At night, discover the Dark Sky Reserves of Aotea with a guided stargazing adventure of the galaxies high above. With the waves lapping beside you, this is serenity at its finest.. Embark on a half-day fishing trip from Tryphena Harbour with lunch included, all in the name of catching your dinner for the rest of the trip! Do you think you’re up to it?. Interact with local island residents, including museum owner David, who will fill you in on the island’s history and show you through his quirky and hands-on Milk, Honey & Grain Museum.. With plenty of free time embedded in your short itinerary, you can stroll the nearby waterfront and soak in the laidback island vibes of Great Barrier Island.
You’ve heard of the Great Barrier Reef, but what about Great Barrier Island? Lying in the same ocean, but worlds apart in terms of attractions and natural diversity, you’ll have four days to discover this often overlooked section of northern New Zealand wilderness. Explore the island’s golden beaches, spend a day fishing with rod and bait, and watch the night sky come on a guided stargazing experience. Aotea – or Great Barrier Island – is totally off grid and laden with rugged forests and mountains, but so easily accessible from Auckland. Come and see for yourself why the natural wonder and small-town feel of Aotea deserves a small group adventure in itself.
Breakfast Included: 4 Lunches Included: 1 Dinner Included: 1
Welcome to Aotea – Great Barrier Island – located off the North Island of New Zealand! The island is easily accessible from the capital, Auckland, either by short scenic flight with Barrier Air or Fly My Sky (approximately 30 minutes), or on the daily ferry from downtown Auckland, which takes around 4.5 hours. We recommend flying one way and boating the other to get a real feel of the area, from land and sea! Once arrived on the island, meet your local guide and fellow travellers at Tryphena Harbour around 6 pm for a welcome meeting and dinner – more details can be found in the ‘Joining Point Instructions’ of your Essential Trip Information. Today is simply a joining day, so be sure to organise your travel connections so you arrive mid-to-late afternoon. If you arrive early, sit back and relax!
Today, embark on a half-day fishing expedition from Tryphena Harbour. All of the rods and bait will be provided, and your boat skipper, a local with 30 years seagoing experience, will be sure to lend a hand and give some advice on how to reel in the biggest fish in the ocean. Fingers crossed it’s a fruitful trip, so you can catch your dinner for the rest of your stay! Lunch will be included during the day. Back on land, you’ve got the afternoon free to explore at your leisure. Perhaps take a walk on the island and discover some stretches of sand near your lodge. Tonight, be treated to a dazzling display of constellations and planets high above with a guided stargazing experience. Parts of Aotea are recognised as a credited Dark Sky Reserve, and tonight you’ll notice how spectacular the sky can be without light and pollution impeding the view. Be amazed by the sheer number of stars through the lens of the telescope or lean back in a moon chair and enjoy light refreshments as your trained guide takes you on a tour of the galaxy.
Tryphena Harbour - Medlands Beach
This morning, meet long-time Aotea resident David as he shows you his small Milk, Honey & Grain Museum, full of quirks and artefacts. Learn of the history of Great Barrier Island and its pioneering families, and explore this ‘hands-on’ museum as you touch and fossick through the exhibitions on display. We then head to the nearby Medlands Beach for an afternoon of relaxation an exploring with your group. Stroll along the golden sands, take a swim and admire this quiet stretch of coastline.
You have a free day up your sleeves today, so be sure to consult with your local leader what to do. There's the option to head on a short hike along the Old Mill track in Whangaparapara, or take the trail out to Kaitoke Hot Springs. Alternatively hire a kayak or a stand-up paddle board. Make sure discuss your chosen option with you group and Leader so the vehicle can be used to get you there and back.
With no activities planned after breakfast today, you are free to leave the group at any time. If you’d like to spend an extra night or two on the island to discover more of this untouched secret of New Zealand, we don’t blame you! We’ll be happy to organise additional accommodation (subject to availability).