More info He pārongo atu anōVisit website
The eastern shore is a surfer’s dream, characterised by high cliffs and near-perfect swells all year round. Catch a wave at Whangapoua, Awana, or Medlands. The western side’s tranquil swimming spots include Mulberry Grove, Harataonga, and Gooseberry Flat. Take a trip out on the water to discover sandy coves where dolphins frolic and the only footprints are your own. Coastal cruises, fishing and diving charters, kayaking, and snorkelling opportunities are plentiful.
Aotea Island is a utopia for hikers, notable for the only multi-day wilderness walk in the Auckland region: the Aotea track. Explore 25 kilometres of the central mountainous area over three days, traversing ancient forest, tranquil wetlands, and historic sites. Book a night’s rest at a DOC campsite or hut along the way. For a shorter walk, the Kaitoka Hot Springs track is a 45-minute stroll to natural hot pools buried deep in the forest.
The 1000-strong off-grid population are fuelled by solar power, freshwater sources, and art. Meet this creative community along the Arts and Heritage trail or take a trip to the Community Art Gallery in Claris to admire the work of 100 of the island’s residents and close affiliates. Finish up at Island Gin Distillery to taste the spirit of the Aotea, or hop to Aotea Brewery for a cold craft beer.
As dusk falls, look up for a spectacular celestial show. Marvel at the Milky Way stretching above you, orbited by two galaxies only visible to the unaided eye in the Southern hemisphere. These constellations once guided Aotea’s earliest Polynesian settlers, whose settlements you can visit today, as well as European homesteads at Puriri Bay, Tryphena and Port Fitzroy.
Location Te wāhi
Aotea Great Barrier IslandPlan your route
Getting there Te huarahi ki reira
Fly or sail! Barrier Air offers flights from Auckland airport or a quick 30-minute ride on a small plane from the North Shore. For a scenic voyage, hop on the 4.5-hour Sealink ferry or take a private water taxi to paradise.
Local tip He tīwhiri mō te rohe
Hiring a car in advance is strongly recommended as there is no public transport on the island.