Visiting the Hauraki Gulf Islands

Many Hauraki Gulf islands are safe havens for some of our rarest and most endangered animals and plants.

It's critical for people visiting these islands to do their bit to protect these special places.

Public visitors

An argentine ant
Argentine ant. Image credit: Richard Toft

Before you leave, check all gear for stowaways like rats, mice, Argentine ants and rainbow skinks. Clean dirty gear or footwear to remove all soil and seeds, and pack food into sealed containers to keep pests out. Don't use open bags or supermarket bags.

If you're camping, tents and bedding offer an ideal home for animal pests, so unpack and thoroughly check these items. Keep sleeping bags in separate zipped-up bags.

If you're taking your own boat or kayak, check the vessel before you leave, especially potential 'shelters' like fenders and dinghies. Look carefully for signs of rodents, like droppings or gnawed wiring.

A rat climbing a rope
Rats can climb ropes from boats onto the shore.

You can keep fresh rodent bait and/or set traps on your vessel and the area where it's stored. We also recommend placing rat guards on mooring ropes or anchor chains to stop rats coming on board from nearby land while you're at sea.

Destroy any rats, mice, ants or skinks found in your gear or on your vessel. Don't throw rats or mice overboard alive as they can swim up to 1 kilometre.

See the Treasure Islands website for more on how you can help protect these islands.

If you see any pests on pest-free islands, call 0800 DOC HOT (0800 362 468) or contact us on 09 301 0101.

Commercial operators

For commercial vessel and tourism operators, we offer a biosecurity warrant system that assesses:

  • how well you apply biosecurity measures
  • how you communicate biosecurity best practice to your customers.

See pest-free warrants on the Treasure Islands website for more.

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