• Motukorea browns island auckland sea kayaking

    Motukorea / Browns Island

    Sea Kayak Journey


Motukorea / Browns Island

Our Motukorea / Browns Island kayak tour is the perfect trip for anyone who wants an exciting and informative day on Auckland’s Waitemata Harbor.

Once called Browns Island and known by its original name of Motukorea (island of the pied oyster catcher bird), is one of the best-preserved volcanoes in the Auckland Volcanic Field. Private boats and sea kayaks are the only means of access to this untouched island.

Motukorea / Browns Island has a fascinating history. It was heavily cultivated by local Maori pre-European arrival and was the first home of Sir Logan Campbell (mayor of Auckland) and William Brown (1st Auckland member of parliament). These men are considered the founders of Auckland city.

On arriving at Motukorea, we trek to the summit, taking in the panoramic views as we go and learning about the island’s history. There are three ancient pa sites (Maori fortified village) on the island. The largest occupying the slopes of the main scoria cone.

Light refreshments are provided on the island before we head back into the Auckland skyline.

Tour consists of approx 1 hour each way of sea kayaking with informative stops and interpretation along the way.

To keep these islands pest free. See what you need to do before joining Auckland Sea Kayaks on our trip please go to www.treasureislands.co.nz

Age restriction: There is no minimum age for our trips to Motukorea

Book Now  Vouchers

Motukorea / Browns island is a hidden paradise in the heart of Auckland’s Waitemata harbor.

This captivating volcanic cone offers a unique blend of cultural significance and ecological wonders. Immerse yourself in the island’s rich Maori history as you explore ancient pa sites and terraced gardens, providing a fascinating glimpse into its past. Motukorea’s lush green landscapes and diverse flora create a breathtaking backdrop for nature enthusiasts and hikers alike. As a protected wildlife sanctuary, the island boasts an array of rare native species, contributing to vital ecological conservation efforts. Discover the magic of Motukorea Island, a treasure trove of history, culture, and natural beauty.

Tour Cost


$175 NZD per person



Approximately 4.5 hours

Start time

Start Time

Morning Trip: 8:30am
Afternoon Trip: 1:30pm

Start location

Start Location

Boat Ramp at 384 Tamaki Dr, St Heliers. More

Fitness required

Fitness Required

Medium. Must be able to hike 1.5 km (0.8 of a mile) rising 70 meters (230 feet)

  • “If you’re up for an adventure that combines action, history and exquisite offerings of the earth, then Auckland Sea Kayaks’ island tour is the experience for you. Participants will go on a scenic paddle from Auckland’s bustling shores to picturesque Motukorea Island.  Which boasts the best-preserved volcanoes in the area. Once there, kayakers will enjoy a light picnic before hiking to the island’s summit. Spectacular views are on offer, as well as glimpses into ancient Maori fortified villages, all described in great detail by a knowledgeable guide”

    Featured in Toronto Star Newspaper

  • “Thank you Auckland Sea Kayaks for a glorious half day trip out to Brown's Island. Even though we live just up the road from St Heliers Beach, we had never kayaked out there, just admired the island from the mainland. The whole trip was perfect. Superb quality kayaking equipment, polyprops, waterproofs, shoes etc all provided. Nick was a brilliant, fun, enthusiastic, informative and professional guide. We loved the morning teas and coffee, all laid out on a little tablecloth on the island beach - delicious walnut muffins! An easy walk up to the crater summit, stunning views. It is a trip I can recommend to anyone, locals and visitors. Easy paddling. A truly lovely way to experience Auckland and just some of the beautiful area we are so lucky to live in.”

    Clare reviewed on TripAdvisor.com


  • Can you see bioluminescence on this tour?

    During the summer months, our sunset kayaking trips often provide the unique opportunity to witness bioluminescence in the water. This natural phenomenon, where marine organisms emit a magical blue-green light, is most common during warmer weather, peaking between October and April. As you paddle through the tranquil waters at dusk, you’ll be mesmerized by the sparkling display beneath your kayak, making for an unforgettable experience. Join us for a sea kayaking adventure and experience the stunning bioluminescence that lights up Auckland’s coastal waters.

  • Do you offer city pickups and transport?

    Yes, we provide pickups within Auckland city. To arrange this service, kindly specify your request in the booking form when making an online reservation. Our designated pickup spot is at the Auckland Museum Atrium (google map click here).

  • Are there any biosecurity restrictions?

    Yes there is. Please help us keep Hauraki Gulf islands pest free. The Hauraki Gulf provides a haven for some of our most endangered animals and plants, including sea birds, tuatara and takahē.


    Check your gear and help keep our islands pest-free. To keep these islands pest free. See what you need to do before joining Auckland Sea Kayaks on our trip please go to www.treasureislands.co.nz

    When visiting pest free islands, or islands that are becoming pest-free, make sure you check your gear before you leave the mainland.

    Protect our wildlife

    Check – your gear for pests such as rodents and insects

    Clean – footwear and gear, removing soil and seeds

    Close – ensure your gear is zipped up (no open bags)

    When you arrive on a pest-free island, you may be met by rangers to recheck your gear.

  • How much kayaking experience do I need?

    This tour is set up for someone who has no kayaking experience. Your guide runs over paddling techniques before heading out onto the sea and gives you tips while paddling.

    In saying this, our Sunset Kayak tour requires you to be able to paddle for up to 75 minutes and requires you to walk 2.4 km while gaining 271 meters in elevation.

  • Is there a minimum age?

    There is no minimum age for our trips to Motukorea.
    Please contact us to discuss individual requirements.

  • How fit do I need to be?

    A medium level of fitness is required.
    You will be kayaking for approximately 1 hour each way. Must be able to hike 1.5 km (0.8 of a mile) rising 70 meters (230 feet).

  • Where does this tour start?

    This tour starts from the St Heliers Bay central boat ramp located at 384 Tamaki Drive, St Heliers.There is lots of free car parking around St Heliers.

    St Heliers boat ramp our launch location only and our offices are located at 193 Dominion Rd, Mt Eden, Auckland 1024.

  • Is this tour catered?

    This tour is fully catered and we cater for all dietary requirements.
    Please advise us when you book if you have any dietary requirements so we can let our catering company know.

What you need to bring

This tour is fully catered so please inform us if you have any dietary requirements.

What is provided?
We kit you out with all the specialist paddling gear including buoyancy aid, spray skirt, spray jacket, thermals and a dry bag for your camera. This tour is fully catered so please advise us of any dietary requirements. Kayaking is a water sport and you will get a little wet while kayaking.

What to bring?

  • Camera
  • Water bottle
  • Sun protection
  • T-shirt (No Cotton)
  • Shorts or leggings to kayak in (No Cotton).
  • Sun glasses and hat
  • Sport shoes or hiking sandals such as Chaco’s. Flip-flops, jandals and
    slip on shoes are not suitable.
  • Warm top
  • Medication

Auckland Sea Kayaks
384 Tamaki Drive
St Heliers
Auckland 1071
New Zealand
View on Google Maps

Tour Start Location

This tour starts from the St Heliers Bay central boat ramp located at 384 Tamaki Drive, St Heliers. There is lots of free car parking around St Heliers.

Meeting point
St Heliers Bay boat ramp
(Tamaki Drive, St Heliers, Auckland)
– Get Directions



Ain't no office better than the Hauraki Gulf 💯☀️
Dinner al fresco. Do the guides deserve a Michelin star? @dukeofednz #dukeofedinburghaward
Team New Zealand @emiratesteamnz training on the Hauraki Gulf yesterday. They tried to keep up with our kayaks but I think they had the wrong foils on 😂
Beautiful jellyfish found on the shoreline at Motukorea. Any marine biologists out there have some intel on this cool creature? @emr_nz
There are still some kayak spots available for the Upper Waitemata Coastal Cleanup this Saturday. Join us to get on the water and help cleanup the coastline.
Motunau Bay, Ponui Island. Everyone enjoying an afternoon swim at high tide on the Autumn Equinox, Wed, 20 Mar 2024.