Great Barrier Island   - a 5   day New Zealand Tour

Great Barrier Island

From Auckland we fly to Great Barrier, for it's beaches, kauri forests and bushwalks. Visit a cattle station, Glenfern sanctuary and much more…

A world away from Auckland yet just 30 mins by air, is Great Barrier Island – a unique and less visited part of New Zealand.

We spend 4 nights on the island, getting to know the locals and enjoying the un-spoilt scenery. Enjoy the relaxed way of life on the Island 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 first day (after pick up at your door) is a relaxing drive to Auckland. We will take our time and get to know our new tour companions during our mid morning stop at the famous L&P cafe at Paeroa, coffee/tea and a muffin is on us as well. Enjoy seeing some of the countryside as we head north through the Bay of Plenty and Waikato regions on the way to Auckland Airport for our short flight direct to Great Barrier where our local guide will be ready to meet us.

Tonight we enjoy our first dinner together on the Island and can get a good nights sleep before the adventure of Great Barrier begins in the morning.

Day 2 - After a relaxing breakfast we are met by our guide for the next few days, who will start our tour by visiting 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 where local artists are able to showcase their work.

A delicious lunch at the island's newest café is included and after we can stroll one of the island’s most picturesque beaches before heading back to our accommodation for a relaxing afternoon. A delicious dinner is included tonight as we look forward to three more enthralling days on the island.

Day 3 - After breakfast today 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.

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.

In the afternoon it is time to visit Glenfern Sanctuary, where we have an informative presentation about the sanctuary. This great little sanctuary is essential for the local and wider community as a hub for environmental and sustainability activities including education immersion experiences.

Whats Included:

  • 5 days of touring

  • 4 nights quality accommodation

  • Door to door service (Tauranga area)

  • Quality air-conditioned vehicle

  • Full commentary by your guide 

  • All breakfasts and dinners

  • Two featured lunches

  • Return flights Auckland/Great Barrier

  • Tour The Milk, Honey & Grain Museum

  • The Community Arts Village

  • Coastal cruise to see other islands

  • Visit to the Glenfern Sanctuary

  • An exciting V8 Trike Tour 

  • Visit to a Bee's and Bird's paradise 

  • Plenty of stops along the way

You will see:

  • Stunning scenery throughout

  • Auckland City

  • Great Barrier Island

  • Old Kauri Sawmill and Whaling Station

  • Native birds at the sanctuary

  • Okupu Bay and ancient Pohutukawa trees

  • The "pigeon post" shop


Not included:

  • Any lunches unless specified* 

  • Morning/afternoon tea stops*

  • Any alcoholic beverages with meals

* 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. 

glenfern sanctuary wildlife.webp
great barrier community arts centre.jpg

It 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. To finish the day off it is 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.

Day 4 - Time to relax this morning before we venture out to see more of this pristine island. We make a visit 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.

After our nature experience we visit Angsana Thai Restaurant and Retreat for lunch. Angsana Thai provides stunning Thai food from the restaurant set in spacious grounds located near Claris. Your meal is included as well as a chance to explore the lovely grounds and small gift shop selling local as well as Thai items. This retreat is surrounded by wildlife so keep your eyes peeled and camera ready. Then we head back to our accommodation to relax before dinner, our last evening on the island. What a great chance to reminisce about all the wonderful things we have seen.

Day 5 - 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. Then, for the adventurous, there's time to have a joy ride on a 3 wheeled trike – feel the wind in your hair! We will then 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.

After lunch on the island we take our final trip on the island to the airport to check in for our 30 minute flight back to Auckland where our coach will be waiting for our trip 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.