Great Barrier Island, 90 kilometers (56 miles) northeast of Auckland, is accessible by ferry and air. Captain Cook recognized ... More
Great Barrier Island
Great Barrier Island, 90 kilometers (56 miles) northeast of Auckland, is accessible by ferry and air. Captain Cook recognized the role the island played in sheltering Hauraki Gulf's water from Pacific storms and named the island the Great Barrier. The Maori name for the island is Aotea. The west coast's steep, forest covered ranges run down to the sea creating some of the best natural harbors in New Zealand while the eastern coastline is more gentle with beautiful white-sand beaches. Walking trails criss-cross the island and the forest contains many endangered native birds. Activities include surfing, mountain biking, diving, golf and kayaking. Over the peak summer bookings are essential for all accommodation and transport.
Great Barrier Island has such a wide variety of accommodation, suitable for those wanting luxury right through to the backpacker/walkers. Lots of self-contained places, some quite cheap by NZ standards. There is the most awesomely beautiful beaches, bush walks, easy ones and challenging ones, something for everyone. Soak in the natural hot springs, enjoy the native birds, walk to the highest point at Mt Hirakimata, be amazed at the Kaiaraara Kauri Dam. This has got to be the absolute highlight of a trip to NZ. Kayak around the bays at Port FitzRoy, take a fishing or sightseeing charter, experience the best right hand surf bar in NZ. Fish and dive in the most pristine water, better than any pacific island.
I love this place, it's unique and just a half hour flight or 2 hour ferry trip from Auckand.