The Magical World of Donut Island

There is something magical about exploring a new part of your back yard you’ve never been to before. Once a well kept local secret, social media has quickly catapulted Whangamata’s Donut Island into the limelight. Tempted by many idyllic pics of the turquoise lagoon on Instagram, the kids and I have been keen to tick a paddle out to the island off the list for some time.


So, on a cool winters day, we made the journey to Whangamata and hooked up with Katrina and Mauro at SURFSUP New Zealand.  We were kitted out with kayaks, wetsuits and lifejackets, given the lowdown and pointed in the right direction from the beach. A reasonably strong offshore wind had flattened any swell right off and the water was almost tropical blue. Perfect conditions!


Donut Island, or Whenuakura Island, is the middle of 3 islands which sit about ½ mile out to sea off Whangamata Beach.


As we rounded the eastern point we noticed a small opening in the rock face, and we pointed the kayaks in, paddling through a dark cavern.  


The cavern soon opened up to become a magical lagoon in the middle of the island, with crystal clear water, and ancient pohutukawas fringing the circular cliff above.


It might have been the middle of winter but there was nothing more appropriate to do but a few bombs off the kayaks!


We spent a magical half hour taking it all in inside this little paradise, it was like we had ventured back in time.


We paddled back through the cave to reality, exploring first around the back of Donut Island and with  a stop off at a gorgeous little beach on Clark Island.

So….Is Donut Island the magical must do it looks like in the pics? - FOR SURE! Hook up with the team at SURFSUP and get into it the next time you are in Whanga!