Activities and Resources

This page has a list of educational and fun topics related to the Island. It also has links to resources we have found useful including an overview of the main points of historic interest. 

Walking Tours

Follow this link to get to our walking tours page. This has a general self-guided tour, a wonderful ecological trail guide, and a brochure about the Island in WW1.

Download the Island Brochure (2017)

Download the Historic walking map

We also have a Treasure Hunt Activity Teacher’s Guide & Zine (available on request) which was developed in 2023 by University of Otago Science Communication Intern, Janina Nakajima Castro.

Quarantine Island/Kamau Taurua (St Martin Island) – A short History’ by Lyndall Hancock

This book was written by long-time QIKT Community member, Lyndall Hancock, and was first published in 2008. It is currently out of print but copies may be available from libraries and online book sellers. In 2023, Quarantine Island/Kamau Taurua Community Inc. Council helped facilitate a small revised reprint. If you are interested in owning a copy, email


What is it? Who came here? Who died here? Of what diseases? Download a factsheet with parts from papers of the times and a list of who is buried here (from a set of resources from the Historic Cemeteries Conservation Trust of NZ).

Te Ara is the Encyclopaedia of New Zealand and is a great resource for finding out more on Immigration to NZ – How, why and when did people come?

Epidemic diseases are what quarantine should have kept out 1810-1890, 1890-1920 . Most ships were quarantined for smallpox, typhoid or scarlet fever, surprisingly the Island was not used for the influenza epidemic following WW1. Note: The remaining buildings are

Ships have brought people to or from the Island. The Waikana is the hulk of the metal ship beside the jetty and is the smaller sister ship to the TSS Earnslaw. Other famous ships with links to the island are the Willochra and the City of New York.


Over the years many surface finds have been made from pieces of broken pottery and glass, to nails and the casing for a fobb watch. In June 2017, University  of Otago Honours Archaeology student, Alana Kelly, cleaned up and researched many of these items, giving us a glimpse into past lives.
QI Surface Finds 1  
QI Surface Finds 2


Read about our Predator Free/ Biodiversity monitoring project. Activities associated with this are outlined in the Pests/Monitoring Teacher Guide

Resources for monitoring activities include bird identification flashcards and a  Bird Count Sheet.  (There are hard copies of these available on the Island).

Here’s a link to a pdf of two talks from QI/KT Community member Jim Fyfe about the ‘island factor’


The island is the ancient heart of the Dunedin volcano The Department of Conservation have a range of resources.

More Activities…

  • Orienteering around the Island
  • The night sky- city and harbour lights, stars.
  • Practise for an emergency – tsunami,  storm, accidents – boating, cliffs
  • Singing in the chapel
  • Games in the lounge
  • Native tree restoration – planting, weeding, watering
  • Beach clean up (analyse what washes up)
  • Fetching pine cones, and firewood
  • Swimming – jetty jumping, beach swimming