5 days

Great Barrier Island #1 – 5 Days

Beachfront Resort. Sightseeing. Port Fitzroy Cruise. Amazing Cafes and Restaurants. Glenfern Sanctuary. Orama Community. Fly to/from the island.

Beachfront Resort. Beautiful Beaches, stunning local arts and a step back in time. Great Barrier is a wild, untamed and very special place with its own rules, and is a definite breath of fresh air for visitors.

Tour Itinerary:

  DAY 1:
After home pick ups we take our mid-morning 30-minute flight from North Shore Airfield. We fly over Whangaparaoa Peninsula and the northern Hauraki Gulf islands, with views of Kawau Island and Coromandel Peninsula, till we arrive Claris Airport on Great Barrier Island. After disembarking we drive to the Tryphena end of the island and have lunch at the Pah Beach Cafe before checking into our Beachfront Resort. Tryphena is the main arrival point (by sea) and centre of the population on Great Barrier Island. Tryphena is split into three areas or bays; Shoal Bay, where the wharf is, Pa Beach and Mulberry Grove. The latter two are the main service areas with most of the shops in the Stonewall Complex in the heart of Tryphena. We settle into our home for the next four nights. Tonight we dine at the Mulberry Grove Cafe next door.

  DAY 2:
With this extra day we are able to drive to the entrance of the boardwalk track to Kaitoke Hot Springs. This is an optional 45-minute flat walk to the Kaitoke Springs where you can spend some time soaking your feet or more (good idea to be dressed for bathing before you get there). We retrace our steps to return to the bus and then drive a short distance to have lunch at a local cafe. This afternoon we stop in at The Hub Craft Centre to see the co-op of goods and nip across the road to Patina Art Gallery for some up-market creations in various mediums. Next we visit Sarah at Shoal Bay Pottery and venture down to Tryphena Wharf to see where most of the island's goods arrive. From mid-afternoon, we are free to enjoy our beautiful beach surroundings. Tonight we dine at the lively Currach Irish Pub, written up as the social centre of the island. Built in an historic villa and specialising in great food, a fun atmosphere and great craic!

  DAY 3:
Today we explore more of our end of the island, starting with a visit to Medlands Beach, learning of the pioneer families that scratched out an existence farming the land and fishing the seas. This is the most popular beach on the island, especially with the surfies, so we’ll have time for a swim for those keen to experience the clear refreshing waters on this magnificent east coast beach. In this area we will see some seriously expensive real estate before crossing to the western side of the island for a stop at Okupu Wharf in Blind Bay. This bay is now home to Great Barrier Radio which plays such a vital part in island maritime communication and emergency missions. We will have our VHF radio with us so you can hear the constant airwaves chatter between local vessels and the land based operator. We have Lunch at My Fat Puku Cafe a the Claris Centre, before meeting Marion at The Elephant Gallery. a drive out to the Puriri Bay Wharf completes our sights for today, arribing back at our Resort mid-afternoon. Tonight we dine with the locals at The Claris Club.

  DAY 4:
We are venturing to the northern end of the island today, beginning with a drive to Whangaparapara Harbour. Back in the early 1900s this harbour was a hive of activity with a huge wharf to cater to the logging industry and a whaling station near the entrance to the harbour. It’s here we board MV ‘Sundancer’, where our skipper brings the past to life as we cruise alongside the whaling station that morphed into a fish cannery and now is home to a delightful couple. We cruise through the entrance and out along the coast passing Bowling Alley Bay before entering the Broken Islands which leads us through Man O War Passage into the expansive FitzRoy Harbour. We view Smokehouse Bay (known to all Auckland Boaties and still a free facility that has just had a major overhaul). We pass Two Island Bay and travel alongside the protective Kaikoura Island and pause our cruise at the secluded and private Karaka Bay as guests of Orama Community for a plentiful lunch, with time for a wander around this unique complex. We reboard our floating taxi to cruise around the peninsula to the Glenfern Sanctuary offering us a rare opportunity to experience native wildlife on Great Barrier Island. The Sanctuary is part of 230ha Kotuku Peninsula in the North of Great Barrier Island between Port FitzRoy and Port Abercrombie and is the result of over 20 years hard work, planting 10,000 native trees, forming an extensive track network and constructing a predator proof fence across the peninsula in 2008, to eliminate pests. Our guide talks us through a presentation of what Glenfern is all about, before we go for a 4WD ride up to the top of Sunset Rock. Here we enjoy awesome views of the whole of the Port FitzRoy area from the memorial to the founder of Glenfern Sanctuary, Tony Bouzaid. Back on board 'Sundancer' we return to the SHIP n SHORE bus at Whangaparapara Harbour and head back to Tryphena. Dinner tonight is at Shoal Bay Estate.

  DAY 5:
On our way to the airport we visit the Milk, Honey and Grain Museum. This museum really has to be seen to be believed. David has been collecting 'treasures' for years and has them colourfully displayed within several historic huts. His humour and attention to detail will make your visit memorable. Our flight departs Claris late morning. Shore Shuttles will be waiting at North Shore Airport to transfer us home.


$2342 pp


Departure Dates:

North Shore: Mon 17th Mar 2025 Click here to download related itinerary

Tour Inclusions:

Tour Gallery:

Explore more upcoming tours