Discover Great Barrier

Find out what makes Great Barrier Island so special

The ideal getaway destination

Great Barrier (Aotea)

Great Barrier Island East coast beach view

Cruise with the passenger and vehicle ferry and leave big-city stress behind and get ‘off the grid’.

Set in the waters of the Hauraki Gulf, Great Barrier (Aotea) offers the ideal getaway from big-city stress. It's rugged landscape with breathtaking scenery has more than 100km of walking tracks.     

Stunning beaches, surfing, diving, fishing, kayaking and paddle boarding.  Or stay on land, go mountain biking, hiking, ride on a trike or visit artists at their studios - all this is on the menu at 'The Barrier’. We recommend you plan and organise your trip before you arrive

The island is ‘off the grid’, powered by generators, solar or wind power, not mains power. Local's cook with gas and mobile coverage is limited. So expect no street lights, or regular public transport. Take your torch, your sense of adventure, a good book and turn off your mobile devices.

Get ready to enjoy a break from your everyday life, hit the beach, relax, watch the sunset and have your adventure!

Things to see & do on Great Barrier

Great Barrier Island really is all about the outdoors

You'll find plenty of options for tours and transport on the island.  The best island highlights are set apart, so transport is essential.  You'll encounter some narrow, windy and unsealed roads as you travel around the island.

If you're looking for good surf then you have come to the right place.  There are three main surf beaches on the East coast of Great Barrier;  Medlands, Whangapoua and Awana.

There are plenty of good surfcasting spots on Great Barrier, but if you're after the real whoppers your best bet is to go big game fishing on the east coast of the island. Talk to the local experts and head out on a fishing charter, they'll be sure to show you all the best spots. 

Kayaking is one of the best ways to discover the island's natural beauty. We recommend you experience one of the great walks, hikes or mountain bike trails.  The Windy Canyon lookout is just a 15 minute walk to the lookout.

A popular diving location, because of the abundance of sea life surrounding the island and also the shipwrecks that can be explored.

 

Learn more

Great Barrier Island local resident surfing at Medlands beach

Getting around the island

A vehicle on 'The Barrier' is the best way to get around

Drive yourself around Great Barrier Island when you take your car on SeaLink ferry

Taking your own car gives you the flexibility to cruise around the Barrier at your own pace.  The main road is sealed however some of the side roads are gravel and some require a 4wd vehicle.

If you prefer to keep your car clean at home in the garage you can rent a vehicle and arrange for it to meet you at the wharf on arrival.  This does mean that you need to handle all your baggage at the terminal and wharf. Booking in advance is a must to ensure there will be one available for you on arrival.

If you prefer not to drive then book a shuttle to your accommodation and book a tour with one of the local's.  They are full of information and can show you some of the best spots on the 'Barrier'.

Events

Wharf to Wharf Marathon - 7 October 2017

The Great Barrier Island Wharf to Wharf Marathon is a unique event, half track and half road, ideal for serious athletes as well as for families. Mountain Bike, Run or Walk a Full Marathon or a Half Marathon.
The course begins at Port FitzRoy wharf and finishes at Tryphena wharf. Participants will experience rugged native bush, kauri, nikau, manuka, fern and some of the most unspoilt native forest left in New Zealand. Reaching the heights there are expansive views over white sandy beaches and across the ocean to an undisturbed horizon as well as green farmland, and picturesque settlements dotted around beautiful harbours. 
The course follows the road overlooking the Port FitzRoy harbour and bays and down to the Kaiaraara Stream. Continuing up and down through rugged native bush, home to many of NZ’s native birdlife, the course reaches an elevation of 180 metres.

"4km of unbelievable trail goodness - and views from out of this world”. Aaron Carter (Total Sport)

Great Barrier Island wharf to wharf event winner crossing the finish line

Island facilities

Most general services can be found on the island 

Great Barrier Island Port Fitzroy signpost for directions when driving your car off the SeaLink ferry

On the island, you will find all the facilities you would expect when travelling, including:

  • General stores
  • Petrol station 
  • Medical Centre/Pharmacy 
  • Car rental, shuttles and taxis
  • ATM
  • Public toilets 
  • Accommodation
  • Ferry wharves at Tryphena and Port Fitzroy
  • Claris Airfield 
  • Visitor Information Centre

Plan your trip

More information about your journey