Great Barrier Island 2020
10-14 February 2020
Single Accommodation (Limited availability) $2,769.00
Double or twin share $2,399.00
Triple Share $2,260.00
Deposit to confirm booking $650.00Balance payable by: 20 Dec 2019
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Staying four nights on the Great Barrier, we explore the landscape, scenery, history and the lifestyle of the people of the island.
Our accommodation is a comfortable beach front lodge from here we, ensure that your time on the island is full of exciting adventures, and plenty of time to relax.
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. You will see when you read the itinerary that there is quite a lot of walking. There is no mains electricity on Great Barrier, (they use generators and solar power) and the roads are windy and sometimes unsealed. Visiting Great Barrier is for those that love an off the beaten track holiday!
Combine this holiday with our Islands of the Hauraki Gulf tour-Ask our agents about our combo pricing!
Monday 10 February - 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 check in for our afternoon flight to Great Barrier Island with Fly My Sky. We will be met at the main airport of Claris by our local tour guide Steve from Go Great Barrier Island Tours, who will deliver us to Sunset Waterfront Lodge, our accommodation just a stone’s throw from the beachfront at the settlement of Tryphena. You will have time to settle in and explore 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 11 February - Medlands Beach, Okupu and Windy Canyon
This (and every) morning we enjoy continental style 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 Harbour - a deep sheltered bay 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, where we take a short but rewarding walk up through dramatic volcanic formations. The walk follows a boardwalk through nikau and kauri before climbing steps up through the canyon, rewarding us with magnificent views of the island. Also keep your eye out for taiko/black petrel burrows, and the rare Great Barrier daisy. Returning to our lodge to freshen up, we dine out again this evening at another local favourite, Tipi's & Bob's Waterfront Lodge.
Wednesday 12 February - Arts and Crafts and Hot Springs
Great Barrier Island is a haven for artisans and craftspeople.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 Elephant Gallery, where quality crafts and art works are displayed in a woolshed. The Museum of Milk, Grain and Honey is next, a typically small but informative community museum jam-packed with local history. Completing our arty tour this morning, we visit the Aotea Community Art Gallery, a collective for local artists and craftspeople to exhibit exceptional 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 stroll for anyone wanting an easier option. Continuing on to the site of the springs, we will be rewarded by a soak in these completely 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 13 February - Boat Cruise to Port Fitzroy and Glenfern Sanctuary
This morning we drive to Whangaparapara Harbour where we join Captain Chris Ollivier and his vessel Sundancer for a scenic cruise up the western 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 find a sheltered bay to enjoy lunch before berthing at Fitzroy Wharf, and being transferred over to Glenfern Sanctuary. Founded by former owner and conservationist the late Tony Bouzaid, the sanctuary was purchased in 2016 by funding from the Nature Heritage Foundation (DOC) together with Auckland Council who officially owns the land. Our tour of the sanctuary begins with a talk from the ranger about the flora, fauna and history of this unique property, before we drive up to Sunset Rock to enjoy a magnificent overview of the 60-hectare predator proofed sanctuary as well as commanding vistas of Fitzroy Harbour and Port Abercrombie. An optional walk through the regenerating forest that makes up a significant part of the sanctuary, provides 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 by bus, 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 life on one of New Zealand’s most beautiful islands.
Friday 14 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 where we farewell our fellow travellers, before being met by our transfer vehicles to return us 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
- Fitzroy Harbour and Broken Islands Cruise
- Talk and guided tour of Glenfern Sanctuary