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Browns Island Motukorea Sea Kayak Tour

Duration: 4 hrs

Departures: 08:00 and 13:00 daily

Take an easy Auckland sea kayak trip that is friendly for beginners and only takes a half day commitment. The Browns Island kayak tour from the Auckland downtown CBD is only a 15 minute drive or bus ride, 20 minute cycle, 25 minute e-scooter or a 2 hour coffee stroll to St Heliers beach where we start.


Sea Kayaking Browns Island

Our four hour / half day sea kayak tour to Browns island, will leave the picturesque St Heliers beach of Auckland, paddling past the Gentleman's and Ladies Bays, through some turquoise calm waters and around our uninhabited dormant volcano island only accessible by sea kayaks and other wayfaring vessels. You will sea kayak to Browns island paddling 45-60 minutes one-way, making for about 1.5-2 hours of easy paddling in total. The rest of the time we explore the coast of Browns Island, getting familiar with your sea kayak gear and your surroundings.


Motukorea Half Day Sea Kayak Trip

Once arriving at Browns island, your Auckland sea kayak guide will imperceptibly become a landscape guide, telling you tales of Browns Island summit. You will be rewarded with uninterrupted full-circle views of the Hauraki Gulf, Waitemata Harbour and many Auckland Islands (Waiheke Island, Rangitoto Island, Motutapu Island, Motuihe Island and more...). Worreid about the views or and the weather? Check yourself prior to the tour here.

Sea Kayak Browns Island kayak tour near Auckland, NZ

Speaking of Auckland surroundings, the Waitemata Harbour and Hauraki Gulf might expose itself with marine life such as coastal birds (Dotterel and indeed Oystercatchers) and if luck has it you might see marine mammals of the cetacean taxonomic groups (whales and dolphins), we have even seen little blue penguins out there while sea kayaking to and from Browns island!

Browns island in Maori language is Motukorea, translating roughly to Oystercatcher island. Browns Island comes from the first European Auckland land purchase being the island itself, sold to William Brown (hence Browns Island) in 1840. Some of the remains on Browns Island are from the pig farm which William Brown used to farm.

About the Browns Island kayak tour

Some people do not know that the Browns Island farmers used to have horses and swam them across the harbour and channel between Browns Island and Karaka Bay.

In the past, Motukorea Island thrived with human activity as well, adorned with archaeological remnants of Māori pā, which were villages or protective settlements. Throughout centuries, the Māori cultivated the small island, engaging in gardening practices, and utilized it as a fishing hub.

Fascinatingly, remnants of the Sydney mud cockle (Anadara trapezia), which is currently found in Australia, have been discovered within the shell beds that were formed by the volcano's deposits

On June 5, 1909, siblings Alex and Claude Barnard embarked on a significant milestone in New Zealand's aviation history by launching a homemade flying machine from the peak of Brown's Island in the Hauraki Gulf. This event marked the inaugural aeroplane trials in the country.

Browns Island kayak tour near Auckland, NZ, is a volcanic cone formed after eruption around 25,000 years ago. It is one of the 53 volcanoes that make up the Auckland Volcanic Field, which is still considered active.

Browns Island is uninhabited and has been designated as a recreational reserve. Visitors can explore the island's natural beauty and historical sites.

Wildlife Sanctuary: Due to conservation efforts, Browns Island has become a sanctuary for several bird species. Visitors can spot native New Zealand birds such as the tūī, pūkeko, and silvereye, along with other wildlife like skinks and geckos.

Educational Opportunities: The island provides educational opportunities for students and researchers interested in volcanology, geology, and environmental conservation. Its accessibility and unique features make it an ideal field study location.

Check out our booking tab, click the book now button or fill an enquiry here.

Duration: 4 hrs

Departures: 08:00 and 13:00 daily



Meet at St Heliers beach boat ramp: 08:00 and 13:00 daily

Paddle 45-60 minutes, arrive at Browns Island

Walk up to the Browns Island summit, 68m high with expansive views

Paddle back 45-60 minutes and finish

Yes you can visit Browns Island in Auckland. It's accessible by boat and offers walking tracks, historic sites, and stunning views of the surrounding area.

Browns Island, originally named after its purchaser William Brown in 1840, underwent a change in ownership in 1955. The island's then-owner, Sir Ernest Davis, generously gifted the land to the city of Auckland, now until title and management of Auckland Council.

4 hours from start to finish.

45-60mins there, 45-60mins return; 1.5-2hrs total.

No. Just a willing attitude. Our kayaks are stable, our gear is safe, our guides are competent and we only operate during calm conditions.

We select the best staff for the job based on their skills, knolwedge and experiences. They will be an SNM staff member or we will bring in support from equally competent contractors. Sometimes we also bring in (semi)celebrity guests!

This list will ensure that whichever season and whatever weather; you will be prepared and comfortable.


  • Shorts / Pants
  • Swimwear
  • Socks
  • Thin merino shirt / thermal shirt
  • Fleece / woolen / synthetic jumper
  • Wind and Rain-proof Jacket
  • Warm beanie
  • Neck warmer / scarf


  • Footwear
  • Sunglasses
  • Personal medication
  • Water bottle
  • Backpack to put all of the above in

All of the above is available to rent / hire / buy



Activity specific items:

Personal Flotation Device (PFD)

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