Makoia Island is a volcanic rhyolite dome, rising to 180 metres above lake level, which in pre-European times was settled by the Te Arawa tribe. It was the scene of several battles including one during the Musket Wars. In 1823 a Nga Puhi chief, Hongi Hika, from the Bay of Islands, was shot by the besieged Te Arawa tribe, but was saved by a suit of armour he was wearing, a present from King George IV of England whom he had visited in England in 1820.
Now Makoia Island is a wildlife sanctuary, home to many endangered birds such as Kiwi, Weka, North Island Robin, Saddlebacks, Kokako and many more. The birds flourish in this predator free environment, filling the canopy with their songs. It has a number of walking tracks you can stroll along enjoying the bird life. The island's foreshores are littered with natural, geothermal springs, including the famous Hinemoa’s Hot Pool. This hot water seeps into the lake providing swimmers and bathers with a unique experience.
The island is the home of New Zealand’s greatest love story, the story of Hinemoa and Tutanekai, two young lovers whose parents did not want them to be together, but their love prevailed.
Getting there is not for the faint hearted! Your journey starts and finishes with a 30-minute adrenalin filled jet-boat ride at speeds of up to 85kph (50mph) with 360 degree spins, all powered by the Hamilton Waterjet, an engine invented here in New Zealand. Ecology meets horse-power….
After, depending on your energy and wants, you can visit the steaming boiling pools of Kuirau Park, relax and smell the roses in Government Gardens or head out to the Blue and Green lakes. Then sit back and enjoy the trip back to your ship across the volcanic Mamuku/Kaimai forest park, farmland and pines.
Group bookings only, group size minimum is 10. We can modify the tour for smaller groups, contact us for details.