Pest-Free Hauraki Gulf

Help keep our Hauraki Gulf islands pest-free

Charters & Groups > Pest-Free Hauraki Gulf

Our vehicle and passenger ferries are licensed by the Department of Conservation (DOC) and the Auckland Council to visit pest-free conservation islands and other islands in the Hauraki Gulf.

Prepare for your trip by being alert for stowaways such as: Argentine ants, rainbow skinks, soil, seeds, mice or rats.

Pest free Hauraki Gulf informational poster
Download this infographic here

Protect our wildlife:

  • Make sure all food is packed and sealed in plastic rodent proof containers with lids.
  • Ensure cardboard boxes are closed and taped – there must be no opportunity for an unwanted pest to access the box in transit.
  • Ensure all footwear and gear is clean and free of soil (shoe cleaners available behind the Half Moon Bay ferry terminal and near the ramp of the Hamer Street, Wynyard Quarter ferry terminal).
  • Check any camping or overnight gear for stowaways. Gear that has been stored is high risk.
  • Thoroughly check seedlings, potting mix or plant matter to ensure there are no hitch-hikers.
  • Seal up your gear/food as soon as you have finished packing and leaved them closed till to reach your destination.

When you arrive on a pest-free island, you may be met by rangers to recheck your gear. For more information please visit the Pest Free Hauraki Gulf website for further information on biosecurity in the Hauraki Gulf.

If you find a pest:

  • On the mainland: Get rid of the pest and clean your gear again.
  • On the ferry: Tell the crew what you have found and where it is.
  • On the island: Report sightings to the DOC conservation emergency hotline 0800 DOC HOT (0800 362 468).

Why do you need to check your gear?

The Hauraki Gulf is a nationally-significant marine park. Many of the islands of the Gulf are pest free, or partially pest free. This means they are now home to some of New Zealand’s rarest and most endangered species – eg tuatara, takahe, shore plover and kiwi. The islands are also recovering naturally as birds reintroduce themselves to these safe havens.  It is important to keep them pest free – and we need your help!

Pest animals and plants can invade our islands by stowing away on or in your footwear, gear or boat. Rats can squeeze through a 12 mm gap and mice can squeeze through a 7 mm gap. Insects could hide in your bag, and weeds, seeds and soil could cling to your clothing and shoes.

Pests threaten New Zealand's native wildlife:

  • Rats eat birds, eggs, reptiles and insects.
  • Mice prey on insects and eat small birds and reptiles.
  • Argentine ants can reach large numbers and have a big appetite killing our native insects, skinks, geckos and baby birds.
  • Plague skinks compete with native lizards and other animals for food and habitat and have displaced our native skinks on the mainland.
  • Soil can carry plant diseases such as kauri dieback.
  • Weed seeds can become a weed forest and smother native plants


For more information regarding biosecurity requirements for charters to pest-free DOC managed islands (Rangitoto, Motutapu, Motuihe) contact Colin Christie, Biodiversity Ranger - Auckland Inner Islands, on mobile 027 367 2420 or email [email protected]

Without your co-operation your trip may not be able to take place, so if you have any doubts or questions about biosecurity, please ask us.