AOTEA / GREAT BARRIER ISLAND
⛴️ self-guided itinerary
🛏️ minimum 3 night stay recommended
🍽️ dining suggestions offered
📅 visit any time of year
Visit New Zealand's Great Barrier Island is a place of rugged beauty and untouched wilderness. From tramping through native forest to sea kayaking around the coves and inlets of the island's coast, there are endless ways to explore this adventurer's paradise.
Highlights can include:
- zoom around the quiet, winding roads in padded comfort on the back of a shiny chrome and blue three-seater chopper-style Crazyhorse Trike, the best way to get your bearings on the island 🏍️🤳
- offering reliable surf conditions year round, Medlands Beach is a great place to catch a wave, or enjoy time relaxing away from the crowds 🌊🏄🐚
- trek over the most walked piece of track on the island to Kaitoke Hot Springs an undeveloped natural hot spring with small man-made pools that fluctuate in temperature depending on water levels of the stream ♨️
- take in spectacular views over volcanic rock formations to the coast at Windy Canyon, a perfect rest spot on your hike up to the summit of Mount Hobson / Hirakimata the highest mountain in the centre of the island rising to 627 metres (2,057 feet) 👟📸🤳
- get acquainted with the basics of astronomy in the perfect place to star gaze - this is the only island Dark Sky Sanctuary in the world - and with no reticulated electricity supply on the island you'll enjoy almost no light pollution - take the opportunity to learn more with an enthusiastic local during a memorable Good Heavens experience 🌌
AT A GLANCE
📍 # of Visitors 3.5
🐚 Beaches 5.0
🌦️ Chance of Rain 4.0
👨👩👦👦 Family Fun 1.5
🛒 Shopping 1.0
🍽️ Food + Wine 4.0
🏳️🌈 LGBTQI+ friendly 👍
Note: the highest possible score is an 8.0
🎥video courtesy of the Aerial Vision: Air and Ground-based video solutions on YouTube
AOTEA / GREAT BARRIER ISLAND
Sit back and relax. We've planned it all for you.
Here's an example itinerary for a 3 night stay.
Note: the island is ‘off the grid’ - all electricity is powered by generators, solar or wind power. Mobile coverage is limited and you'll find local's cooking with gas. Take your torch as there are no no street lights. Bring your sense of adventure too, as there is no regular public transport.
Day 1 : Arrive on Aotea / Great Barrier Island
Getting to the island is all part of the adventure with many choosing to fly in and out, but you can opt to sail on a car ferry which will take around 4.5 hours each way.
Upon arrival you'll check in to your accommodation, settle in and get acquainted with your surroundings for the next 3 nights.
The afternoon of your arrival, you'll have time to get acquainted with your local village, enjoy the coastline, and get local advice on what to do over the next couple of days.
Day 2 + 3 :
Get better acquainted with the island by either hiring a car and adventuring around the windy roads, or better yet, tour with a local on a Crazyhorse Trike Tour which will give you plenty of opportunities to take a selfie, and give you a chance to take in all of the sights stress free.
During your visit to the island, you'll want to spend time hiking at least up to Windy Canyon for amazing views, with those with stamina continuing all the way up to the summit of Mount Hobson. Reward yourself on the way down with a dip in the Kaitoke Hot Springs.
Don't forget to spend some time on Medlands Beach and perhaps try your hand at surfing - or just enjoy a walk along the beach, with barely another person in sight, and no phone, no stress, just wilderness as it has always been. Plan to bring a good book and turn off your mobile devices for a few days and recharge your soul.
One night, we'll arrange dinner to celebrate your time on Great Barrier Island by dining under the Dark Sky Sanctuary. Enjoy a delicious meal while the telescope is set up and have tonight's stars as a visual dessert.
Day 4 : Depart Aotea / Great Barrier Island
Enjoy breakfast taking in the views over the sea, before you depart the island. We'll let you know the best way to get from this region to the next part of your New Zealand trip, wherever you want that to be.