Tūhua | Mayor Island

Oira Bay, Tūhua Island (Mayor Island). 

Tūhua Island is the largest single site of obsidian in New Zealand. 

Tūhua has a remarkable history of violent volcanic upheaval. The island is the summit of a volcano rising from the sea floor and frequent eruptions over the past 120,000 years (the last one was about 6,000 years ago) have produced the great variety of landforms seen today.

The most prominent island, located 35 kilometres off the coast of Tauranga, is Tuhua (Mayor Island). Tuhua is the ancestral home of Te Whānau A Tauwhao ki Tūhua who continue today as kaitiaki/guardians of the island and its resources.

This dormant volcano has been largely protected from the public, so those who do get to visit can really experience something special. 

The northern end of the island is a marine reserve, making it a perfect spot for snorkelling and diving. The warm ocean currents bring plenty of subtropical species.

Those with permission to land on the island can enjoy hiking through the island’s pōhutukawa forest and, if time allows, climb to the highest peak at 355 metres above sea level.

The island is pest-free and home to an array of native birds, including bellbirds, tui, kākā, kākāriki karaka, brown kiwi.

The volcanic crator — view overlooking Te Paritu (Black Lake)