Natural Attraction

Monkey Island/Te Puka o Takitimu & Beach

Monkey Island Road, Orepuki

The fascinating Monkey Island can be reached by foot - but only at low tide! A stairway leads to the top of the island, where there are spectacular views of Te Waewae Bay and the mountains of Fiordland.

Before the road from Riverton was formed, a slipway was built at the island so that boats (being the only means of delivering supplies) could be unloaded. A "monkey winch" was used to haul boats ashore and it is presumed that this is the reason it is called Monkey Island. It is known by Ngai Tahu (the local Māori tribe) as Te Puka o Takitimu, or the anchor stone of the legendary Takitimu waka (canoe) that was wrecked in the bay. They used the island as a traditional lookout for Southern Right Whales.

This long uncrowded beach along the eastern end of Te Waewae Bay is perfect for horse riding, motorbiking or surfing, as well as picnicking, paddling and sand castle building - it's a great place for kids to play. While here, explore rock pools or take in a magnificent sunset.

Camping, picnic and toilet facilities are available at the beach.

Venture Southland
Last modified
Fri 20 Aug 2021
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