This is a real escape to a stunning part of our country many Kiwis haven’t been and somewhere everyone who goes falls in love with. A five day adventure from Auckland to stunning Aotea Great Barrier Island, one of the Hauraki Gulf’s real gems. The tour includes the wonderful return scenic flight to Aotea Great Barrier Island. Enjoy a leisurely holiday exploring the bush lined roads, coastline and harbours. You’ll love the opportunity to meet local artisans, guides and island personalities.
$2,990 per person, share twin
$500 single supplement
11 – 15 Dec, 2021
3 – 7 Jan, 2022
8 – 12 Jan, 2022
13 – 17 Jan, 2022
• All meals
• Entrance fees
• All transport by comfortable, air conditioned coach (maximum of 18 travellers).
• Services of your knowledgeable guide
• Quality accommodation chosen for a “sense of place”
• Return airfares from Auckland Airport to Aotea Great Barrier Island.
• Domestic Airfares
• Travel Insurance
We start our tour on a real high with a scenic flight from Auckland airport over the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park to Claris on Great Barrier Island. Your Kiwi Guide is there to meet you at the airfield.
We head over to Puriri Bay, Tryphena to meet Marion for lunch at her Elephant Craft Gallery and call into Peter and Fenella’s Black Cow Gallery nearby. We stay in relaxed, island style accommodation at Sunset Waterfront Lodge and Shoal Bay Estate for four nights and dine with Val and Francis at Shoal Bay Estate this evening.
With guide, Russell Scott we hear the island’s story from a local’s perspective as we explore in our coach. First we visit Okupu, Blind Bay, a large, open sandy bay and a favourite with dolphins. At Whangaparapara the tiny museum records how this peaceful harbour was once home to gold and silver mining, timber milling and the last whaling station.
On the way back to Tryphena we meet Nikki at Great Barrier Active Honey to sample their Manuka and Bush honey. We return to Shoal Bay in the late afternoon and dine at Shoal Bay this evening.
Today we head over the ranges from Tryphena to Claris and on to Port FitzRoy to meet local skipper and personality Chris. Firstly we call into Glenfern Sanctuary’s jetty to meet Brad and Bridget and hear the story of this 83 hectare Regional Park and how it became the main gateway to the predator fenced 240ha Kotuku Peninsula. Then we cruise out to discover the inlets of this favourite sheltering place and lunch on board at Kaikoura Island.
Returning to Port FitzRoy we head over to Okiwi to meet Gerald and Caity at Okiwi Passion who show us around their organic gardens. We return to Tryphena in the late afternoon and dine at Shoal Bay this evening.
A day to relax and enjoy Island time. We explore around Tryphena with our local guide – sit back in a deck chair and fish off Tryphena wharf and wander the local beaches. Enjoy a leisurely BBQ lunch at Shoal Bay Estate and some free time this afternoon.
Later in the day call into the local Irish Pub on the way to dinner hosted by Val and Francis at Shoal Bay Estate.
We start our last day on the island with breakfast with Val at Shoal Bay Estate before heading off to stroll along Medlands Beach, a favourite spot for surfers. In Claris we catch up with Dave Watson at the Milk, Honey and Grain museum, a treasure trove of memorabilia of the early settlers.
Call into the sculpture gallery in Claris and visit the Community Heritage and Art Village and museum. In the mid afternoon we catch our flight back to Auckland.
Some great news… while we wait for international borders to re-open, there is no better time to see a bit of our own backyard and help our local communities get back to business.
We’re excited to let you know that we have partnered with MoaTours, one of New Zealand’s leading and most trusted local tour operators since 1971. MoaTours offers a range of small group tours all over New Zealand that we think you’ll love — from Cape Reinga to Stewart Island.
A a family run business just like Tours Direct, MoaTours has great connections and unbeatable local knowledge of New Zealand’s best kept secrets. They also share common values so we know you will be well looked after and have a great experience.
Aotea / Great Barrier Island has it all – a stunning coastline and rugged ranges and, best of all, friendly, welcoming locals. It’s so close, just a 30 minute flight from Auckland, yet another world away. The bush, the birds and the beaches – it’s paradise and somewhere you want to return to again and again.