Great Barrier Island 2024 - Waitlisted

7-11 March 2024

Discover the hidden gem of the Hauraki Gulf, encounter unique and endangered wildlife, experience rugged natural beauty, admire the talents of local artisans, covet the relaxed lifestyle the folk of the Barrier lead and enjoy endless walking opportunities.

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. However a reasonable level of fitness is a must in order to take full advantage of the many great walking opportunities and natural attractions that take a little physical effort to reach.

Please note that we take into consideration the weather conditions and the daily itinerary may alter accordingly.

Day 1

Thursday 07 March - 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 Barrier Air. We will be met at the main airport of Claris by our local tour guide Leigh, who will deliver us to Sunset Waterfront Lodge, our beachfront accommodation 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 dining out this evening.

Day 2

Friday 08 March - Boat Cruise to Port Fitzroy and Glenfern Sanctuary

This (and every) morning we enjoy continental breakfast together at Mulberry Grove Café adjacent to our Lodge. Our local guide drives us to Whangaparapara Harbour, where we join Captain Chris Ollivier and his vessel Sundancer for a scenic cruise up the western shoreline. Our cruise includes 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 (included) before berthing at Fitzroy Wharf, where Leigh will meet us to transfer us 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 own the land. Our tour 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 regenerating forest provides a 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, stopping for a wander at Okiwi Reserve, where you may spot cheeky kaka and a flock of noisy kakariki.

Returning to our lodge, there is time to relax before dining out again this evening.

Day 3

Saturday 09 March - Arts and Crafts and Hot Springs

Great Barrier Island is a haven for artisans and crafts people, and at Tryphena village we visit Shoal Bay Pottery where we discover the works of talented potter Sarah Harrison. We then move on to Elephant Gallery (subject to being open), where quality local crafts and art works are displayed in a woolshed. We’ll also visit the Museum of Milk, Grain and Honey, a small but informative community museum jam-packed with local history. We finish our morning with a visit to the Aotea Community Art Gallery, where a collective of local artists and crafts people exhibit exceptional works.

Lunch today (included) is at My Fat Puku Cafe, recommended by locals. This afternoon we take you on one of Great Barrier’s most popular walks to the Kaitoke Hot Springs. While walking is easy on a level graded track, it is 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. Returning to our lodge, there is time to relax before dining out tonight.

Day 4

Sunday 10 March - Medlands Beach, Jacques’ Sanctuary and Windy Canyon

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 heading off to explore Jacques’ Sanctuary. Owner Jacques has created an oasis of fruit trees, olives, and a natural wetland area. He is also a beekeeper and produces his own honey.

Lunch today (included) is a picnic sourced from a local restaurant. After lunch, we take a drive 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.

We dine out this evening, 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.

Day 5

Monday 11 March - Travelling Home

Following early breakfast, we will pack our bags and enjoy our last drive across the island. Our departure from Claris Airport gets us safely 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
  • 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
  • Fitzroy Harbour and Broken Islands Cruise
  • Talk and guided tour of Glenfern Sanctuary
  • Entry to Museum of Milk Grain and Honey
  • Guided tour at Jacques’ Sanctuary

Departure Detail

Before you book a tour with Tranzit Tours, please take the time to read and understand these Terms and Conditions below.

Pricing Validity

All costs associated with each tour are outlined in full within each tour itinerary. All pricing quoted is valid for the dates of tour when booked.

Reservations and Payments

Bookings for all Tranzit tours can be made through any Tranzit Coachlines Reservations Centre or an approved Travel Agent. Any person making a booking for others shall be deemed to have accepted these Terms and Conditions on behalf of all individuals they are booking on a tour and it is the responsibility of the person making the booking to bring these Terms and conditions to the attention of those individuals booked.

A deposit as stated in the Tour Itinerary is payable to secure the booking.

The balance must be paid in full by the date stated in the Tour Itinerary.

Any reservation made within fourteen (14) days of the tour departure must be paid in full at the time of booking.

Cancellations, Postponements and Alterations

Cancellations by the Customer

Cancellations 45+ days before tour departure date – a cancellation fee valued at 15% of your deposit, plus any other fees charged by other providers such as accommodation, ferry, activities etc.Cancellations 44 – 8 days before tour departure date – a cancellation fee valued at 15% of the total tour cost, plus any other fees charged by other providers such as accommodation, ferry, activities etc.

Cancellations within 7 days before tour departure date – a cancellation fee valued at 25% of the total tour cost, plus any other fees charged by other providers such as accommodation, ferry, activities etc.No refunds will be made for cancellations made within one day of departure or once travel has commenced. Refunds will not be provided for unused portions of a tour, unless the Customer can provide genuine reason and documentary evidence that services were unable to be utilised (and a refund if applicable is available from the other provider) in which case the company will review each request and may provide a partial refund at the sole discretion of the company.

Cancellations of one half of a twin share booking will result in the Customer cancelling being charged the cost of a single booking, if the Company is unable to match the twin share booking with another Customer.

Alterations by the Customer

The Customer may transfer their booking to another person for the same tour and commencement date, but only if the other person satisfies all of Tranzit Tours requirements in relation to the tour and provides us a completed Booking Form. The Customer must notify Tranzit Tours in writing of the intended transfer at least 30 days prior to the commencement date of the tour. A $60 transfer fee per person/per transfer will apply (in addition to any supplier change fees).

Cancellations or Postponements by the Company

Tranzit Tours reserves the right to cancel, reschedule or postpone a tour. With the exception of the Force Majeure section below, Tranzit Tours will:In the event of a tour being cancelled by the company prior to departure and not postponed – refund the total amount paid in respect of that tour or provide a credit, but will have no further liability to the Customer.

In the event of a tour being postponed – rebook the Customer for the new departure date or provide a credit, but will have no further liability to the Customer.

In the event of a Force Majeure event that occurs prior to, or during, a tour such as but not limited to fire, flood, volcanic eruption, earthquake, avalanche, severe weather, power outages, labour disruptions, pandemic, government controls or other events outside Tranzit Tours control that interrupts the ability to operate the tour in full or in part, or if Tranzit Tours determines that the quality of the tour or the health and safety of the Customer would be compromised, Tranzit Tours reserves the right to cancel, postpone, or shorten the tour and will be excused and released from its obligations without liability of any kind. Customers will receive a credit for postponed tours. For cancelled or shortened tours, refunds in these circumstances will be in full less any unrecoverable costs (i.e. expenses already incurred or fees charged by other providers).

The Customer will be advised of any increased tour costs as a result of the postponement. Credits will be equal to the value of the payment made and must be used within 12 months. Customers are strongly advised to take out travel insurance.

In the event of cancellation or postponement by the company, Tranzit Tours is not responsible for any consequential loss incurred by the Customer. Customers are again advised to take out travel insurance.

Alterations by the Company

Before Tour Commencement: If a major change to the tour needs to be made before departure, we will inform the Customer of the change as soon as practicable and will advise of any consequential price increase or decrease.Tranzit Tours reserves the right to alter a tour (including the itinerary) and substitute accommodation facilities should unforeseen circumstances beyond our control make changes necessary. Whilst every effort is made to adhere to the itinerary as provided, the company reserves the right to alter the touring and attractions as dictated by circumstances and conditions outside the company’s control.  Alterations may be made to ensure the smooth running of the tour.  Every attempt will be made to ensure alterations do not adversely affect the operation of the tour.  The company will not be held responsible for weather-based cancellations, or those closures made at the tour provider’s discretion.

Tranzit Tours will inform the customer as soon as practicable and will advise of any consequential price increase or decrease.


Tranzit Tours recommend that you purchase comprehensive travel insurance to cover against things like lost or damaged luggage, accident or sickness, loss or theft of personal belongings and documents, or the need to cancel or shorten your tour.  Please note that special conditions will apply for pre-existing medical conditions with all travel insurance policies.

Health and Fitness

Tranzit Tours are generally able to accommodate most fitness abilities; however, some tours may require a certain level of physical fitness for full enjoyment of tour activities. The Customer must inform Tranzit Tours, at the time of booking, of any health or fitness restrictions that may limit participation of tour activities or put the Customer, tour staff or other customers at risk. The Customer acknowledges that their suitability for a tour, or any activity within a tour, is wholly the Customer’s responsibility.

Payment of a deposit by the Customer to secure a Tranzit Tour acts as a warranty that:

o   the Customer is reasonably healthy and/or fit to participate in the tour, and

o   the Customer does not have a health, physical condition or disability that would create risk to themselves, tour staff or other customers, and

o   the Customer indemnifies Tranzit Tours from all actions, claims and demands arising out of any want of health or fitness.

Tranzit Tours reserves the right to decline a booking on medical, health or fitness grounds at its sole discretion.

Tranzit Tours reserves the right to remove a Customer from a tour, or quarantine a Customer on tour, if their health and/or fitness interferes with the tour or staff safety or other Customers safety or tour experience in any way. Any additional costs associated with a Customer’s removal from tour or placement into quarantine, shall be borne by the Customer. Refunds will be made in accordance with these Terms and Conditions. 

Authority on Tour

Tranzit Tours are operated by staff with decision making authority while on tour. By travelling with Tranzit Tours, you agree to accept the authority of the driver/guide and their decisions are final in all matters likely to affect the wellbeing, safety or experience of any customer or staff member on board. Failure to adhere to reasonable requests or any inappropriate behaviour that is degrading the experience of other customers, may result in the Customer being removed from the tour. If a Customer is asked to leave a tour, any costs associated with returning home will be borne by the Customer and any unused portion of the tour will not be refunded.


Tranzit Tours include goods and services provided by other operators such as hotels, attractions and transportation companies. Customers are advised to familiarise themselves with the terms and conditions on which these services are supplied. Accordingly, Tranzit Tours will not be responsible and will be excluded from liability for any loss, damage, omission or acts being negligent or otherwise, committed by other goods and service providers used in connection with the tour.

Tranzit Tours is not liable for any loss, damage, delay, or injury caused to the traveller or their baggage whilst under the care or control of a third-party provider. A Customer’s baggage and personal effects shall be carried at the owner’s risk as provided for under the Carriage of Goods Act.

Tranzit Tours is not responsible for any losses or additional expenses to the Customer due to tours impacted by Force Majeure events that occur prior to, or during, a tour such as but not limited to fire, flood, volcanic eruption, earthquake, avalanche, severe weather, power outages, labour disruptions, pandemic, government controls or other events outside Tranzit Tours control that interrupts the ability to operate the tour in full or in part, or if Tranzit Tours determines that the quality of the tour or the health and safety of the Customer would be compromised.

Acceptance of Risk

The Customer acknowledges that all Tranzit Tours may be subject to risks and dangers beyond that which might be experienced by the Customer at home. Except as provided in law, the Customer acknowledges that they assume all risk and Tranzit Tours is not liable for misadventure, death, injury, delay or loss which occurs during the tour.

Seat Rotation

For the enjoyment of all travellers Tranzit Tours operates a seat rotation system which all travellers must participate in as a condition of booking.


Photographs used to market any Tranzit Tour depict typical scenes experienced, but the subject matter may not necessarily be seen or experienced whilst visiting a destination within a tour.

Whilst on tour, the Customer may be included in photographs and/or film taken by the guide or driver. These photographs may be used for future promotional advertising purposes and by booking on a Tranzit Tour the Customer authorises the use of any images they are captured in to be used without further consent or any payment of any kind. If the Customer does not authorise the use of their image for promotional purposes, they must make this known at the time of booking.

Privacy Policy

Any personal information that Tranzit Tours collects about the Customer may be used for any purpose associated with the operation of a tour or to send the Customer marketing material in relation to Tranzit Tour products. The information may be disclosed to our agents, service providers or other suppliers to enable Tranzit Tours to operate the tour. Tranzit Tours will otherwise treat your details in accordance with our privacy policy (available on our website).

Applicable Law

The laws of New Zealand govern these Terms and Conditions to the fullest extent allowable.

The door to door transfers on the Tranzit Travel Club tours are such a bonus. Being picked up at my door and dropped back after our travels made things so easy! - Liz Black