Great Barrier Island
28 January - 1 February 2019Download PDF Itinerary
Great Barrier Island is the largest island in the Hauraki Gulf, and the most untouched. The island has a bush covered craggy volcanic interior with a coastline of beautiful bays and beaches and is a haven for rare birds and lizards. A reasonable level of fitness is required in order to take full advantage of the many natural attractions that take a little time and physical effort to reach.
Please note that we take into consideration the weather conditions and the daily itinerary may alter accordingly.
Monday 28 January - Travelling to Great Barrier Island via Auckland
This morning we are transferred to Wellington Airport where we join our Air New Zealand flight to Auckland.From here we join our afternoon My Sky flight to Great Barrier Island. We will be met at the main airport of Claris by our local tour guide Steve from Go Great Barrier Island buses, who will deliver us to Sunset Waterfront Lodge, our accommodation a stone’s throw from the beachfront at the settlement of Tryphena. You will have time to settle in to your new surroundings with its backdrop of bush and birdsong, before we take you out for dinner this evening to the local Irish Pub where we enjoy relaxed island hospitality.
Tuesday 29 January - Medlands Beach, Whangaparapara and
This (and every) morning we enjoy breakfast together at Mulberry Grove Café, a short walk from our accommodation. After breakfast we board our bus, ready for today’s exploration.We take a stroll on the beautiful sweep of Medlands Beach on the eastern coast, before making our way over to Okupu and Whangaparapara Harbour - deep sheltered bays on the Western side of the island. Our picnic lunch today (included), is at a lovely private beach near Okupu Wharf. After lunch we take a drive up to Windy Canyon. Here we take a short but rewarding walk up through dramatic volcanic formations, the walk following a boardwalk through nikau and kauri before climbing steps up through the canyon, rewarding us with great views of the island. Also keep your eye out for the rare Great Barrier daisy. We dine out again this evening at another local restaurant, before returning to our lodge.
Wednesday 30 January - Arts and Crafts and Hot Springs
Great Barrier Island is a haven for artisans and crafts people and after breakfast this morning at our café-with-a-sea-view, we visit the Shoal Bay Pottery where we discover the works of talented potter Sarah Harrison.We then move on to the Museum of Milk, Grain and Honey, a typically small but informative community museum jam-packed with local history. Next, we visit the Aotea Community Art Gallery where a collective of local artists and crafts people exhibit their quality works. Lunch today (included) is at My Fat Puku Café. This afternoon we take you on one of Great Barrier’s most popular walks to the Kaitoke Hot Springs. Walking is easy on a level graded track, but it is nevertheless a 40 minute walk each way, so a reasonable level of fitness is required. The first part of the trail passes through beautiful coastal nikau forest, which in itself is a worthwhile short walk if you are not feeling up for the challenge of the full walk. Continuing on to the site of the springs, we will be rewarded by a soak in these natural hot pools set amongst a canopy of native bush. This evening we return to the Currach Pub for dinner, where relaxed dining and good food is assured.
Thursday 31 January - Boat Cruise to Port Fitzroy and Glenfern
This morning our local guide drives us to Whangaparapara Harbour where we board Sundancer for a scenic cruise up the eastern shoreline.Our cruise follows some remarkable coastline, including the Broken Islands and Man O’ War Passage, and up to Port Fitzroy Harbour at the north western end of the island. We enjoy lunch onboard in a sheltered bay before berthing at Fitzroy, where Steve will meet us and transfer us over to Glenfern Sanctuary. Our tour of the sanctuary begins with a talk about the flora, fauna and history of this unique property, which was a labour of love developed over the last decade by the Bouzaid family. We then climb aboard a 4WD vehicle to take us up to Sunset Rock. From here we have a magnificent overview of the 60-hectare predator proofed sanctuary and commanding vistas of Fiztroy Harbour and Port Abercrombie. There is an opportunity for the more adventurous to enjoy a further walk through the regenerating forest that makes up a significant part of the sanctuary; a highlight being the unique opportunity to walk into the canopy of a 600 year old kauri tree, via a short swing bridge, and a ladder. We then make our way back down the island, dining out this evening at a popular restaurant in Claris on the way; a last opportunity to mix and mingle and share our impressions of a rare opportunity to experience island life on one of New Zealand’s most beautiful islands.
Friday 01 February - Travelling Home
Homeward bound today, following breakfast we will have a little time to relax and enjoy the last few hours in our island paradise before we are transferred to Claris Airport for our midday flight back to Auckland.We then connect with our Air NZ flight back to Wellington. We farewell our fellow travellers, before being met by our transfer vehicles at Wellington Airport who will transfer us back to our home locations.
The cost of the tour includes
- Accommodation at Sunset Waterfront Lodge, Tryphena
- 2 course or buffet dinners
- Continental Breakfasts
- Lunches while on the island
- All coach travel including airport transfers
- Return flights Wellington - Auckland
- Return flights Auckland - Great Barrier Island
- Sightseeing tours on the island
- Entry to Museum of Milk Grain and Honey
- Entry to Aotea Community Art Gallery
- Fitzroy Harbour Cruise
- Talk and guided tour of Glenfern Sanctuary