Great Barrier Island Region Guide
90km north east of Auckland, just over 3 hours by ferry and 30mins by plane Great Barrier Island (Aotea) is a 'world of its own'.
Although part of Auckland Central the island is as different to any city as you could get, take a trip back in time to when roads were unsealed and drivers acknowledged one another, there are no banks, no traffic lights and just a few shops, water is mainly what comes from the sky and power is generated by generator and/or alternative power systems.
On the west coast of the island are steep, forest covered ranges with Mt Hirakimata (Hobson) the highest peak at 621m, on the eastern coast sweeping white sand beaches, tidal creeks and wetlands.
The absence of possums has allowed the plant life to flourish and Great Barrier Island also has an impressive variety of birds, many of which are threatened and endangered, although logged extensively in the past much of the island is now covered with regenerating forest and bush and some fine stands of kauri still remain.
There are a variety of walking tracks from the short walk to visit a waterfall or some hot springs to the longer walk taking you to the highest most point of the island, view the regenerating forest of native trees, the historic remains of a kauri dam and enjoy the unspoilt natural beauty along with panoramic views.
There is always a welcoming smile and a hand of friendship for visitors to this small Barrier community of about 900, the pace of life is slower here usually and things don't always happen on time, they happen in 'Barrier time'.
This is a unique and special place not just because of it's beauty but for the tranquillity, the peace and quiet it has to offer all who wish to experience it.