How to get to Island Bay Beach and is it safe for swimming today - Land, Air, Water Aotearoa (LAWA)
Location: South coast, The Esplanade
Suitable for: Walking, swimming, diving, and snorkelling
Brief description: Island Bay is at the end of the City to Sea and Southern walkways, and near the centre of Taputeranga Marine Reserve. Just east of the Bait House, divers and snorkellers can follow offshore reefs on a marked dive trail and see a wide variety of marine life. Divers can also explore the wreck of the navy frigate HMNZS Wellington, which lies east of Taputeranga Island. Shorland Park is just over the road and has plenty of play equipment, BBQs, picnic tables and toilets. A swim raft is moored in this bay during summer months.
Parking: Car park near Marine Education Centre and on The Esplanade
Toilets and changing facilities: Island Bay Surf Club (summer only) and Shoreland Park
Accessibility: Easy access
Dogs: Dogs are allowed on the beach at the pier to eastern end of the beach - summer restrictions apply:
Features: The western end of Island Bay beach is less developed and has remnants of the original sand dunes. The Island Bay Coast Care Group has planted native sand dune vegetation such as pingao there in recent years.
History: Taputeranga, the island that gives the bay its name, was the site of a small pa used as a refuge by Ngati Ira following the Te Atiawa occupation of the area. The sheltered bay later became a centre for Italian, Greek and Shetland Islander fishing communities. Fishing boats still moor here and land their catch near the Bait House, which now houses the Island Bay Marine Education Centre.