It's your first trip to Great Barrier Island? Off into the wild on a grand adventure and you’ve packed everything including the kitchen sink?
We have the four absolute essentials you'll need – apart from your ticket there of course – to help your adventure go smoothly and hassle-free.
It’s just helpful as a backup (and smart) to carry some cash with you. When free Wi-Fi is few and far between, mobile signal sporadically dropping out, and no ATMs on the island, you really are off the grid and cash can be an essential asset.
There are a few museums such as Milk, Honey, and Grain Museum that accept koha as their entry fee and having coins and cash help these local facilities continue for all to enjoy. Plus, the art galleries have some amazing artwork you can purchase as a memento of your visit and sometimes the smaller locations only offer cash as a payment option.
- A map
As noted in the previous point, in the hills of Mt Hobson or out on the beautiful isolated coastlines of the Barrier, you need to prepare for the times you may have no phone signal. Also, if you don’t know where you are in the wop wops, having an accurate map is crucial.
You can pick these up from both the Claris airport, at our Hamer Street Terminal or onboard the Island Navigator. Just ask our team if they aren’t easy to find. Alternatively, before your visit, ensure you’ve downloaded the Great Barrier Island Google Map so you can access it offline.
Great Barrier Island has some of the most amazing views, landscapes, birds, creatures and beaches in New Zealand. You will definitely want to share what you see and experience on the Island with your friends and family upon your return. Especially when you climb to the top of Mount Hobson, or scale the makeshift hill viewing platform at Windy Canyon and spot all the native creatures big and small that live on Great Barrier Island.
It’s an experience like no other and leaving your camera behind is not an option. Whether it’s your phone camera or one that is full HD, so long as you have one and make space for it in your bags you won’t regret it.
- Car or transport arrangements
This tip is less something you can pack and more something that's essential to plan for. Whether you are travelling by car on SeaLink or hiring a car when you arrive into Tryphena or Claris, having transport arrangements is your final essential.
The roads are rugged and some only accessible with a 4 wheel drive. Your car will need a good wash when you get home, so hiring a car from Aotea Car Rentals or Medlands Rentals can also be a great alternative. They’ll even drop the car to you at the terminal upon request – easy peasy!
Extra comforts that should be in your bag include a strong bug repellant (you'll find your fair share of spiders, mosquitos and cicadas and more on the Barrier), sunscreen, a warm jacket (as it gets chilly in the evenings), good shoes (so you can walk the many trails on offer) and a sense of adventure. These of course are essentials on any adventure in New Zealand’s big backyard and on Great Barrier Island, this is no exception.
For more on what you can do on the Barrier, check out our three recommended itineraries or download your digital copy of the Great Barrier Island Visitor Guide here.
If you’re wanting to book a sailing, you can do it online here - We always recommend booking early as in peak season (October to February) the sailings book out very fast!