Known by Kai Tahu as Te Puka o Takitimu, the island is the anchor stone of the legendary Takitimu waka (canoe), captained by Tamatea and wrecked at the month of the Waiau River.
If you are looking for tranquil surroundings to have a picnic or short walk, then Monkey Island is the ideal place. It is believed that the name “Monkey” comes from the days when a monkey winch was used to haul boats ashore.
The island was once used as a Māori lookout for whales and is accessible at low tide, offering incredible views of the sunset.
Freedom campers are allowed to stay for up to 28 days at the Monkey Island Picnic Area. For further details please visit the Southland District Council website.
23 kilometres south of Tuatapere, along State Highway 99.
Follow the stairway to the top for the best viewing point – access to the island is tide-dependent.