Great Barrier Island lies 88 kilometres Northeast of Auckland and is accessible via a 30 minute plane trip or 3 hour ferry ride. The fourth largest New Zealand landmass at 285 square kilometres, Great Barrier is like another world. Less than 1000 people live permanently on the island and have earned a reputation for their resourcefulness and approach to ensuring the islands pristine bush, beaches and seas remain so.
Maori inhabited the island for over a thousand years with Pakeha settlement taking place soon after Captain Cook sighted the island in 1769. As was commonplace at the time, it's kauri forests were milled extensively for shipbuilding, with the practice continuing right up until the 1940's. Great Barrier was also home to a whaling station during the 1800's but happily not to the detriment of the local whale population. These magnificent creatures can still be sighted enjoying the peaceful waters around the island. The absence of predators on the mainland means that many rare species can still be found there. The chevron skink, New Zealand's largest lizard calls the island home while the black petrel only nests here and on Little Barrier.
A wide range of activities, such as fishing, diving, mountain biking and golf, accompanied by a fine selection of accommodation will ensure you will relax in one of the most peaceful and tranquil locations New Zealand has to offer.
You will be taken on a tour of Great Barrier Island today with your knowledgeable driver Norm.
Norm grew up on the island so will have all the local knowledge to tailor the day to suit you.
Perhaps start with a short tour of the lower end of the Island. First, Shoal Bay Pottery by the wharf for a browse then a drive up to the Cape Barrier with a beautiful view of the south down past the Mercury Islands.
Head to Medlands Beach and take a short walk up Memory Rock. Continue onto The Honey and Grain Museum where there is an interesting photo exhibition of the local history and then up the Island to Windy Canyon which is a short walk 10 minutes each way) in to an amazing rock formation and beautiful views of the north.
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Our team of New Zealand specialists can help you create the perfect touring itinerary. Whether you want to explore the South Island on a self drive holiday or the North Island on an escorted coach tour package we can design or recommend the best options. We have a huge range of accommodation ideas to suit everyone and our first hand experience of destinations and activities means that we can give the best, most up to date honest advice.
Discover New Zealand is part of the New Zealand Fine Touring Group of companies. It specialises in self drive, seat in coach and escorted coach touring holidays across New Zealand's North & South Islands. We have hundreds of tour ideas listed to inspire you or give you an indication of what is possible to achieve on your New Zealand adventure. Whether it is a luxury fully escorted coach tour or a self driven off the beaten track adventure, we have something suitable for everyone. Our wide range of tour lengths and tour prices give you options and are tailor made so we can build the itinerary to suit your interests and needs.
Our team of consultants are all 100% Pure New Zealand Certified specialists and are passionate about designing your New Zealand holiday. Our consultation service is free and our quotes are provided with no obligation. Based in the heart of Wanaka you can be assured you will get the best local advice when planning your dream holiday to New Zealand. Contact one of our experienced team today.
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