Guided Bush and Beach Walks
Great Barrier Island has a colourful and dramatic history. From as early as the thirteenth century it has been home to various Maori tribes that have enjoyed its generous bounty.
The islands’ natural resources first attracted European settlers in the early 1800s.
Copper mining, logging and milling of the beautiful kauri forest, and the mining of gold and silver all left their mark on the Barrier landscape.
One of the better outcomes from the Europeans settlement and industry is the vast array of tramping and walking tracks that weave their way through the interior of the island.
The Dept. of Conservation administers over 60% of Gt. Barrier, and provides and maintains around 20 tracks and 6 coastal campgrounds. It is our pleasure to provide you with ‘to and from’ transport and your own experienced personal guide for your chosen walks.
Below you’ll find a brief run-down on some of our more popular guided walks.
OVER THE TOP
‘Conquering Mount Hobson’
This is the Big One! Great Barriers highest mountain, Hirakimata (Mt. Hobson) towers 621 metres above sea level.
This walk begins at the top of Aotea Road on the Palmers Track. Within 10 mins we reach the incredible Windy Canyon and the summit of Mt. Hobson awaits 2 hrs onward. Lunch at the top and then we descend down the Peachtree Track .We join the Tramline Track and then onto the Hot Springs for a well earned soak in the natural thermal pools. An easy 40 min. walk out to the transport on Whangapara Rd. sees us complete the expedition within 5 or 6 hours. Don’t forget to bring a towel!
THE FOREST ROAD
‘From Port Fitzroy To Whangaparapara’
The Forest Road was built in the early 1950s by the New Zealand Forest Service as an access road for fire management and emergency service vehicles.
These days it is enjoyed by trampers/walkers and mountain bikers alike. Many of the other tracks and trails link to and cross the Forest Road.
We begin this walk at the Port Fitzroy end and travel through some beautiful regenerating native forest, emerging approx: 5 hours later at the top of the Whangaparapara Road where our transport awaits us.
HARATAONGA COASTAL WALKWAY
‘The Stunning East Coast’
Harataonga Beach is the site of the ‘Castaway’ reality television programme and one of the most beautiful beaches on Great Barrier Island.
Our walk starts at the bottom of the Okiwi hill and takes in some spectacular coastal scenery. This is an easy grade walk although it takes around 4 hrs.
We finish the walk at Harataonga Beach and it would be a crime not to stay for lunch. We’ll ‘boil the billy’ while you explore the beach and surrounding area.
THE HOT SPRINGS & THE WINDY CANYON
These two tracks are the most popular on the whole island. The hot springs are totally undeveloped and renowned for their soothing and healing properties.
40 mins of level walking leads you to their magic. Choose a pool with a suitable temperature and relax.
The Windy Canyon is only 10 mins along the Palmers Track but man! …What a view. As long as you can handle 100 steps the rest is easy!
We visit the Windy Canyon and The Hot Springs on most of our regular full day tours but also incorporate them into our guided walk itineraries.
Why not take a tour up the island with us to Port Fitzroy, the home of Glenfern Sanctuary. You won’t be disappointed!
Glenfern Sanctuary offers a rare opportunity to experience native wildlife on Great Barrier. The Sanctuary covers an area of around 150 acres in the north of the island at Port Fitzroy, and is the result of nearly 10 years hard work.
A swing bridge enables visitors to climb into the crown of a 600-year-old kauri tree. Ongoing rat and cat eradication provides a safe habitat for many native species including the black petrel and brown teal. You’ll see kaka and chevron skink and the recently introduced North Island robin.
The guided walk takes around 2 hours and leaves us plenty of time to explore the Windy Canyon and east coast beaches on the way back to your accommodation.