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Great Barrier Island is blessed with many great beaches and you will find them quite a contrast from the overcrowded ones in Auckland, even during summer. The East coast beaches are long, unspoilt and are perfect for swimming and surfing.  Check out Whangapoua Beach in the North, Awana Bay, Kaitoke Beach or head further South as there is nothing better than relaxing or lying on Medlands Beach on a sunny day with the waves lapping at the shore, your stress will melt away and you will feel miles from the busy city life of Auckland.