A five day adventure from Auckland to stunning Aotea / Great Barrier Island, one of the Hauraki Gulf's real gems and, since 2017, officially recognised as an International Dark Sky Sanctuary. The tour includes the wonderful return scenic flight to Aotea / Great Barrier Island. Enjoy a leisurely holiday exploring in our own coach the bush lined roads, coastline and harbours. You'll love the opportunity to meet local artisans, guides and island personalities.
- All transport by comfortable, air conditioned coach (maximum of 18 travellers).
- Services of your knowledgeable Kiwi guide.
- Quality accommodation chosen for a “sense of place".
- Pickups and dropoffs from your home.
- Return airfares ex Auckland.
All Meals Are Included
- All breakfasts(B)
- All lunches (L) including special lunch with Marion at Elephant Gallery
- All dinners, privately hosted by Val at Shoal Bay Estate (D)
All Activities & Entrance Fees Are Included
- Visit Peter and Fenella at the Black Cow gallery
- Star gazing with Deb and Hilde in the International Dark Sky Sanctuary
- Cruise with Chris from Port FitzRoy to the Broken Islands
- Meet the custodians of Glenfern Sanctuary Regional Park
- Entry into The Milk, Honey & Grain Museum
- Meet Sarah at Shoal Bay Pottery
Included Sightseeing & Exploring
- Stroll among mature native trees at Okiwi Park
- See the beaches and walk along the bush tracks
- Visit the Heritage & Arts Village Trust in Claris
Auckland - Claris - Typhena
We start our tour on a real high with a scenic flight from Auckland airport over the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park to Claris on Great Barrier Island. Your Kiwi Guide isthere to meet you at the airfield with our own tour coach.
We head off to Puriri Bay to meet Marion for lunch at her Elephant Craft Gallery and continue on to meet Peter and Fenella at Black Cow Gallery nearby. We stay in relaxed, island style accommodation at Sunset Waterfront Lodge and Shoal Bay Estate for four nights and dine with Val at Shoal Bay Estate this evening.
Explore the northern end of Great Barrier
Today we're exploring the Northern part of Great Barrier, starting at Okiwi Park where a flat trail meanders through mature Puriri and Totara trees.
We call into Awana Beach and visit the Milk, Honey and Grain museum, a treasure trove of stories and memorabilia of the early settlers.
We return to Shoal Bay for dinner. Then later this evening, if the sky is clear, we stargaze at Medlands Beach with local guides who will tell us about the new International Dark Sky Sanctuary status recently awarded to the island.
Tryphena - Port Fitzroy - Broken Islands Cruise
Today we head over the ranges from Tryphena to Claris and on to Port FitzRoy to meet local skipper and personality Chris. We cruise out on his launch to discover the inlets of this favourite sheltering place and head southwards down the coast through the Broken Islands.
Returning to Port FitzRoy we lunch at Glenfern Sanctuary's jetty and hear the story of this 83 hectare Regional Park and how it came to be the main gateway to the predator fenced 240ha Kotuku Peninsula. We return to Tryphena in the late afternoon and dine out this evening.
Okupu/Blind Bay - Whangaparapara - Tryphena
Today we'll discover Okupu / Blind Bay on the way to Whangaparapara Harbour to lunch at Great Barrier Lodge. Our hosts will share the history of this peaceful harbour which was once seething with activity - gold and silver mining, timber milling and a whaling station which shut down in 1962.
Later in the afternoon we head back to our accommodation at Tryphena and dine in at Shoal Bay Estate.
Tryphena - Medlands Beach - Claris - Auckland
We start our last day on the island with breakfast with Val at Shoal Bay Estate before heading off to visit Sarah at Shoal Bay Pottery then walk along Medlands Beach, a favourite spot for surfers.
We meet Vivienne at her sculpture gallery in Claris and visit the Community Heritage and Art Village. In the mid afternoon we catch our flight from the airport at Claris back to Auckland.