Great Barrier Island Aotea
Image: Andris Apse. | ©

Introduction

Aotea Conservation Park has the only multi-day wilderness walk in the Auckland region, boasting two DOC huts and numerous campsites.

Highlights

The Aotea Conservation Park on Great Barrier Island/Aotea 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.

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

Many of the birds on Great Barrier are rare or extinct on the mainland. They can be secretive and require patience to spot.

  • Brown teal/pateke, found in most streams and wetland areas, particularly in the north of the island.
  • Banded rail/moho pereru, New Zealand dotterel/tūturiwhatu and kākā, regularly seen around the island's beaches and forest edges.
  • Black petrel/taiko nest at the summit of Great Barrier's mountains. If you stay in the Mt Heale hut during the summer months, you may hear them returning to their burrows at night.

Keep a 5 metre distance from birds when bird watching.

Great Barrier is a fantastic destination for boating and sailing. The island has seven boat ramps, all on the west coast, and many sheltered coves and bays which make great anchorages.

Great Barrier is one of the most diverse diving spots in the Auckland region and also has excellent visibility. Features include:

  • huge underwater rock formations
  • seaweed forests, and
  • a mixture of sub-tropical and temperate marine species.

Dive bottles can be filled in Port Fitzroy and Claris. Dive tours are available from the mainland.

You can fish off the rocks or the beach anywhere round the island’s coastline. Great Barrier Island is also a popular destination for fishing charters from Auckland or the Coromandel.

You can kayak around Great Barrier. Kayaking is one of the best ways to see the island's many of bays and coves. You might also see some marine life around the island, including whales, dolphins and penguins. The west coast often has more sheltered weather conditions for kayaking.

Stop kauri dieback and protect kauri
  • Kauri dieback disease is spread through soil.
  • Scrub soil off shoes and gear and check it's all removed before you go.
  • Use a cleaning station when you enter and leave.
  • Always stay on the track.

How you can help save kauri

Check you are pest-free

Check, clean, and seal your gear to ensure you don't bring pests, soil, and seeds.

See island biosecurity requirements.

Contacts

Tāmaki Makaurau / Auckland Visitor Centre
Phone:   +64 9 379 6476
Email:   aucklandvc@doc.govt.nz
The visitor centre is closed but you can still contact staff by email and phone.
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