Welcome ~ Nau Mai Haere Mai
“Wind rocks this little land, Anchored between sky and sea,
Paused in the drift of time, Cradle of possibility.”
To keep in touch about opportunities to visit the Island and upcoming events
Want to find out about visiting the Island? There are several charter boat, and water taxi options. Check the ‘Visit’ page and, if you want to stay overnight, the Google calendar which shows when the Lodge is available.
Read more about our biodiversity monitoring project here
Quarantine Island/Kamau Taurua sits in the heart of the Otago Harbour, a remnant of the ancient Dunedin volcano. In its bush clad, pre-European, times it was used by southern Māori as a place to camp while collecting kaimoana. From 1863 to 1924, as the Otago Quarantine Station, it became the first place ashore for many thousands of settlers on route to their new lives. It was also used as a military hospital during World War One.
The Island is a public recreation reserve jointly managed by the Department of Conservation and the Quarantine Island/Kamau Taurua Community (Incorporated). All are welcome!
The Quarantine Island/Kamau Taurua Community are the caring, passionate kaitiaki / guardians of this very special island. We employ the resident Keeper, who lives on the Island, looking after visitors and managing everything for us. The QI/KT Community own and manage the buildings, initiate and progress a range of restoration projects, and have the pleasure of welcoming thousands of visitors each year. We host an open day on the last weekend of each month, arranging a charter boat to get to the island. This is especially suited for individuals and families wanting to enjoy a day trip (or perhaps a night over). Everyone is welcome to join us in sharing food, helping, laughing and relaxing in this escape just a short boat ride from the city.
We value our partner organisation – the Department of Conservation, and others that support us with particular projects, including Heritage New Zealand, Forest and Bird, the New Zealand Marine Studies Centre, the DCC, Enviroschools, Kiwi Conservation Club and the Dunedin Amenities Society. What’s more, as a non-profit group, we are very grateful for donations that enable us to enhance and restore the Island and its buildings.