Browns Island is a small volcanic island that you can visit for an hour or a full day. Rising to 65m above sea level, the views of Auckland City and the Hauraki Gulf as you climb are superb.
Get there by boat, kayak or paddle board
Browns Island is close to Auckland’s mainland. Launch a boat at Halfmoon Bay or another closeby spot or kayak or paddle board from one of the nearby beaches.
Crater Bay at the northeast corner is a great landing spot for small boats – it is a good deep water beach – 1.9m of water at half tide only 20m from the beach. We beached out front and unloaded and then anchored about 25m off the beach.
Kayaks and Paddle Boards may want to access via the shallow beach on the southwest side.
What to see and do?
Browns Island Auckland is a fascinating small volcano in the Waitemata Harbour that deserves to be explored. It is mostly grassy paddocks that can be freely walked.
Some highlighyts are:
- Climb the volcanic cone to the trig to get a great 360 degree view of Auckland and the Gulf. The volcano is also very defined and worth a look!
- Walk the circumference of Browns Island
- Visit the shipwreck on the Southwest beach
- Examine the three types of volcanic structures present on Browns Island – the only volcano in Auckland to have all three types.
- Swim at Crater Bay – the water is clear and deep with a nice little beach
- Search for fossils
You can book a sea kayak to get there and back to Browns Island. Land on the island and go for a walk to the summit. Book directly with the operator.
Walking Difficulty and Suitability
That walking tracks on Browns Island are largely unformed tracks that just wander through the grass. There are stairs ascending from Crater Bay towards the volcanic cone.
The walk to the summit is short but quite steep – suitable for most, except those who are unsteady on their feet. The island is not suitable for buggies, pushchairs or wheelchairs.
Nearby Rangitoto Island: You can also walk to the summit of Rangitoto Island volcano, it’s another great volcano walk.