If you take one of our Great Barrier Island holidays, you'll get a true escape from technology and finally be able to relax. Tell your co-workers, “Sorry, I didn’t get the message. I was on Great Barrier Island.” There's no central electricity on the island other than private generators powered by wind, solar and diesel. Barrier's few hundred residents get by just fine, but if you’re worried, BYOW—bring your own windmill. Regardless, you’ll certainly feel a spark from the archipelago's natural, unspoiled beauty.
The landscape is Great Barrier Island's main attraction. Sites are spread out over 285 sq. km, so pre-book one of Wotif’s Great Barrier Island car hire options to get around, or experience the vast untouched wilderness by hiking the island's 100 km of bushwalking trails. You can follow the boardwalk path along the Kaitoke Hot Springs Track to the hot pools, take a relaxing dip and call it a day. Because the island has poor mobile service, there's little opportunity to post a selfie. If you're in the mood for an adrenaline rush, the summit of Mount Hobson (Hirakimata) is a steep hike up from the springs. On the way you might spot rare black petrel birds, who return to the mountain to get romantic during October and May. If you're already warm and want to skip the springs, take the quickest route up Mount Hobson via Palmers Track. The Windy Canyon observation point is just 10 minutes up the steps from the road and it's another two hours to the summit. Fancy sporting activities in addition to your Great Barrier Island holiday package? Go golfing, fishing, diving, paddle boarding or horseback riding. Visit the Glenfern Sanctuary to see endangered species and to climb a Kauri tree, aided by safety ropes. Fans of off-the-beaten-path cultural sites will enjoy the Claris Museum, one devoted local's collection of photographs and artifacts of life on the island.
For one-of-a-kind art pieces and the opportunity to explore the lesser-known parts of Great Barrier Island, follow the Island Art Discovery Trail put out by Great Barrier Island Tourism. Starting in Tryphena and ending near Great Barrier Aerodrome (GBZ) in Claris, the trail passes through studios of painters, potters, jewellery makers and fabric artists. Also check out the small shops in Tryphena, where you can pick up gifts for the folks back home.
Great Barrier Island is home to pubs, cafes and restaurants, particularly in Tryphena and Claris. Many have sporadic open hours, so plan ahead. Although there are no supermarkets on the island, general stores often sell fresh food.
For a night out, spot a restaurant or pub that's open in the evening. Relish in the calm atmosphere. No electricity means there are no street lamps, so the only bright light around will be the sparkle in your conversation.
Great Barrier Island packages are your ticket to seclusion, clean air and that gosh darn peace and quiet you crave. But if you want less of the "off" and more of the "beaten" in your path, Wotif can hook you up with packages to Wellington and other urban centres in New Zealand. With Wotif, you'll get great value, with no mysterious charges. Our passion for travel means you get the New Zealand holiday you’ve been dreaming of!