Great Barrier Island Escape - Tuatara Tours

New Zealand Walking Tour:

Great Barrier Island Escape

Where

Great Barrier Island

Duration

4 days / 3 nights

Fitness

NZ$2100

Tour Dates:

  • Start Date Status
  • Tue 09 Jan 2024Available
  • Mon 15 Jan 2024FULL
  • Thu 01 Feb 2024FULL
  • Wed 07 Feb 2024FULL
  • Thu 29 Feb 2024Please enquire
  • Mon 11 Mar 2024FULL
  • Mon 18 Mar 2024Please enquire
  • Mon 25 Mar 2024Please enquire
  • Thu 04 Apr 2024Please enquire
  • Mon 15 Apr 2024Please enquire
  • Mon 22 Apr 2024Please enquire
Groups are welcome.
Please book in early to secure space, as numbers are limited!
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Great Barrier Island (Aotea) is a place of remote beauty and rugged wilderness, with a distinctive Kiwi flavour.

With just 900 residents, it is one of the most tranquil and laid-back places you’ll find in the South Pacific.

The warm salty breeze mingled with the rich forest air makes every breath a pleasure, while it’s winding trails through volcanic peaks, native forests, golden beaches and crystal-clear waters ensure your daily quota of exercise and adventure.

On Great Barrier Island, Nature is King.

  • Pristine panoramas
  • Tranquility
  • Fantastic meals
  • Ancient forests
  • Great company

Our Great Barrier Island Escape trips depart several times a month, from late October to April.

Please enquire for dates available. Most walkers fly from Auckland airport and meet us at the Great Barrier airport. We advise you to book early so you don’t miss out on the most convenient flights. 

30 minute scenic flight from Auckland (not included in the tour price)


Tour Itinerary

NZ$2100

Day 1 Southern Shores

Location: 3.5 star boutique lodge

Distance: 3-4 hours walking

Please come ready to walk and make sure that you have a full drink bottle.  The breathtaking flight over Auckland and the turquoise, island-studded waters of the Hauraki Gulf sets the scene for a remarkable trip! Your friendly guide greets you as you step off the plane – welcome to paradise!

 First, we head west to Whangaparapara and warm ourselves up on the Te Ahumata/White Cliffs Track. We’ll follow an old mining road through wind shorn, bonsai-like plants and hunt for rare orchids at the summit.

Te Ahumata’s central location gives us a great viewing opportunity to orientate ourselves from the top of the white cliffs!

If the legs are still feeling fresh, we can walk along the stunning golden sands of Blind Bay or visit the old Tramline Track to see serene Kauri Falls and enjoy a refreshing dip in the small, but perfectly-formed natural swimming hole.

Then we’ll get settled into our lodge, put our feet up with a cold glass of something on the deck overlooking Whangaparapara harbour and share a grazing platter of fresh fruits and cheeses as the sun goes down.

Our lodge hosts treat us to a delicious 2-course, Kiwi style meal using locally grown produce and home-made condiments.

Day 2 Heart & Soul - Mt Hobson

Location: 3.5 star boutique lodge

Distance: 6-7 hours walking

We begin the best hiking trail on the island today with a stroll through the mossy ravines of ‘Windy Canyon.’ This is part of the Aotea Track and will lead us up to the summit of Mt Hobson/Hirakimata. This spectacular track is a combination of easy walking trails; short, steep climbs; stairways and bridges. We’ll traverse a range of unique, biologically diverse landscapes; streams lined with beautiful native bush, peaceful wetlands full of rare birdlife, forests of kauri, rimu and kahikatea. Discover the historical remains of the early kauri-logging industry and witness firsthand the healthy regeneration of these pristine forests.

At 621m, Mt. Hobson is the highest point of Great Barrier Island. The 360° views from the summit are worth the climb! Walk through the preciously fragile Kaitoke Wetlands where delicate orchids and sundews sprinkle either side of the track. Listen out for the distinctive “u-tick” call of the rare fernbird or spotless crake, the presence of which indicates high wetland health and abundance of food sources. Finish off this sensational hike with a rejuvenating soak in a series of naturally formed, cascading hot water rock pools, framed by lush bush canopy.

This evening we’ll enjoy another nutritious, home-cooked meal on the lodge deck as we gaze out over the peaceful Whangaparapara Harbour and watch the sun go down on another great day.

Day 3 Northern Shores

Location: 3.5 star boutique lodge

Distance: 5 hours walking

Travelling north, we start our day amongst the spectacular scenery of Port Fitzroy, a stunning combination of crystal-clear water and bush covered hills. Enjoy swing bridges and glorious nikau forests on the 2-hour walk down to secluded Bush’s Beach.

Next, we tackle Warren’s Creek Track with a gentle 30-minute climb to a waterfall. There are deep swimming pools in the stream, surrounded by kauri and nikau forests. After lunch we head to the largest white sand beach on the island, where a spectacular coastal walk reveals fascinating shore bird colonies and tells the story of a devastating shipwreck. Take a dip in the Pacific or stretch out on the glistening sand and soak up the island’s natural beauty.

A restorative, home-made meal and cold glass of suds awaits us back at the lodge as we enjoy a well-earned rest ready for a slower-paced final day tomorrow.

Day 4 Left of Centre

Distance: 3-4 hours walking

We begin our last day on Aotea with a beautiful trail that follows a central ridgeline, offering views of both golden coasts, through gorgeous puriri trees and nikau palms.

After a picnic lunch, we journey down to explore the beautiful central eastern beaches where they meet the tempestuous Pacific Ocean. That spectacular white sand beach we saw on our flight in is one of our final destinations, Medlands Beach. Share a reflective moment on Memory Rock, before exploring the rock pools, walking the beautiful white sands or hunting for signs of early human habitation around the bouldered base.

To wrap up an excellent walking trip, we can check out the museum or relax in the local art gallery and café to soak up the island atmosphere one last time before our flight home.

We’ll say our fond farewells and deliver you to Claris Airport in time for a 5pm flight back to the mainland.

What’s Included

Accommodation

The peaceful and private Great Barrier Lodge is located in stunning Whangaparapara Harbour. There are plenty of sunny, private decks to relax on, with charming interior decor and harbour views, plus large trees for shade. A solar-power array makes this eco-lodge completely off-the-grid for a low impact, sustainable travel experience.

There are double and twin rooms with ensuite bathroom facilities. Single supplement is available for solo travellers who would like a room to themselves. The cost for the single supplement is $300

An experienced guide

The guides are very experienced, friendly walkers and bikers who love to share their knowledge of New Zealand’s flora and fauna and local history. They all hold current first aid certificates and passenger service licenses, and are the very best people to ensure your experience will be one to remember.

Food

We’ll enjoy fresh, continental breakfasts and delicious, 2-course dinners served in the lodge dining room or outside on the covered deck if the weather is nice. All meals, snacks and nibbles are included in your walk package. We offer a complimentary drink with dinner and additional drinks will be available for purchase. Packed lunches are made fresh daily with a variety of nutritious options to fuel you for the days’ walking.All meals and snacks are included. The lodge has credit card or EFTPOS facilities if you wish to purchase additional drinks with dinner.

Safety and Risk Management

To ensure maximum safety for all, our guides are certified first aiders and fully qualified drivers. Tuatara Tours operate under a Safety and Risk Management Plan which is regularly audited and approved by a qualified and independent auditor.

Luggage & Transfers

Transport of all your luggage for the duration of the tour.

All you carry is a small day pack with your personal gear, drink and lunch. We do the rest

All transport

Access and Concession fees paid to the Department of Conservation

NZ Goods and Service Tax (GST)

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