Great Barrier Island is one of New Zealand’s most stunning travel destinations. Great Barrier Island is the largest and most seaward of the Hauraki Gulf islands in Auckland region. The eastern shore of Great Barrier Island faces the ocean with high cliffs and long white surf beaches; the western side offers deep sheltered harbours and calm sandy bays.
The abundant native forest, the dramatic and rugged skyline, the mountains and valleys sweeping down to the Pacific Ocean and some of New Zealand’s most stunning beaches all create a truly unique and diverse landscape.
More than 60 per cent of the Island's 285 square kilometres is public land administered by the Department of Conservation. The native forest is laced with beautiful walking tracks, which lead to secluded natural hot springs and an historic Kauri dam. These wilderness areas, foreshores and estuaries are home to several unique plant and bird species. Rising 627 metres above the sea, Hirakimata (Mount Hobson) beckons the hiker with the promise of incredible 360 degree views.
Great Barrier Island is a popular destination for diving, fishing, surfing, kayaking, mountain biking, hiking and camping. Accommodation options range from tent sites to luxury eco lodges.
Tryphena is the largest settlement on the island and is situated on the west coast. Home to a number of picturesque family-friendly beaches, dolphins are often spotted here close to the shoreline.
Other settlements include Whangaparapara and Tryphena on the western side; Claris on the eastern side.
A number of events are held on the island every year, including the delicious Fitzroy Mussel Fest, which celebrates the mouth-watering mussels the area is known for. There's also the wharf2wharf, a marathon-length sporting event where athletes walk, run or cycle across the island, and the Great Barrier garden tour, which showcases the island's stunning residential gardens.
‘The Barrier’ has a reasonably “off the grid” feel to it, whilst still being able to offer all of modern life’s comforts (if you know where to look). There is broadband internet available cross many parts of the Island, with free Wi-Fi available at the Claris Library. You can also get cell phone reception in many areas including; Tryphena, Medlands, Claris, Opuku and Port Fitzroy.
There is no scheduled bus service on the island but you can easily hire a car, a scooter or a mountain bike, grab a taxi, or a common way of getting around is to just hitch a ride…
With a permanent population of around 800 people there’s plenty of room for you, your friends and family.