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Great Barrier Island Escape

http://walkinglegends.com/new-zealand-guided-walks-snapshot/great-barrier-island-escape/     ( 24 August, 2017 )

4 Days
30-40km
(18-24 miles)
NZD$1850
NZD$1000 per child
(15 years and under)
Easy-Moderate

Great Barrier Island Escape Summary

Great Barrier Island (Aotea) is a place of remote beauty and rugged wilderness, with a distinctive Kiwi flavour. With just 900 residents, it is one of the most tranquil and laid-back places you’ll find in the South Pacific. The warm salty breeze mingled with the rich forest air makes every breath a pleasure, while it’s winding trails through volcanic peaks, native forests, golden beaches and crystal-clear waters ensure your daily quota of exercise and adventure. On Great Barrier Island, Nature is King.

  • 4 days / 3 nights all-inclusive New Zealand walking holiday
  • 4-7 hours hiking each day over varied terrain
  • Carry a day pack only
  • Includes: meals, snacks and wine; 3.5 star boutique lodge accommodation; all transport on the island; raincoats & day packs; experienced guides
  • Join a small group, or have an exclusive trip for your own group
  • 30 minute scenic flight from Auckland – we can book flights for you

Great Barrier Island Escape Full Itinerary

Day One: Southern Shores

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3-4 hours walking (Lunch, Dinner)

The breathtaking flight over Auckland and the turquoise, island-studded waters of the Hauraki Gulf sets the scene for a remarkable trip! Your friendly Walking Legends guide greets you as you step off the plane – welcome to paradise!

That perfect crescent beach you saw flying in is a heavenly spot for a picnic lunch, and your first taste of the pristine white sand coastlines of Aotea.

After lunch we head down to explore the beautiful southern coast. Explore the ‘Whalers Lookout’ track, aptly named for its’ advantageous viewpoints – perfect for spotting Brydes whales! Then stroll the Island Bay track down to a secluded inlet where you could almost reach out and touch Motu Tohora, also known as Rabbit Island.

Settle in to our charming lodge for aperitifs on the deck overlooking the tranquil harbour.

Day Two: Heart & Soul - Mt Hobson

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6-7 hours walking (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Stride through ‘Windy Canyon’ in the central mountainous area of Great Barrier to the summit of Mt Hobson. The track is a combination of easy walking trails, steep climbs, stairways and bridges. Traverse a range of spectacular landscapes… streams lined with beautiful native bush, peaceful wetlands and forests of kauri, rimu, kahikatea and more. Discover the historical remains of the early Kauri industry.

At 621 metres and the highest point of the island, the 360 degree views from the summit of Mt Hobson are worth the climb! Walk through the preciously fragile Kaitoke Wetlands where delicate orchids and sundews sprinkle either side of the track. Listen out for the distinctive “u-tick” call of the rare fernbird or spotless crake, the presence of which indicates high wetland health and abundance of food sources.

Finish off this sensational hike with a rejuvenating soak in some clear, natural hotpools.

Day Three: Northern Shores

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4 hours walking (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

The astonishing Glenfern Sanctuary is tucked away in the northern end of the island. This predator controlled forest has become a centre of rare biodiversity and pride for the remote island community. Get up close and personal with ancient forests, savour the bird song. Glenfern is a very special place. 

After lunch we head to the largest white sand beach on the island, where a spectacular coastal walk reveals fascinating coastal bird life and shipwreck history. Take a dip in the Pacific or stretch out on the sand and soak up the island’s natural beauty.

This evening we could head to the pub to share a beer with some locals, or take a stroll along the harbour waterfront.

Day Four: Left of Centre

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3-4 hours walking (Breakfast, Lunch)

Great Barrier did not escape the mark of the industrial age. Remnants of whaling stations, gold and silver mining and timber mills abound. While extractive industries are now gone, the geographical features remain to tell the tales.

We head west to Whangaparapara and the Te Ahumata Track. Follow an old mining road, marvel at the wind shorn bonsai-like plants at the summit and spot orchids on the way up. It’s all views, views, views from atop the white cliffs. Feel history come alive on this walk, while the scenery is a landscape photographers dream.

Your guide will drop you off at the airport in time for the 5pm flight back to reality / the mainland.

Questions & Answers

Fitness

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Moderate fitness is required for the Great Barrier Island Escape. The walking trails are of easy or moderate difficulty. The biggest day being the climb over Mt Hobson. The trails range from well formed paths to tracks broken with tree roots, rocks, mud etc. Some of the walks can be varied to provide easier options. Walking times vary between 3 to 7 hours per day. You will need to carry a daypack with your lunch, water, raincoat and jersey. We have good quality raincoats and daypacks you can borrow.

Accommodation

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The grand, colonial-style Shoal Bay Estate is located in the beautiful and tranquil setting of Shoal Bay, Tryphena with a charming, rustic interior decor and harbour views from most rooms. There are plenty of sunny, private decks to relax on, plus large pohutukawa trees for shade. Double and Twin rooms with shared bathroom facilities. Single Supplement is available. Dinner and Breakfast are served in the lodge dining room. All meals, snacks and nibbles are included. Drinks available to purchase with dinner.

Departures

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Our Great Barrier Island Escape trips depart once or twice a month, from late October to April. Most walkers fly from Auckland airport and meet us at the Great Barrier airport. Flights from Tauranga, Hamilton and Whangarei can also be arranged. We can book these flights for you, but advise you to book early so you don’t miss out on the most convenient timed flights.

Please see our Walk Calendar.

If none of these dates suit please contact us, we may be able to add more departures, and offer exclusive trips for groups. This trip is also available in winter on demand, please contact us for details.

Talk to Hilary

0800 WALK NZ
Overseas phone +64 7 308 0292
email us: hilary@walkinglegends.com