Map of Great Barrier Island Escape including New Zealand

A pure and natural Kiwi secret, off the coast of Auckland

You’ve heard of the Great Barrier Reef, but what about Great Barrier Island? Lying in the same ocean, but worlds apart in terms of attractions and natural diversity, you’ll have four days to discover this often overlooked section of northern New Zealand wilderness. Explore the island’s golden beaches, spend a day fishing with rod and bait, and watch the night sky come on a guided stargazing experience. Aotea – or Great Barrier Island – is totally off grid and laden with rugged forests and mountains, but so easily accessible from Auckland. Come and see for yourself why the natural wonder and small-town feel of Aotea deserves a small group adventure in itself.


Start
Great Barrier Island, New Zealand
Finish
Great Barrier Island, New Zealand
Destination
New Zealand
Style
Original
Theme
Intrepid Retreats
Code
PHSG
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 4, Max 12

Why you'll love this trip

  • At night, discover the Dark Sky Reserves of Aotea with a guided stargazing adventure of the galaxies high above. With the waves lapping beside you, this is serenity at its finest.

  • Embark on a half-day fishing trip from Tryphena Harbour with lunch included, all in the name of catching your dinner for the rest of the trip! Do you think you’re up to it?

  • Interact with local island residents, including museum owner David, who will fill you in on the island’s history and show you through his quirky and hands-on Milk, Honey & Grain Museum.

  • With plenty of free time embedded in your short itinerary, you can stroll the nearby waterfront and soak in the laidback island vibes of Great Barrier Island.

  • Great Barrier Island is known for its stunning stretches of sand, so take your time in exploring the golden beaches of Medland with your group of likeminded adventurers.

Is this trip right for you?

  • Please ensure you consult your local government’s advice regarding domestic travel prior to booking this trip.

  • This trip is new to our range this year. And while we have thoroughly researched every detail of the logistics, new destinations and working with new partners can sometimes throw us some unexpected surprises. More often than not, it’ll be a great surprise. But every now and again there might be a hiccup. We like to think that’s what puts the ‘adventure’ in ‘adventure travel’.

Itinerary

Welcome to Aotea – Great Barrier Island – located off the North Island of New Zealand! The island is easily accessible from the capital, Auckland, either by short scenic flight with Barrier Air or Fly My Sky (approximately 30 minutes), or on the daily ferry from downtown Auckland, which takes around 4.5 hours. We recommend flying one way and boating the other to get a real feel of the area, from land and sea! Once arrived on the island, meet your local guide and fellow travellers at Tryphena Harbour around 6 pm for a welcome meeting and dinner – more details can be found in the ‘Joining Point Instructions’ of your Essential Trip Information. Today is simply a joining day, so be sure to organise your travel connections so you arrive mid-to-late afternoon. If you arrive early, sit back and relax!
Accommodation
  • Lodge (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Dinner
Special Information
It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance and emergency contact details at this time. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent or reception know. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place.

There are limited connections to and from Great Barrier Island, so we recommend you book well in advance to ensure no issues. Please note that flights to Great Barrier Island arrive at Claris Airport, located 25 minutes’ drive from Tryphena Harbour. With no regular public transport on the island, inform your booking agent of your arrival time well in advance if you are flying so we can organise a transfer for you.
Today, embark on a half-day fishing expedition from Tryphena Harbour. All of the rods and bait will be provided, and your boat skipper, a local with 30 years seagoing experience, will be sure to lend a hand and give some advice on how to reel in the biggest fish in the ocean. Fingers crossed it’s a fruitful trip, so you can catch your dinner for the rest of your stay! Lunch will be included during the day. Back on land, you’ve got the afternoon free to explore at your leisure. Perhaps take a walk on the island and discover some stretches of sand near your lodge. Tonight, be treated to a dazzling display of constellations and planets high above with a guided stargazing experience. Parts of Aotea are recognised as a credited Dark Sky Reserve, and tonight you’ll notice how spectacular the sky can be without light and pollution impeding the view. Be amazed by the sheer number of stars through the lens of the telescope or lean back in a moon chair and enjoy light refreshments as your trained guide takes you on a tour of the galaxy.
Accommodation
  • Lodge (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Tryphena Harbour - Fishing Boat Expedition
  • Tryphena Harbour - Stargazing Experience
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Special Information
If the weather prohibits clear sky viewing this evening, this Dark Sky experience will be rescheduled to tomorrow night. Also, depending on the size of the group, you may be split across two nights, in order to all have an intimate stargazing experience.
This morning, meet long-time Aotea resident David as he shows you his small Milk, Honey & Grain Museum, full of quirks and artefacts. Learn of the history of Great Barrier Island and its pioneering families, and explore this ‘hands-on’ museum as you touch and fossick through the exhibitions on display. We then head to the nearby Medlands Beach for an afternoon of relaxation an exploring with your group. Stroll along the golden sands, take a swim and admire this quiet stretch of coastline.
Accommodation
  • Lodge (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Medlands Beach visit
  • Claris - Milk, Honey & Grain Museum
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
You have a free day up your sleeves today, so be sure to consult with your local leader what to do. There's the option to head on a short hike along the Old Mill track in Whangaparapara, or take the trail out to Kaitoke Hot Springs. Alternatively hire a kayak or a stand-up paddle board. Make sure discuss your chosen option with you group and Leader so the vehicle can be used to get you there and back.
Accommodation
  • Lodge (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Whangaparapara - Old Mill Track - Free
  • Kaitoke Hot Springs Track - Free
  • Tryphena Harbour - Stand-up Paddle Board hire - NZD30
  • Tryphena Harbour - Kayak hire - from - NZD25
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
With no activities planned after breakfast today, you are free to leave the group at any time. If you’d like to spend an extra night or two on the island to discover more of this untouched secret of New Zealand, we don’t blame you! We’ll be happy to organise additional accommodation (subject to availability).
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

4 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

Transport

Private vehicle

Accommodation

Lodge (4 nights)

Included activities

  • Tryphena Harbour - Fishing Boat Expedition
  • Tryphena Harbour - Stargazing Experience
  • Medlands Beach visit
  • Claris - Milk, Honey & Grain Museum

Dates & availability

Trip departures are unavailable.

There are currently no scheduled departures on our Great Barrier Island Escape trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

Prices may go up, so secure your trip today!
Jump to a departure month

Important notes

1. A single supplement is available on all nights of this trip subject to availability.
2.This trip will begin on Day 1 at 6 pm at the Tryphena Harbour hotel.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View Essential Trip Information

Reviews