Volunteer Dates




Month   Nursery
& Weed 


4, 18




8, 22




  *No direct ferry call, numbers are limited


5, 19



2, 30




14, 28

14, 28



11, 25

11, 25



9, 23

9, 23



6, 20

 6, 20



 3, 17




1, 15, 29




12, 26






 End of year celebration - bring a contribution for a shared afternoon tea


Bookings are essential as our public volunteer days fill up fast. 

Book your volunteer day by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or

  • phone (09 522-0919)
  • or phone (09 524-5072)  
  • or text (0275-570-845).

Note that spaces can sometimes be limited.

If you are a group intending to volunteer during our next  winter tree planting season in 2017,  you may be interested in our BIG Weekender. Groups or individuals of any age, either local or from overseas, are all welcome to join one of our public volunteer days. Children should be accompanied by an adult.

Corporate groups are welcome on public volunteer days or mid-week by arrangement. We also have small groups of volunteers working on the island on other weekends.

Ferry times
Ex Downtown :9.15am
Ex Devonport : 9.25am

PLEASE NOTE: Departure time from Downtown ferry terminal is 9.15am with the return journey leaving Home Bay at 3.15pm (Summer) or 3.15pm (Winter). Why not catch the 7.30am early weekend (Sat/Sun) sailing from the Ferry Building and walk to Home Bay Motutapu from Rangitoto Wharf (3 hrs approx). Make a whole day of it !! (You do need to walk, this early sailing only stops at Rangitoto, it doesn't carry on to Home Bay, Fullers offer an 'early bird' discounted fare on this 7.30 sailing )
Check here for Fullers ferry timetables. We will only cancel our Volunteer Day should Fullers consider conditions in the Gulf too rough to sail.

Ferry ticket prices
Thanks to the generous sponsorship of Fullers, a special 'tree planters' fare is available on presentation of a Motutapu 'volunteer' card

Adults : $21.75
Child : $10.50 (15 years and under)

If you are reading this page in winter, make sure you check out our Winter weed-busting ferry ticket promotion

Volunteer Card
Collect your volunteer card from the Trust representative at the 'meeting place' on the morning of departure. If you are boarding at Devonport we will email or post you a confirmation of your eligibility for the discounted fare.

Meeting Place
Downtown: under the arch of the Ferry Building, outside the gelato shop, from 8.45am to 9.00am; Devonport: waiting area, next to the Fullers ticket office, outside the cafe

Car Parking
We can no longer offer free carparking. However parking is available at the Auckland City Council 'Park Right' Downtown Car Park for $10 a day in the weekends.

  • Entrance behind the Copthorne Hotel, opposite the Tepid Baths
  • Access from Sturdee St (from Fanshawe/Nelson St) or from the one-way street at the northern end of Quay St (next to the Copthorne Hot

What to Bring - Be prepared

  • Money for ferry ticket, refreshments on return ferry
  • Sturdy footwear - trampers boots are ideal, trainers are OK but sturdier footware is preferable.
  • Wear warm gardening type clothes, several layers. Some working sites can be exposed in wet/windy weather 
  • If you have your own gardening gloves - please bring them along  - clean
  • Always bring your wet weather gear (you just never know - this is Auckland remember!)
  • Lunch and drinking water
  • Thermos/hot drink in winter
  • Sun cream and sunhat in summer
  • Day back pack - zip up or similar
  • Swimming togs in summer plus towel
  • Any required medication (our volunteer leaders also carry first aid kits)
  • As some work sites can be on hillsides a reasonable level of fitness is required

 All island visitors must familiarise themselves with the Biosecurity Requirements

We Supply

  • Gardening gloves (however if you own a pair of gardening gloves - please bring them along)
  • Spades, weeding equipment and plants
  • knowledge and good humour - ask any of our volunteer leaders questions you might have about the island restoration and its history. We love relating all the stories of the island to our visitors.

A little information about our last three winter planting seasons  

Where did we plant in Winter 2012?

The wetlands on the Home Bay flats, near the Home Bay stream at the back of the Reid Homestead but mostly we continued planting along the recently retired Upper Watershed paddocks (planted out 5.5 hectares). Our final official planting day for the year was Sunday 16th September 

Where did we plant in Winter 2011-14?

The majority of the tree planting activity in 2014 took place in Upper Watershed (the adjacent paddock to where we planted in winter 2010). This area was around a 25 minute trek from the ferry wharf. The area varied from relatively flat to hilly sites. There was a mixture of 'pasture conversion' and 'infill planting' days. Pasture conversion in Upper Watershed paddock was largely completed during May and June 2011

Where did we plant in Winter 2010?

The majority of the tree planting activity in 2010 took place in Lower Watershed paddock with some planting in Hospital Flats.

This is how it worked - upon arrival at Motutapu Home Bay wharf, vols had an approximate 5 minute walk to the Red Barn where all were welcomed and the day explained.

As per the map, there was a walk from the Barn, along the Home Bay campground road (there are three separate sets of toilets on the way), then across a bridged stream to begin a steady, but not too strenuous, climb up to Lower Watershed.

There was time to take a breather on the way up and admire the fabulous views above Home Bay and out over the inner Hauraki Gulf. The walk from the Barn to the planting area took around 15-20 minutes. We took backpacks up to the site on the truck/trailer

Mid Week Volunteer Days programme

Would you like to join a mid-week volunteer day, rather than one of the Sunday public volunteer days? Mid week volunteer days happen periodically from Monday to Friday. If you would like to join a mid week day, please let us know by emailing us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . We cater for individuals and corporate groups.

We will then add you to the mid-week database and let you know when mid-week volunteer days arise. Mid week activities include (depending on the season) nursery work, weed control, tree planting, general maintenance and fencing.