Auckland kayak trip: Crusoe Island Paddle via Motuihe

Crusoe Island Paddle is a magnificent intermediate Auckland kayak trip, starting at St Helliers Beach, past Browns Island with a lunch stop at the gorgeous Motuihe island. We did this Islands of Hauraki Gulf Kayak Trip within 7 hours on a lovely April weekend despite strong head wind on the return trip.

St Helliers Bay, Auckland – launch point

About ten mins drive from central Auckland, the main boat ramp at St Heliers Beach, is an easy spot to launch from with good parking facilities / toilets & cafe’s.

Paddlers on this trip

I did this kayak trip with Auckland Yakitiy Yak Club who I paddle with regularly.

Crusoe Island

I have paddled past Crusoe Island half a dozen times before – but this is the first time I explored the actual island, named after Robinson Crusoe.


While the rest of the kayak group circumnavigated the island, I found a safe landing spot:

The view from the top of the island was pretty nice – and I could see the rest of the group rock gardening around the island:

Motuihe Island

This is one of my favourite islands in the gulf, with lovely swimmable beaches with soft sand with a slight red tint. We paddled to the southern tip of the island and hugged the coast, passing a few small beaches on the East coast of the island.


For morning tea, we stopped at Calypso Bay on the Eastern end of the Motuihe Island.

For lunch, we stopped at Ocean Beach on the Northern end of the Motuihe Island. Ocean beach is very popular with boaties and we had a fantastic break on the sheltered beach relaxing:

We set off after lunch to navigate ourselves around the Western end of the island:

The return journey past Browns Island

The return journey crossing the open water was made tough by fresh head wind and a very strong current – but we managed fine – though my fingers kept getting in the way of my snaps:

 St Helliers Beach

It is the first time I seen the St Helliers Beach at low tide on full moon. By the time we landed, the tide was coming in and the wind has dropped a lot.