What to expect

Great Barrier Island is a unique and fascinating part of New Zealand and as many people have already discovered, the Barrier has a way of getting under your skin... There is a definite 'feel' to the Barrier.

 

You can probably put this down to the fact that you're about to discover a small friendly community living totally 'Off the Grid' on New Zealand's 4th biggest land-mass... Over 70% of which is under Department of Conservation administration and this includes The Aotea Conservation Park, some 12,000 hectares of protected landscape and native forest.
All of this... perched on the edge of the Pacific Ocean beneath the most beautiful night sky you'll ever see!

Finding good information about Great Barrier Island, from a visitors point of view, can be difficult. Many potential 1st time visitors are unsure about what they are likely to discover. For some, the mystique that surrounds Great Barrier Island is exactly what draws them to our shores. For others the 'unknown' aspect of  the 'Barrier' is enough to make them choose an alternative destination for their holiday.

Like visitors before you, the first thing that you'll notice will be the beauty, the dramatic and rugged skyline, the mountains and bluffs running down to the beautiful clear ocean and stunning beaches.
The one main road gently winds through small 'villages', over mountain ranges, along coastal stretches and through picturesque farmland.
It will be' bigger' than you imagined, and friendlier too. The locals are a laid back bunch... there's always time for a chat, a 'hello' or at the very least, a friendly wave as they pass by.

You’ll find that it’s the things that we can’t offer you that will make your experience all the more special and enjoyable.
There is no scheduled bus service on the island but you can easily hire a car, a scooter or a mountain bike, grab a taxi, or a common way of getting around is to just hitch a ride...

There is Broadband internet from Tryphena to Claris, and free Wi-Fi at the Claris Library and store. Apart from that you'll need to use your phone, but....
We can’t offer you island wide cell phone coverage (yet), although you can get reception in parts of Tryphena, Medlands, Claris, Okupu, Okiwi and Port Fitzroy.
Of course, because we all harness our own energy from the Sun, Wind, and Generator, we can’t really offer you a guaranteed 24-hour, island-wide electricity supply either, so you should bring a torch.
Oh, and just in case you were wondering about KFC, McDonalds, Malls, Supermarkets, Banks and that sort of thing... well, no.
Having said that, you can access everything you'll need at the local stores and most of them accept eftpos/credit card.
There are no streetlights and only a few footpaths but that’s ok because we don’t exactly have a rush hour either. In fact, we only have a permanent population of around 950 people so there's plenty of room for you, your friends and your family.

In a nutshell.... You're about to discover a part of New Zealand that happily forgot to get on the train to the future. In fact the last train to go through these parts was hauling Kauri logs down to Whangaparapara Harbour, about 65 years ago. 
It's a free and easy style of life here... No crime, no queues, no hurry, no worries.... just how New Zealand used to be.
What we lack in style and pizzazz, we more than make up for in good old, natural authenticity.
So C'mon.... Come On Over!

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I really want to thank you for all your help with our bookings!
We had a fabulous time, and your advice re. accommodation nights, car rental, and the Aotea track was spot on. Being able to run ideas past you was really much appreciated. Great Barrier Island is so amazing – I didn’t want to leave.
Many thanks,
Michelle Ashbury
July 2023


Just wanted to say thank you for organizing my trip to Great Barrier. I loved everything about the place – the flights, the people, the landscape, the peace and quiet, the fresh air, the amazing scenery, the welcome, the quirky business and the talented artists. What a brilliant trip. I’d like to come again, in winter, and perhaps stay up at Port Fitzroy. Will be in touch. Thanks again, all the best,
Julie Macdonald
May 2023


My daughter and I had a lovely time at Great Barrier over Easter – thanks for organizing everything for us.  Pigeons Lodge was really nice, the Rav 4 was great and we even had dolphins escorting the boat which was lovely.  The cafe’s and restaurant’s we visted provided excellent food and the beaches were gorgeous.  So all in all an awesome weekend.
Thanks again
Kind regards
Averil Naumai
April 2023

Good afternoon Go Great Barrier Island Team,
Sincere thanks for the four night holiday package you arranged for us for last week.  All the bookings you put in place for us were exactly what we needed and flowed seamlessly together.  The location of the accommodation was perfect and the Sundancer cruise (which was awesome!  Thank you Chris) was easily rescheduled when the weather demanded a change.  Everyone we met on Great Barrier Island was so friendly and helpful and we would dearly love to return again sometime soon.
Thank you again.
Kind regards
Hilary McNaughten
December 2022


Just wanted to say thank you so much for your very good service helping us arrange (with some rearrangements) our great visit to the Island last week. Everything went perfectly, flights, car, and we just loved the Beach House. Could you please pass on our very sincere thanks to the owners and property manager – the house was in perfect condition and we would have loved to have stayed with the kaka and the swimming for much longer. We enjoyed the local cafes and pub (including a memorable Thursday night there !), and had a wonderful time exploring all over the island.
Keep up the good work.  We’ll certainly recommend your organisation to others.
Best wishes
Sally Marx
November 2022

Go Great Barrier performs a very valuable service for visitors looking to travel to Great Barrier Island and connect with suppliers of accommodation and travel services.

Initially I was unsure about how to make and coordinate direct bookings but after contacting GGBI they were handled quickly and the outcomes were just what we were looking for, so thank you, Laura and Steve.

We did not expect to alter the bookings made but when we asked to stay another night and fly back to Auckland, Steve arranged these quickly along with transport connections to cover for having no rental car on the final day. Thank you, Steve.

With thanks and kind regards
John Bedkober
October 2022


We just wanted to take a moment to say a massive thank you for the most unforgettable holiday we’ve just had on the Barrier.

It wasn’t the holiday we originally booked, this one was a thousand times better. We saw the whole island spent a lot of time at Medlands, loved the Good Heavens star experience, Sunshine Cottage was off the hook, what amazing views and the attention to detail throughout the cottage was mind blowing and all just added to the holiday. We walked some of the tramway track, saw the art gallery and bought home a very cool painting, walked to the hot pools, and generally enjoyed ourselves the rest of the time. We will be recommending your holidays to everyone we meet.

Again thank you so much for against all odds putting together the perfect holiday for us.

Thanks
Sarah & Tim
March 2022


Just wanted to say a big thank you for sorting out our weekend.
I can honestly say we had a blast, the island is absolutely stunning, the people were so nice and friendly we really loved everyone we met.
The Irish pub was awesome. We were lucky enough to be there for Thursday night open mike, and we took full advantage of the fun. We met Pete and Terry who so kindly took us out on their fishing boat, we loved it.
We couldn’t believe how amazing the food was. The whole experience is going to be a huge talking point for us all for a long time.
Thank you once again for everything.
Cheers Nicki


Just to let you know that we had an absolutely wonderful stay. Everything went well – like clockwork.
The rental we had was wonderful and Muriwai was just beautiful – we’re so pleased we stayed there.
We ate at Tipi & Bobs and the Irish Pub – both wonderful evening meals. We visited the Social Club at Tryphena and watched the Super Rugby game.
Lunched at My Pat Puku, visited the crafts and gallery places (the little Museum is wonderful – so much history and displays). We went right to the top of the island by road, and the bottom and to the hot pools.
The signposts and the great well maintained walks and information posts were just superb. The people are so friendly – everyone waves!
Thanks again
Well done Great Barrier Island!
Jenny & Ces Horan


I just wanted to say thank you for the package you put together for us to visit Great Barrier Island.
We had a fabulous time and really enjoyed exploring your stunning island.
You made it so easy, taking care of all the bookings and putting together the things that we wanted to do.
We were met off the plane and handed the keys to our rental car. Norm at the information desk at the airport gave me great maps and recommended some good day walks for us to do (we did most of the day trips he recommended too).
Angeline was at the Great Barrier Lodge when we called in to drop off our bags.
Amongst other things we enjoyed the kauri bridge at Glenfern and the view of Port Fitzroy from Sunset Rock.
We walked to Windy Canyon and beyond into the Pinnacles area for a few hours before walking back out the same way – this was so visually stunning and a real highlight for me.
Hilde was fabulous when we did the Good Heavens Experience.
We thoroughly enjoyed our day on the Sundancer with Chris. We felt very privileged as he still took us out even though we were the only ones.
Our accommodation was just right for us and it was so lovely to spend each evening out on the deck admiring the Whangaparapara Harbour. We ate dinner at the Great Barrier Lodge restaurant each night because it was so good (and we could have a drink and not worry about driving).|
The info sheet you sent through beforehand was useful and the list of places to eat was also helpful – especially for breakfast and lunches.
Thank you again for putting this all together for us – flights, accommodation, rental car & activities.
We had a fabulous trip and really enjoyed exploring the island.
Deborah Malcolm


We would like to thank you for the wonderful holiday we had on the Barrier.
We absolutely loved The Bach, and felt we were in paradise being so close to such a beautiful beach!
We made the most of having some lovely meals out, and all within walking distance.
The swims in the bay were so lovely.
It created a wonderful memory for my husband and I for out 30th Wedding Anniversary. Just perfect!
It was great flying over from Dairy Flat, and we were impressed with the service we received.
Thanks again, we would love to return sometime.
Kerry and Janice Sinclair


We’re back home now and I wanted to say we all had the most fabulous time on Great Barrier Island. Thanks for organising the trip for us, everything was perfect (even the weather!). We went star gazing, did an early morning Astro photography workshop, fishing charter and walked up and over Mt Hobson via the hot pools. We packed all we could into and 5 days and we all hope to return for more exploring.
Helen McMahon


My partner and I just wanted to thank you for booking such an easy holiday for us. The flights were hassle free, along with the accommodation and at the airport the car rental was an easy process. (I loved the sign with my name on it). Also, a special mention to Steve and his trike ride. Steve was such a great host, he picked us up on time, gave us a lovely island tour and even welcomed us back to his house to use his kayak’s anytime. The entire trip was such an easy experience and I highly recommend your service. Thanks again for such an amazing weekend away.

We will definitely be back!
Lauren


We are here and enjoying this beautiful island of yours. It is truly spectacular!
I only have one gripe.. You must add a suggestion in all your bookings that a 2 night stay is not enough – a minimum stay of at least a week should be recommended as once you are here, you never want to leave.
Thank you so much for your help, I’m already dreading tomorrow when we leave 🙁
Talei


Just wanted to say thank you very much for your help and advice when organising our recent visit to the Barrier. While the weather wasn’t always perfect, it didn’t stop my sister and I doing anything or from having the best time, including doing some of your fabulous walks. We needed more time to fit more of them in!
The accommodation was really comfortable and perfect for our needs; we were met by a charming young woman from the car rental company and the X-Trail was just the ticket for us to explore the length and breadth of the island (which we did), and we simply loved chatting with locals and restaurant owners while dining out. Your advice and wonderful service were just the icing on the cake, so thank you very much.
You live in a magical place and we’ll be back!
Anne


We all just wanted to say thank you so much for organising a great Christmas holiday for us on Great Barrier Island! We had a very special time and made wonderful family memories after being apart in different countries for years. Thank you for all your help and advice, we have recommended you highly to everyone we know.
Thanks again,
Emma


I just wanted to thank you for organising everything for us for our weekend. We had a fabulous time! Everything was great – we loved staying at Tipi and Bobs and Marjorie made us very welcome, the units were great, lovely views and the food was fantastic! The cakes were wonderful, Phaedra had done a great job. It’s amazing how much we managed to pack into such a short time, the first time I’ve been there but will certainly come back for a longer stay next time. Once again, thanks for a wonderful job.
Maxine

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