Great Barrier Island - a new 4 day New Zealand Tour
Fly direct to Great Barrier from Tauranga for a great short break on this amazing island. Visit stunning beaches, kauri forests, wildlife reserves, bushwalks and much more…
Just 40 minutes by plane from Tauranga, Great Barrier Island is a unique and much less visited part of New Zealand. We spend 3 nights on the island, getting to know the locals and enjoying the un-spoilt scenery, which is teeming with birdlife and covered in native bush. Our local guide will take us to all of the best spots so we can really enjoy this 'one of a kind' getaway.
Day 1 - Our flight direct from Tauranga to Great Barrier departs late afternoon, this will be a lovely scenic flight as we follow the coast north along the Coromandel Peninsula.
After the short transfer from Claris Airport to our lodge at Tryphena, there is time to freshen up before dinner together at a local lodge.
Day 2 - After breakfast we have a wonderful treat in store – a cruise around the coastline exploring some of the islands. Our skipper Chris is a fully qualified NZ Coastal Master and has been the master of a range of vessels including Spirit Of Adventure, Spirit of New Zealand and numerous ferries including the Kestrel (double ended Auckland harbour ferry that was briefly a restaurant in Tauranga). With 30 years of seagoing experience Chris has been operating charters on the Barrier since 2006. You will enjoy morning tea and also lunch on board, as we moor in some of the many bays.
His local knowledge, extensive experience and friendly nature make him a great choice for our Great Barrier Island cruise. During the trip will see the old kauri sawmill and whaling station and travel through the Man O’ War passage to explore Fitzroy Harbour and hopefully see some of the marine wildlife that is abundant in these waters.
Leaving the cruise at Fitzroy we visit Glenfern Sanctuary, where we have an informative presentation about the sanctuary. The sanctuary is essential for the local and wider community as a hub for environmental and sustainability activities, including education immersion experiences. We take a ride up to Sunset Rock for stunning views of the island and Fitzroy Harbour. Glenfern is a must-see destination for all visitors to Aotea/Great Barrier Island, providing an exemplary experience of environmental and sustainability best practice. You may well spot some of the resident kaka, wood pigeons and other native birds as well.
We return to our accommodation by coach and along the way stop for a cuppa and cake at Awana to enjoy the spectacular rugged beauty and admire the offshore islands. After a full day exploring we will look forward to a good night’s sleep after another delicious dinner.
4 days of touring
3 nights quality accommodation
Door to door service (Tauranga area)
Quality air-conditioned vehicle
Full commentary by your guide
All breakfasts and dinners
Return flights from Tauranga
Tour The Milk, Honey & Grain Museum
The Community Arts Village & Museum
Coastal cruise to see other islands
Visit to the Glenfern Sanctuary
Visit to a Bee's and Bird's garden paradise
You will see:
Stunning scenery throughout
Great Barrier Island
Old Kauri Sawmill and Whaling Station
Okupu Bay and ancient Pohutukawa trees
Morning/afternoon tea stops*
Any alcoholic beverages with meals
Single Rooms are available for a supplement charge of $450
Day 3 - Today we venture out to see more of this pristine island. Our first visit is to Jacque’s Haven… a literal bird and bee paradise! After a guided walk around this amazing property we get to sample Jacque’s top notch manuka honey… which you’ll be able to purchase at a very visitor friendly rate.
We then visit the Milk, Honey & Grain Museum, which displays the history of Great Barrier Island’s early settlers. Gain insights into the lives of the people that first came to the island, with themes including industry, technology and historic events. This is a 'hands-on' museum where patrons are encouraged to explore every nook & cranny, turn every handle and fossick through the artefacts.
We also visit the Community Arts Village and the Great Barrier historic museum where local artists are able to showcase their work.
A delicious lunch at the island's newest café is included today, after which we head out for a short walk (45 minutes each way) to visit the Kaitoke Hot Springs. The gentle walk follows the old coastline along the Kaitoke swamp on a well made path with the option to bathe in the hot springs. On the way back to Tryphena we can stroll one of the island’s most picturesque beaches at Medlands. Another delicious dinner is included tonight as we look forward to more adventures tomorrow, our final day.
Day 4 - Today we leave the island, but not before packing in plenty more sights! We first visit Okupu Bay to see it's ancient pohutukawa trees and view some lovely old stone bridges and deep gullies.
We will visit the famous ‘pigeon post’ shop to get those quirky souvenirs, or to even send a letter in this most unusual way! The Pigeongram Service started on the Barrier after the 'Wairarapa' was wrecked off the coast in October 1894. This tragedy saw 121 of the 235 people on board perish. With no way to inform the authorities on the mainland of the disaster the wait until the next ship arrived reinforced the sense of isolation and the feeling that something needed to be done to improve communication with the mainland. Eighteen months later, in March 1897 an innovative solution was instigated – the pigeon post, a world first and it is still in use today.
We have lunch together at a local restaurant before checking in for our 40 minute flight back to Tauranga where our coach will be waiting for your transfer home.
As always you will be dropped at your door, with wonderful memories of visiting this remarkable part of the country. We are sure you will love visiting Great Barrier Island with us.
All Hinterland multi-day tours can be taken by clients from any region of New Zealand or Australia. Please contact us for details. Additional charges may apply.
* Please note, that unless specified in the itinerary we do not usually include the cost of lunches or morning and afternoon tea stops in the tour cost, but we always make stops where there are a range of options available so you can choose what you want, and have flexibility to do things on your own if you wish.