are fully equipped with all necessary equipment to ensure the safety of all on board.

We will organise a trip to suit your timetable. We will also offer low cost trip options if you can fit in with our times that we relocate vessels or return vessels to base.



For further info, call or Txt Holly Thomas on 027 664 6644



Auckland Sea Planes

Kawau Island does not have an airport but Auckland Sea Planes fly out to the island from the Viaducvt quarter in the CBD. The nearest airport is in Auckland International and Domestic (approximately 1 1/2 hours).