Aroha Island is a 12 ha sanctuary in the Kerikeri Inlet. Owned by QEII National Trust and managed by the Aroha Island Charitable Trust.
It is rich in cultural and natural history and hosts a large cross section of rare New Zealand plants and animals, including the North Island brown kiwi. The island’s biodiversity, history and natural beauty make it an inspirational place to visit.
Aroha Island is an important archaelogical site. Middens, stone alignments and heaps, terraces and two burial grounds have been discovered. A wahi tapu was registered on the title in 2005.
When Dr Colin Little purchased the island in 1971 he set about restoring it, removing sheep and goats, replanting many varieties of native and exotic ornamental trees and slowly removing exotic weeds.
In 1984 a QEII open space covenant was registered on the title, ensuring the natural and historic values were protected in perpetuity and in 1991 the island was sold to QEII. It was Dr Little’s intention that the Trust would preserve Aroha and maintain it as “open space” available for public use and education. The latter is provided through information and education programmes run at Aroha’s Eco Centre.
Visiting the island is free for day trippers. Visitors can swim, walk across the beach, explore the bush or hire a kayak to trace the island’s coastline. Camping sites, bush cottages and our inlet view lodge offer a range of accommodation options for those wanting to stay on. Aroha Island is perfect for retreats, conferences, meetings and weddings, but is equally suited to smaller groups and individuals who simply want to get away from it all and enjoy the peace and tranquillity the island offers.
Aroha Island Charitable Trust
In 2005, QEII National Trust reviewed the management of the Island and announced its intention to manage it on a commercial lease basis. A community committee was set up and successfully tendered for the management of Aroha.
Aroha Island Charitable Trust was formed in October 2007 to preserve and enhance the Open Space Covenant and social values of Aroha Island and retain public access for present and future generations. This would be achieved through the following objectives:
• Provide a centre of excellence for the preservation & advocacy of North Island Brown Kiwi.
• Encourage the appropriate public use of Aroha.
• Preserve & enhance the fauna, flora & habitats in accordance with the open space covenant.
• Preserve the natural vista.
• Respect wahi tapu and protect sites of archaeological significance.
• Provide an exemplary visitors centre.
• Protect the land from subdivision (upholding Dr Little’s original request).
• Ensure democratic community participation.