Great Barrier Island   - a new 4   day New Zealand Tour

Aircraft_Great_Barrier_Island_Aerodrome
Great Barrier Island

From Auckland we fly to Great Barrier, for it's beaches, kauri forests and bushwalks and much more…

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

We spend 3 nights on the island, getting to know the locals and enjoying the un-spoilt scenery. Enjoy the relaxed way of life 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. Take a cruise along the west coast to Fitzroy and visit a wildlife sanctuary.

 

20th Feb 2023

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 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 to Great Barrier where our local guide will meet us. Direct flights from Tauranga may be available.

After the short transfer from Claris Airport to our lodge at Tryphena, the afternoon is free for you to relax or explore the local area. Tonight we enjoy our first dinner together on the Island before the adventure of Great Barrier begins in the morning.

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. 

Whats Included:

  • 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, lunches and dinners

  • Return flights Auckland/Great Barrier

  • 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 paradise 

  • Plenty of stops along the way

You will see:

  • Stunning scenery throughout

  • Great Barrier Island

  • Old Kauri Sawmill and Whaling Station

  • Okupu Bay and ancient Pohutukawa trees

Not included:

  • 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

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.

Today we have lunch at the Angsana Thai Restaurant and Retreat. 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. 

After lunch its time 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.