Notice 20/8/2020: The Nelson Regional Sewerage Business Unit (NRSBU) has provided permission to the 7 Pl, 2/4Bn, RNZIR of the New Zealand Army to utilise the Western End of Bells Island for exercises on the 29th of August, 2020.

The exercise will involve simulated attacks, and may utilise smoke screens, and simulation (blank) round firing.

For any further information regarding the exercises please contact Lt Mac Bowmar -

Please note that any existing access permissions provided by NRSBU to other users of Bells Island are suspended for the 29th of August 2020.

Access is open

Moturoa/Rabbit Island is open.

BBQs are open and available for use.

Remember if you see smoke or any sign of fire please call 111 immediately.

A new watermain is currently being installed across Moturoa/Rabbit Island. The route mainly crosses forestry land, but for those intending to walk or cycle on the island, we would ask that you keep clear of the work area and pay attention to all construction signage.

You can find out more about by visiting the Māpua - Rabbit Island-Best Island Trunk Watermain project page 


Opening hours

Gates open at sunrise and close at 5pm.

Map of Moturoa Rabbit Island front beach reserve

Map of Moturoa Rabbit Island front beach reserve


General information

  • Visitors are asked to keep to the marked trails and obey all signage.
  • Logging is in progress and trucks are in constant use.
  • Please use caution, particularly at intersections.
  • Dogs are not permitted on Moturoa / Rabbit Island. They are welcome on Rough Island.

Forest harvesting

Due to harvesting operations roads can close at any time. Please observe any operational signage and use alternative routes if necessary.

Dogs prohibited

Please note that dogs are prohibited on Moturoa / Rabbit Island.

Need help? Contact us

Phone 03 543 8400

Email enquiries to us during normal business hours.