Enjoy excellent views at the lookout

The North Tower on Rotoroa Island isn’t actually a physical tower anymore, but rather the highest point on the island. Historically, it housed a water reservoir and a communication tower, but these structures have been removed.

The North Tower Lookout Walk takes you up to this elevated point, offering stunning panoramic views of the Hauraki Gulf, neighbouring islands, and the island itself. While there’s no remaining tower structure, the name “North Tower” persists as a reference to the historical use of the location and the vantage point it provides.

Enjoy walking around the historic buildings as soon as you get off the ferry, these include the jail house and church. 

You’ll also get to walk past Ladies Bay which is stunning. There is also a Mens Bay but you need to turn off and walk further to see this, however, it’s not too far.  When the island was a rehabilitation centre the men used Mens Bay to swim and the Ladies had their own beach so the two didn’t mix and mingle!

This is one of the only two walks on Rotoroa Island. The other one, which you can do on the same day is called the Sculpture Loop Walk, it’s a lovely walk.

watch out of weka bird

Watch out for Weka!

The island is full of them, you won’t miss seeing one. These flightless birds are quite friendly, if you crouch down and wait, one might come close to you as it gets on with its business of finding food. 

How to get to Rotoroa Island

Remember to check ferry schedules and book your tickets in advance, especially during peak season. Pack water, sunscreen, and comfortable clothing for your walk. With a bit of planning, the Sculpture Loop Walk promises a rewarding experience, combining nature, art, and stunning island scenery.

I arrived on our yacht so didn’t need to catch the ferry. My walk starts from Men’s Bay instead of the ferry wharf. It’s only another 10 minutes to add to the walk total.

Quick facts about this walk

Location: Rotoroa Island, Hauraki Gulf, Auckland Region, North Island
Distance: 3.4 km
Time: 1 hour in a loop
Elevation: 124 m
Track Quality: The track is very well kept with excellent signage
Transport: You'll need to catch the ferry from downtown Auckland to Rotoroa Island
Mountain bikes? No
Wheelchair access? No
Wet Feet: No
Toilets: There is a toilet block near the jail house, but if closed you can use the ones at the Environment Centre. There are also toilets at Ladies Bay.
Buggies/Wheelchairs: Not suitable except for the short walk to the quarry
Dogs: No dogs allowed anywhere on the island
Mobile coverage: Excellent, there is a cell tower on the island

Map Location and Track

My 3d video of the walk

See my photos of the North Tower Lookout Walk - Rotoroa Island

See more of my Rotoroa Island Walks