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Great Barrier Island

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Oceania > New Zealand > North Island > Auckland Region > Great Barrier Island
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Great Barrier Island is the largest of the Hauraki Gulf islands. It is in the Auckland Region, east of the Northland Peninsula and directly north of Coromandel Peninsula.

Looking towards Medlands Beach from a ridgeline in the centre of the island

Get in[edit]

By ferry from Auckland.

By plane, with Barrier Air or Fly My Sky. The planes leave from various different airports, including Auckland International (Domestic terminal), North Shore aerodrome, and Whangarei among others. Sunair provides a regular service from Armore in Auckland, Tauranga and Whitianga to and from both Claris and Okiwi on Great Barrier Island. Flight Hauraki operates flights from Auckland and Waiheke Island.

Get around[edit]

There is no public transport service operating on Great Barrier Island but there is a daily mail bus which runs from Tryphena to Port FitzRoy and back to Tryphena, called the People & Post (0800 426 832). Visitors can bring their own vehicles on the regular vehicular ferry, hire a vehicle on island or use one of the shuttle services that operate around the island. It is best to book your shuttle before you arrive and this is essential during the summer.

  • GBI Rent A Car & GBI Shuttle Buses, Opposite Claris Airport, +64 9 4290062. Located on the main road outside Claris Airport, GBI Rent A Car has a wide range of vehicles to choose from including funtops, family station wagons, corporate sedans, convertibles, wedding cars, 4x4's, utilities, people movers, minibuses and people movers. Rates start at $50/day. GBI Shuttle buses offers an island wide transfer service to and from the airport and ferry terminal, hot springs, beaches, walking tracks etc. For guided transport around the island, GBI Tours offer half day or full day tours, tailor made to suit your interests and levels of fitness.
  • Go Great Barrier Island Passenger Transport172 Gray Road, Kaitoke Creek, Phone +64 9 4290222. Go Great Barrier Island run an island wide taxi/transfer service. They specialize in airport and wharf transfers and offer hikers a convenient track pick-up and drop-off service. They have 10 seater 4wd vans, station wagons, and also run a 22 seater bus for larger group transport requirements.

See[edit]

Mount Hobson, Hirakimata is Great Barrier's highest point which is 621 metres. On a clear day it offers spectacular views of the Mercury Islands to the Poor Knights, and the Hauraki Gulf.

Do[edit]

  • Kaitoke Hot Springs

Buy[edit]

Groceries on the Barrier can be more expensive than mainland New Zealand because of the cost of freighting them to the island but you can buy fresh fruit and vegetables, bread, meat and general groceries at the local stores. Local crafts, products and souveniers are available.

Eat[edit]

  • Claris Texas Cafe, Claris. Fully licensed. Serves nachos and the like.
  • 1 EarthSong (EarthSong Lodge), 38 Medland Rd, Tryphena (access is 4x4/SUV or arrange pick-up from roadside when booking), +64 9 4290030, e-mail: . 6–11pm. Delicious cuisine, candlelight, fine wine, and Tuscan villa-style surroundings with stunning views create a unique dining experience. An outstanding cellar of fine New Zealand wines enhances the experience. When planning his menus Chef Trevor enjoys following the seasons. He sources fresh organic produce locally and the gardens at EarthSong and the table olives and extra virgin olive oil from the EarthSong olive grove are a special feature in menus. Bookings 24 hrs prior essential for dinner. Evening dining $110 per diner.
  • Stray Possum Lodge, Tryphena. Delicious pizzas and steaks. Fully licensed bar available.

Drink[edit]

Sleep[edit]

Connect[edit]

There is free Wi-Fi at Tryphena Social Club and Claris airport. Computer at Claris Texas Cafe; free Wi-Fi, computers and printers at Auckland City Library, Claris. Computer at Great Barrier Lodge, Whangaparapara. Mobile phone coverage: Vodafone around Claris and at Port FitzRoy and Telecom at Tryphena. Other places coverage is limited or non-existent.

Go next[edit]

If you have a boat, Leigh is one of the nearest harbours on the mainland.

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