Great Barrier Island lies 88 kilometres northeast of Auckland and is accessible via a 30 minute plane trip or 3 hour ferry ride. The fourth largest New Zealand landmass at 285 square kilometres, Great Barrier is like another world. Less than 1000 people live permanently on the island and have earned a reputation for their resourcefulness and approach to ensuring the islands pristine bush, beaches and seas remain so.
Maori inhabited the island for over a thousand years with Pakeha settlement taking place soon after Captain Cook sighted the island in 1769. As was commonplace at the time, it's kauri forests were milled extensively for shipbuilding, with the practice continuing right up til the 1940's. Great Barrier was also home to a whaling station during the 1800's but happily not to the detriment of the local whale population. These magnificent creatures can still be sighted enjoying the peaceful waters around the island. The absence of predators on the mainland means that many rare species can still be found there. The chevron skink, New Zealand's largest lizard calls the island home while the black petrel only nests here and on Little Barrier.
A wide range of activities, such as fishing, diving, mountain biking and golf, accompanied by a fine selection of accommodation will ensure you will relax in one of the most peaceful and tranquil locations New Zealand has to offer.