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Introduction

Great Barrier Island has the only multi-day wilderness walk in the Auckland region, boasting three DOC huts and numerous campsites.

Highlights

The Aotea Conservation Park spreads over more than 12,000 hectares and offers multiple walking tracks for novice and experienced walkers. It's the perfect destination for outdoor enthusiasts and families.

Discover beautiful beaches, a wide variety of native birds and animals as well as the famous Kaitoke Hot Springs.

Take an easy 30 minute scenic flight, or a daily ferry to this island, rich with Maori heritage and numerous archaeological sites.

Video

Place overview

Activities

  • Camping
  • Diving and snorkelling
  • Fishing
  • Hot pools
  • Hunting
  • Kayaking and canoeing
  • Mountain biking
  • Surfing
  • Walking and tramping
  • Kauri dieback
    Help stop kauri dieback

    Kauri dieback disease is killing our native kauri. It spreads by soil movement, but you can help prevent it.

    • Stay away from kauri tree roots.
    • Clean your gear before and after visiting kauri forest.
  • Pest free
    Protect our wildlife
    • Check - your gear for pests, eg. rodents, insects, skinks
    • Clean - footwear and gear, removing soil and seeds
    • Seal - ensure your gear is zipped up (no open bags)

    See island biosecurity requirements.

In this section

Find things to do and places to stay Great Barrier Island/Aotea

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    About this place

    Nature and conservation

    In the island's centre, spectacular bluffs and ridges rise to the highest peak, Hirakimata or Mount Hobson, at 621 m. To the west, forest covered ranges meet the coast, a maze of bays, islands and indented fiords. The eastern coastline has sweeping white sands and surf beaches, often backed by tidal creeks and wetlands.

    Hirakimata and other high points in the centre of the island are the main nesting area for black petrel in New Zealand. Over 60% of New Zealand's entire pateke or brown teal population live on the island. Many of these small brown ducks frequent the wetlands of the Whangapoua estuary.

    This is also one of only a few offshore island groups containing spotless crake and fern bird. It is a stronghold for North Island kaka and banded rail. There are over 13 species of lizard, including the rarest skink in the region - the chevron skink.

    Getting there

    Great Barrier Island lies 100 km northeast of downtown Auckland on the outer edge of the Hauraki Gulf.

    Several companies service the island by sea and air. Taxis and car rentals are available on the island. At peak holiday times, buses run unscheduled trips to all campsites on the island from Shoal Bay Wharf, Tryphena Harbour.

    Find boat services to Great Barrier Island/Aotea

    Know before you go

    DOC staff are on 24 hour duty at Great Barrier campsites during the peak holiday period.

    Hauraki Gulf Maritime Park bylaws apply. Do not light fires, or remove/disturb plants and artefacts. No bicycles or pets. Take your rubbish with you – there are no rubbish bins.

    Some activities require a permit, such as weddings and events.

    Contacts

    Tāmaki Makaurau / Auckland Visitor Centre
    Phone:   +64 9 379 6476
    Address:   137 Quay Street
    Princes Wharf
    Downtown
    Auckland 1010
    Email:   aucklandvc@doc.govt.nz
    Full office details
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