Your long weekend itinerary on Great Barrier Island

It's a quick break away from city life and a jam packed weekend of adventure, relaxation and culture.

Day One

Arriving on Great Barrier Island

Start your journey from Hamer Street, Wynyard Quarter with a coffee and snack from our onboard café and a good book. Then sit back and relax on your 4-hour journey to paradise.

Keep an eye out for dolphins and whales though as they often make an appearance on the journey to Great Barrier Island.

The Island Navigator should arrive into Tryphena at around 1pm when it's a great time to check into your nearest accommodation provider such as Currach, Trillium Lodge, Tipi and Bobs Waterfront Lodge or Shoal Bay Estate to name a few.

You'll want to get straight into it though and not waste a moment! Just around the corner, (even just a 25 minute walk away) from the main Tryphena centre you'll find Paddles and Saddles - Tryphena House. Not only do they offer accommodation, but also hire out a range of equipment to make your stay on the Barrier unforgettable. Their equipment for hire includes Kayaks, Paddleboards, Fishing Kayaks & Fishing Gear and Snorkelling gear, Electric Bikes (fuelled only by solar energy) and Scooters - advance booking is required.

Worn out yet? Take a stroll on Gooseberry Flat Beach and wrap the day with a scrumptious dinner by sunset at Tipi and Bobs

Paddles and Saddles on Great Barrier Island

Day Two

It's your adventure day

Good Heavens Experience on Great Barrier Island

Take a stroll to the local cafe Pa Café for a nourishing and beautiful breakfast before you set off for your day of exploring. Don't forget to stop by the Stonewall Store or Mulberry Grove Store to stock up on local delights and a couple of bottles of water for your day.

Your next destination on the trip is Medlands Beach. It's unmissable and worth dipping your toes into. Look out to the South Pacific Ocean and breathe in that beautiful fresh sea air. Your next couple of stops will also include beaches so bring a picnic along or a couple of sandwiches to snack on and enjoy the view. Check out Kaitoke and Awana Bay, both have their individual delights worth your time.

It should be the afternoon by now, so it's the perfect time to learn more about the island and the local residents' art and souvenirs. Claris is the main centre of the island where you'll find the local petrol station, gallery and the famous Milk, Honey, and Grain Museum - trust us - it's definitely worth a visit and entry is based on a koha donation

Plan ahead for tonight - you'll want to experience the best that Great Barrier Island has to offer. Great Barrier is one of only two island dark sky sanctuaries in the world. Good Heavens will take you through the stars, which constellations are present in the night sky and how to read the stars like an explorer. Sit back and enjoy a hot chocolate (or tea) and snuggle down with your blanket for an evening like no other with the stars. (Tip: book for 'Day Two', but have 'Day One' as the rain date just in case).


Day Three

Enjoy the view before heading home

Your SeaLink ferry back to Hamer Street, Wynyard Quarter in Auckland departs Tryphena (or Port Fitzroy every second Wednesday) mid-afternoon so we recommend to get up early and enjoy your last few hours on this island paradise. 

Pack another picnic and head out to Okupu Bay, stopping at the Blind Bay lookout (this view is stunning). The peacefulness to this side is unmissable and though the road may be a little bumpy, we've found it to be worth it. 

On your way back to the ferry, don't forget to take those final snaps of the beautiful coastlines and rolling hills. Remember to arrive at least an hour prior to your ferry departure. Have a chat to your other ferry trippers to discover maybe something more about the island that you could look forward to for next time on Great Barrier Island!


Find these locations on our interactive Google Map:

interactive map button

Share your road trip with us as well - tag #sealinknzroadtrip with your amazing photos and any tips you've found useful on your journey.

Okupu Bay on Great Barrier Island

Unfortunately, we can’t guarantee our suggested businesses, particularly restaurants and other eateries, will be open every day. Please remember to ring and check or book prior to your arrival.