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NH-screenshot-Orville notices the Nook Miles Ticket

Orville notices the player's Nook Miles Ticket

Mystery tours are a feature introduced in New Horizons, which allow the player to visit random uncharted islands from the airport on their island. Mystery tours provide the player with a way to gather more crafting materials, such as iron nuggets, if they run out of them on their home island, as well as opportunities to collect rare fish and bugs, non-native fruit trees, and hybrid flowers.

Access

Accessing the island requires a Nook Miles Ticket, which can be purchased from the Nook Stop in Resident Services for 2,000 Nook Miles. The player must then visit the airport and talk to Orville, selecting the option to "visit other places." If the player has the Nook Miles Ticket in their inventory, Orville will notice, and suggest that the player visits a mystery island. Visiting an island uses up the Nook Miles Ticket.

Composition

NH-screenshot-Wilbur greeting the player to the mystery island

Wilbur greeting the player to the mystery island

All mystery tour islands are guaranteed to feature a dock where the player arrives and can return to their own island, a non-removable simple DIY workbench, and beaches with at least four palm trees. If the island has hardwood and/or pine trees a random tree will drop a wasp nest while another will drop a random furniture item upon being shaken. Wilbur is also always present on the dock, and will sell flimsy tools in exchange for Nook Miles. The makeup of the island's interior is randomly chosen from a pool of layouts.

If the player has one or more empty house plots available on their island, each mystery tour island will have one random villager camping there. They can be invited to move to the player's island. When all house plots are occupied, no villagers will be present on the mystery islands.

If the player has already invited a villager to move to their island that day, even if they have more open plots, no villagers will be present on the mystery island tours. Note that there is an exception to this when filling the initial 3 plots, players can invite more than one villager per day at that time.

Some mystery islands spawn large numbers of rare critters: there exists an island where only tarantulas spawn, providing the player with a way to grind large amounts of Bells relatively quickly, similar to palm tree bugs on the island in New Leaf. Passing out due to a tarantula or scorpion bite on a mystery island will not return the player to their home island; they will wake up by the seaplane jetty at the beginning of the island.

List of layouts

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The same island cannot be visited more than once; even though visiting an island with the same layout and theme is possible, if items were left on the ground on a similar one, they will not be present when the player "returns." Wilbur explains that he burns the flight plans to these islands after each trip for "security reasons".

There are exactly 20 unique island layouts. They have been given conjectural names because mystery tour islands are unnamed. Island layouts marked "(rare)" can only be encountered once per day. Some islands will only begin appearing after the Resident Services tent on the player's island has been upgraded to a building.

Name Encounter Rate Image Description
Spiral river island 9% Spiral river island - first arrival An island with a river that winds in a spiral. It is part of the subset of four "starter" islands that players will randomly arrive at for their very first mystery tour.
Pond and cliffs island 9% Fishing pond 1 - first arrival An island with a large pond in the middle and a small 2nd level to the northwest. The lake's shape has been compared to a fidget spinner. It is part of the subset of four "starter" islands that players will randomly arrive at for their very first mystery tour.
Short river island #1 9% An island two layers, with a river that begins on a small second layer in the north, flows down a waterfall, and turns to the east. It is part of the subset of four "starter" islands that players will randomly arrive at for their very first mystery tour.
Short river island #2 9% Has the almost the exact same layout as short river island #1, but with the addition of a pond in the southwest. It is part of the subset of four "starter" islands that players will randomly arrive at for their very first mystery tour.
Tarantula/Scorpion island 2% (rare) A one-layer island where the only bugs that spawn are tarantulas or scorpions depending on the time of year. It has a circular stream that surrounds a smaller island in the center. The stream is narrow enough that it can be jumped across without a vaulting pole. This can only appear from 7 pm to 4 am, the time when both insects are active.
Bamboo island 10% NH-BambooIsland A one-layer island where bamboo is found. While there are palm trees on the beaches, there are no fruit, hardwood, or cedar trees.
Money rock island #1 5% 2020032911360300-02CB906EA538A35643C1E1484C4B947D Requires the Resident Services building upgrade. An island of nothing but money rocks surrounded by water. By eating one of the fruit from the trees on the island, the player can break a rock to the north which will open up space for the player to vault to the central island. The rocks in the central island are all money rocks. Most of the "fish" spawned will be trash items or stones. The maximum money obtained here is 80,500 Bells. If you break the rock at the north to get to the center island before hitting it once, you get an additional 8,000 Bells, totaling 88,500 for the whole island.
Money rock island #2 2% (rare) Requires the Resident Services building upgrade. This island has four small triangular cliffs in the northeast, southeast, southwest, and northwest corners, and no water features. The ground between the cliffs is scattered with money rocks and flowers.
Trash island 5%
Trash island
An island where the only "fish" that spawn in the river are trash items. This island is good for farming Nook Miles and DIY recipes that use trash.
Finned fish island 1% (rare) Requires the Resident Services building upgrade. An island where the only fish that spawn have fins sticking out of the water, meaning that they are all either sharks or Ocean sunfish. This island can only appear during times at least one of the fish that fit the category is in-season. No fish will spawn in the river, not even if bait is used.
Hybrid flower island 2% (rare) 2020032318361000-02CB906EA538A35643C1E1484C4B947D A small island consisting of a pond surrounded by hybrid flowers of a single type. The only bugs that spawn here are bugs that appear near flowers. Fish in the pond consist mainly of koi and goldfish.
Waterfall island 5% WaterfallIsland2 A three-layer island dominated by cliffs, rivers, and waterfalls. The river flows in a counter-clockwise path, from the third layer down into a small open area of water, which splits into three other sections, with the right-most section leading into a river-mouth. The other two sections lead to a small basin. This island is useful for getting cliff-top fish like the stringfish, and since it has also a single mouth for the river, it also makes river-mouth spawning fish like sturgeon easier to farm.
Mountain island 9% NH-screenshot-Mountain island A three-tiered island covered in fruit trees. The top layer has many flowers and five rocks. There are no fresh water features on this island.
Foreign fruit island 9% Screen-Shot-2020-03-30-at-6.28.19-PM A rare island with 19 fruit trees that are different species from the trees on the player's home island. A ladder is required to get all 19. The island will only spawn one type of fruit aside from coconuts, but the fruit will always be different from the native fruit of the home island. The island has a short river with an outlet on the west coast.
Big fish island #1 3% (rare) Bigfish2 Requires the Resident Services building upgrade. A 3-layer island with a selection of fruit-bearing trees, cedar trees, and palm trees. The highest-most level is a small waterfall with one outlet to the second level. There is a small outlet to the left and then finally flows to a small outlet at the bottom left. It somewhat resembles the number "3" in shape. There are only size 4+ fish here making getting rare size 6 river fish easier. The island is also home to rare/crossbred colors of flowers including Blue, Pink, and Orange.
Big fish island #2 2% (rare) ET8LjPQVAAAothF An island where the only fish that spawn in the river and ocean have the shadow of a black bass (size 4) or larger, making it a great place to catch the rarer fish. The most common fish as a consequence are bass - however, other fish can still be caught. The river originates on a small plateau in the northeastern corner of the island, flows down waterfalls on the southern and western edges of the plateau, and rejoins to flow through a single mouth at the western edge, forming a small river island in the center. The island has four rocks, four palm trees, four trees of the player's native fruit and six other deciduous trees.
Gold rock island 1% (rare) Requires the Resident Services building upgrade. A rare island which contains one rock which drops gold nuggets with a 100% chance. The ladder and vaulting pole is required to access the rock, and it will not appear before the player has upgraded the Resident Services.
Hardwood tree island #1 2% (rare) Requires the Resident Services building upgrade. An island with no water features and no fruit trees other than coconut trees. It has three small cliff areas, two with a single level and one with two levels. The hardwood trees are plentiful and densely-packed, and the only insects that spawn are those associated with trees.
Hardwood tree island #2 1% (rare) This island has the exact same layout as bamboo island, but there are only hardwood trees on it instead of bamboo.
Curly river island 5% An island with a single, square-shaped cliff in the northeast with waterfall that feeds a river that flows in a counter-clockwise loop around the island to an outlet on the east coast. Only insects related to water spawn here.
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