Great Barrier IslandNorth Island
While living in New Zealand for many years and having accumulated a specific knowledge of various destination over the course of my travels, I often wondered what kind of atmosphere was left for me to discover, to experience. What if I told you, after all these years of discovery, that the most exotic and extraordinary adventure I had was 30 minutes from Auckland, where I have lived for six years. Unbelievable.
How about surprising the locals themselves by telling them about your adventure in their own country? Yes, just that! To do this, opt for a getaway on Great Barrier Island located off the coast of Auckland.
When you know that 85% of Auckland residents are not aware of this place or have never been there, you might start wondering what you will find there, and above all, whether it is worth going there. Missing out on Great Barrier Island when you're in love with nature and its immersion is like missing out on a visit to Eden Park stadium when you're an ardent rugby fan.
The operated flight usually takes 30 minutes, which is more like an overflight, or it takes 4 hours by ferry, we can say that this island is located a stone's throw away. Yet the diversity that constitutes it is unique and has nothing to envy to the rest of New Zealand.
Great Barrier Island depicts a dense summary of New Zealand on 285km2, making it the 4th largest island in the country. A road takes you from North to South in 1 hour and 15 minutes. Why choose a minimum of 3 days on the island if you can cross it so quickly? Quite simply because it is full of extraordinary landscapes, activities and places. Tropical forests, natural hot springs, hiking trails along the coast or inland, cruising in the Broken Islands, beautiful beaches ... that's all about Great Barrier! And there will always be room for words, what if I told you that the island was elected a nature reserve for stargazing?
As you can see, the major asset of the island is its enriching fauna and flora. The island is one of the only places in NZ which has not been colonized by the possum, this marsupial imported from Australia and which hampers the forests of the neighbouring islands.
And primitive life in all of that? For the record, many hippies, artists and outsiders looking for an alternative way of life still lived a few years ago on Waiheke, another island in Hauraki Bay. When it started to redevelop, and the cost of living became too expensive, this population migrated to the Great Barrier Island. For many decades nothing has happened there. Nature reigns and the 850 inhabitants who inhabit it are all called by their first name. An abysmal blend!
We instinctively make a sign when we meet on the road, we care about everyone. Living together and helping each other make sense on this island where everything works as per its patterns.
Share a beer at the local Irish pub with the sailors who live on their boats, listen to them talk to you about Auckland as if they were talking to you about a country in itself, these experiences are priceless, and we offer you to live them.
It is difficult to leave this island unspoken as the meetings are memorable, and the life routine pushes us to reflect. If you are ready to live experience on its own within the country you are visiting, look no further, your choice is made.
We had a brilliant time on the Routeburn and the organisation with the huts and transport went like clockwork. Many thanks for all of your support and...
Steve Williams, UK
The organisation by OUAT was excellent, communication was brilliant, facilities on the Milford Track were of a high standard and Hippo Lodge in Queenstown...
John Dali, Australia
OUAT organised a great trip on the Hollyford Track. The lodges were wonderful with the most decisions food. The guides really knowledgeable and friendly....
Susie and Alice Hoddell, UK