Thursday, 18 June 2020


Motuihe is an island in the Hauraki Gulf.  When I was a kid our school and Sunday school would organise a picnic on the island.  We would go by ferry (about 30 minutes).  Later on I went on a corporate yacht race to the island and back which was also fun.

Motuihe is a small island but has 2 great white sand beaches close to the ferry wharf so you can choose which one is more sheltered to swim in.

There are some facilities at the picnic area but otherwise there is nothing.

Motu means island in Te Reo – the ihe bit refers to Ihenga.

Motuihe started off as a Maori settlement.  They sold to colonists for one heifer, twenty blankets, ten axes, ten hoes, ten spades, six gowns, two red blankets, 12 dutch pipes, six iron pots and one shawl according to Wikipedia.  It's hard to know whether this was a rip off but…

In 1872 the island became a quarantine station for smallpox victims. And subsequently for scarlet fever.  In WWI it was used as an internment camp for German prisoners.  It then was used to deal with the 1928 flu pandemic.

WWII saw it being a naval training base.

Now it is controlled by DOC and a conservation trust.

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