50% at time of Booking, balance 30 days prior to tour date
Flights x 2
Breakfasts x 3 (B)
Dinners x 3 (D)
All attractions as listed
Close to your own backyard, is an an amazing island full of native flora and fauna, something unique to this special place. The largest island in the Hauraki Gulf and the most untouched. The island has a bush covered craggy volcanic interior with a coastline of beautiful bays and beaches and is a haven for rare birds & lizards.
A Great Barrier Island Getaway is to experience life off the grid, under the radar and on the edge… it really is a world of its own! Over 70% of the land is protected Conservation Park and with night skies rated ‘second to none’… the whole island is a Dark Sky Sanctuary.
Enjoy the beauty – 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.
Friendly locals – 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.
Tranquility – Electricity is reliant on solar rays and generators – regular everyday commodities are available but not without some effort to supply. Escape to tranquillity – escape with us to Great Barrier Island!
Escape to tranquility – Escape with us to Great Barrier Island
This morning we travel up to Auckland to catch our flight to Great Barrier Island. Just a very short flight, but extremely picturesque as you fly over the Haruaki Gulf. Landing into Claris where we are met by Leigh our driver-guide and head off to explore some of the island before arriving at our accommodation.
Great Barrier’s Sunset Waterfront Lodge sits on park like grounds beside beautiful Mulberry Grove Beach. Take time to settle in and explore the lodge before joining your fellow travellers for dinner at a local restaurant & bar.
Accommodation: Sunset Waterfront Lodge, Great Barrier Island – 3 nights
After breakfasting this morning, we head off to explore this fascinating island.
Whangaparapara was an industrial centre on Great Barrier Island for mining, timber milling and whaling. Gold and silver were discovered in the late 1800s. The Oreville stamping (ore crushing) battery is still a prominent landmark on the Whangaparapara Road. The Kauri Timber Company sawmill was based in Whangaparapara and processed logs from the Coromandel and Northland in the early 1900s and at the time it was the largest mill in the southern hemisphere. The remains of New Zealand’s last whaling station can also be seen on the northern side of Whangaparapara Harbour which operated from 1957 to 1962.
One of the anchors off the SS Wiltshire can be seen on the grounds of Great Barrier Lodge. The Wiltshire was wrecked on a rocky cliff face at Rosalie Bay on the southern end of Great Barrier Island in 1922.
At the wharf we board the ‘Sundancer’ for our spectacular coastal cruise. We look at the old Kauri Sawmill and Whaling Station sites before heading up the west coast & through the spectacular Broken Isles. Once through the Man O’ War Passage we enjoy a scrumptious on-board lunch in the sheltered waters of the beautiful Port Fitzroy Harbour.
After lunch, we disembark Sundancer at the Glenfern Sanctuary – Fitzroy House, where staff give us an informative presentation explaining what they’re doing at the sanctuary regarding pest control and native plant and bird reintroduction. Fitzroy House sits on the water’s edge and is home for kaka parrots, wood pigeons and banded rail etc. After the presentation talk the group will be transferred to Sunset Rock for an amazing panoramic view of Port Fitzroy Harbour and beyond. Leigh meets us here and we travel back down the east coast by bus enjoying great views of Rakitu Island, The Windy Canyon, and Pacific Ocean Panoramas. We stop for a cuppa-and-cake at Awana where we enjoy an optional walk along this spectacular east coast surf beach.
Overnight in Sunset Waterfront Lodge
This morning we discover Tryphena. Start with a visit to Shoal Bay Pottery and other local arts and crafts. Later we head over to Claris where we have lunch at Angsana Restaurant. Explore the lovely grounds, local wildlife, and a small Thai style gift shop before dining.
Please make sure you bring your togs and towels because after lunch we head up to Kaitoke Hot Springs. The walk to these natural and undeveloped springs is on a mainly level track. The beginning of the walk meanders through a stunning grove of Nikau palms. The walk is approx. 40mins, is not difficult but some fitness level is required.
If you are unable to do this walk, we will arrange an alternative option for you.
Overnight in Sunset Waterfront Lodge
This morning we bid farewell to our hosts, and we head off to explore the Okupu Harbour area. Visit Okupu beach to check out the ancient Pohutukawa trees and then tour around to the forgotten wharf at Blind Bay. Time permitting, we will visit Pigeon Post for last minute souvenirs and/or tea or coffee before checking in for your flights back to Auckland then travel back to Tauranga.