The island is a public Recreation Reserve and visitors are welcome! Come over for the day to relax and explore. You can come over on your own boat or kayak, or you can take one of several boat charter/water taxi options.
Find out more about how to get here on this page.
The Quarantine Island/Kamau Taurua Community own all the buildings on the island, but groups can request to book the St. Martin Lodge, or the Married Quarters. Our Island Keeper may be able run a programme with your group (donation appreciated), or involve you as a volunteer in a project.
If you are coming over on one of our regular welcome days, book online so we can confirm your boat transfers for you, and accommodation if you are staying over. Contact Us and read more about our Welcome days here.
We encourage visitors to volunteer and help with activities, for example, caring for native seedlings, helping pick up rubbish that washes up on the beaches, odd jobs, or general maintenance. While this is certainly not essential, and many come to the Island to just relax and enjoy their surroundings, many visitors have told us that helping out makes their experience even better! You can find out more about volunteering here.
There are lots of interesting and enjoyable curriculum-related activities available on the Island. A selection of these are outlined below and are more fully outlined on our Wikieducator page. Follow this link to find out more about activities, accommodation, what to bring, dates the Lodge is available, health and safety information including RAMS forms, boat transport and further educational resources. We recommend an overnight or 2-3 day camp to ensure plenty of time to explore different aspects of the Island.
“Very pleasant is an excursion to Quarantine Island on a fine day, when the placid waters of the harbour are bathed in sunshine, and ripple round many picturesque headlands, clothed with native verdure to their bases. On such a day Port Chalmers and its neighbourhood look their best, especially when viewed from seawards, and discover a rare commingling of nature unadorned, and nature embellished by the art and ingenuity of man.
Evidences of thriving prosperity, of the substantial progress of this land of our adoption, are apparent on all sides. Stately merchantmen in every stage of loading and unloading throng the harbour and line the jutting piers, whilst the scream of the railway whistle, the rattle of the heavily laden train, and the thud-thud of the paddles of the steamers which ply about the bay, tell the tale of the advance of science as applied to everyday affairs, and indicate that a share of the abundance of knowledge which pervades the world is not wanting here, and that man has profited and is profiting thereby”.Otago Witness, 20 June 1874