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

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

Note that spaces can sometimes be limited.

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 and mid-week (Wednesday).

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 4.15pm (Summer) or 3.15pm (Winter).
We will only cancel our Volunteer Day if the forecast is very bad or 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 : $22.40 ($22.50 mid-week)
Child : $11.20 (15 years and under)

Volunteer Card
Collect your volunteer card from the Trust representative at the 'meeting place' on the morning of departure.

Meeting Place
Downtown: under the arch of the Ferry Building, outside the gelato shop, from 8.30am 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 (packed in a rodent proof container) 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 (public Sundays only)
  • 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 typical Public Volunteer Planting Day

Upon arrival at the Home Bay wharf on Motutapu volunteers walk for 10 minutes to the Red Barn where there will be a welcome and the day's activities explained.

Then a walk up the hill on the Loop track track to the planting site.  There are DOC style toilets at the back of the campground on the way. There will be time to admire the views over Home Bay and the Gulf from the track. This walk takes about 20 minutes.

Once at the planting site there will be a health and safety briefing and a planting demonstration. Planting will then commence with a 30 minute break for lunch. Once all the plants are in the ground volunteers walk back to Home Bay to the historic Reid Homestead for a sausage sizzle and a de-brief on the day's work.

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.