Raratoka Island

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Raratoka Island
LocationFoveaux Strait, Southland Region
Coordinates46°25′59″S 167°51′29″E / 46.433°S 167.858°E / -46.433; 167.858
Area86 ha (210 acres)

Raratoka Island (also known as Centre Island) is a small island 86 hectares (210 acres) in Foveaux Strait off the coast of Stewart Island / Rakiura, New Zealand. It is located 25 kilometres (16 mi) north of Stewart island's northernmost point, Black Rock Point, and 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) southwest of the Southland town of Riverton on the South Island mainland. Several small reefs surround the island, notably Escape Reefs, 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) to the east, and Hapuka Rock, 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) to the southwest.[1]

The island was named by Māori after the Island of Rarotonga,[2] and is the Southern Māori form of the same word, meaning "beneath the south" or "south wind".[3]

Raratoka Island is used as an island sanctuary, with the Department of Conservation releasing 15 captive bred birds in 2006[4] after eradicating the population of Polynesian rats.[5] The island contains a lighthouse and a small airstrip.[1]


  1. ^ a b Reed New Zealand atlas 2004. Auckland: Reed Books. Map 108
  2. ^ A. H. McLintock, ed. (April 2009 [originally published in 1966]). "Maori Place Names". Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand. An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  3. ^ Reed, A. W. (1975). Place names of New Zealand. Wellington: A. H. & A. W. Reed. ISBN 0-589-00933-8.
  4. ^ "Endangered Species". Terra Nature Trust. July 2008.
  5. ^ McClelland, P.J. (2002). "Eradication of Pacific rats (Rattus exulans) from Whenua Hou Nature Reserve (Codfish Island), Putauhinu and Rarotoka Islands, New Zealand". In Veitch, C.R.; Clout, M.N. (eds.). Turning the tide: the eradication of invasive species. IUCN SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group, IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. pp. 173–181.

Coordinates: 46°25′59″S 167°51′29″E / 46.433°S 167.858°E / -46.433; 167.858