This is brand new for MoaTours in 2020, 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 and, since 2017, officially recognised as an International Dark Sky Sanctuary. The tour includes the wonderful return scenic flight to Aotea / Great Barrier Island. Enjoy a leisurely holiday exploring in our own MoaTours coach the bush lined roads, coastline and harbours. You'll love the opportunity to meet local artisans, guides and island personalities.
What Tracy loves about this tour:
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 night sky, the bush, the birds and the beaches – it’s paradise and somewhere you want to return to again and again.
5 Day / 4 Night tour departing from Auckland to explore all the best spots on Great Barrier Island
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 MoaTours Kiwi Guide isthere to meet you at the airfield with our own tour coach.
We head off to Puriri Bay to meet Marion for lunch at her Elephant Craft Gallery and continue on to meet Peter and Fenella at 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 at Shoal Bay Estate this evening.
What you'll love today
The stunning flight over the Hauraki Gulf to Aotea / Great Barrier
Meeting the locals over lunch at the Elephant Craft Gallery
Today we're exploring the Northern part of Great Barrier, starting at Okiwi Park where a flat trail meanders through mature Puriri and Totara trees.
We call into Awana Beach and visit the Milk, Honey and Grain museum, a treasure trove of stories and memorabilia of the early settlers.
We return to Shoal Bay for dinner. Then later this evening, if the sky is clear, we stargaze at Medlands Beach with local guides who will tell us about the new International Dark Sky Sanctuary status recently awarded to the island.
What you'll love today
The stunning coastline at Awana Beach
Stargazing in the International Dark Sky Sanctuary
Day 3 : Tryphena – Port FitzRoy - Broken Islands cruise
Today we head over the ranges from Tryphena to Claris and on to Port FitzRoy to meet local skipper and personality Chris. We cruise out on his launch to discover the inlets of this favourite sheltering place and head southwards down the coast through the Broken Islands.
Returning to Port FitzRoy we lunch at Glenfern Sanctuary's jetty and hear the story of this 83 hectare Regional Park and how it came to be the main gateway to the predator fenced 240ha Kotuku Peninsula. We return to Tryphena in the late afternoon and dine out this evening.
Day 4 : Okupu / Blind Bay – Whangaparapara – Tryphena
Today we'll discover Okupu / Blind Bay on the way to Whangaparapara Harbour to lunch at Great Barrier Lodge. Our hosts will share the history of this peaceful harbour which was once seething with activity - gold and silver mining, timber milling and a whaling station which shut down in 1962.
Later in the afternoon we head back to our accommodation at Tryphena and dine in at Shoal Bay Estate.