Kayaking To Donut Island, New Zealand

The small town of Whangamata, in the Coromandel peninsula, has several islands not too far from shore. One of them, Donut Island is an old volcano that lies dormant these days. The crater has been filled with water and forms a small beach in one of the sides. Luckily, the erosion caused by water in the rocks has created a tunnel  you can use to access the interior. The tunnel, located on the south side of the island, is about 2 meters wide and 10 meters in length.

The best conditions to go are a sunny day with no wind. The waves can make the way to the island and the entrance to the crater a bit more complicated. We prefer a bit of wind as it adds a bit of fun to the adventure, but for those who feel not very comfortable with the kayak, is better to choose a day without wind. 


It takes 45 minutes to paddle to the island (one way).

Summer months, december to march, are your best bet for good weather.

Rental kayas available in the corner between Patuwai Drive and Marie Cres in Whangamata.

Go with low tide, as the beach within the crater will have more sand to enjoy.


What We Liked The Most


  • The sense of adventure. You feel like an explorer conquering a new territory.
  • The beauty of the place is indescriptible. You have to see it yourself to understand what we mean.

What We Didn´t Like That Much


  • You have to be lucky to have a sunny day. It rains a lot in New Zealand.


Don´t Miss The Video Of Our Kayaking Expedition To Donut Island!


Final Thoughts

Donut Island is one of the best-kept secrets in New Zealand. Relax on a deserted Beach, swim in an immaculate water or explore several caves which connect the crater with the outside.The feeling is of being in a lost world, a paradise in a simply stunning tropical and jungle landscape.


And You? Do You Know Nice Spots In New Zealand? Have You Ever Been To Donut Island? Share Your Experiences by Leaving a Comment Below.

Co-founder of Cycling El Mundo. Addicted to adventure travel and unexpected plans. He's on a mission to inspire you to live your dreams with entertaining stories, beautiful images, and useful tips. Cycling around the world since 2013.

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