Great Barrier Island - Essential Info

We encourage you to expect the unexpected and use your trip as a chance to leave behind the hustle and bustle of normal life.

To make it easier for you to cut off from the mainland, we have limited mobile phone reception and internet coverage in most parts. There is no publicly funded transport (although we can offer you vehicle and bicycle hire or taxi/shuttle services) and opening hours are negotiable. Needless to say, planning for your trip to the Barrier is essential.

Booking Ahead – Transport and Accommodation

There are plenty of options for transport and accommodation on the island, but it is much easier to organise this before you arrive. We’ve compiled plenty of great options to help you find the ideal place to stay and the best options for getting around the island.

for more information or to make bookings contact the official Great Barrier i-SITE

Travel Around the Island

Because the island’s highlights are spread far and wide, it pays to have pre-arranged your island transport. Pre-booked transfer shuttles operate to & from Claris Airport, Tryphena & Port FitzRoy Wharves. Car hire is available also from these points of entry but, again it pays to book in advance to arrange a rental car to be delivered ready for your arrival. Other transport options include shuttle buses that will deliver you to your accommodation or local attractions, and personal guided tours of the island. Most main roads are now sealed, but expect to come across a few unsealed roads in your travels also.

Off the Grid – “What, no mobile reception?”

The Barrier has limited mobile phone and internet reception, so feel free to leave your technology behind and instead pack your walking shoes, fishing rod and a few good books.

 Food and Drink

There are some great spots to sample local cuisine on the island that we thoroughly recommend plus general stores located at Tryphena, Claris and Port FitzRoy (which sometimes run shorter hours in the off season) but it is a good idea, if you have specific dietary requirements, to bring some supplies with you, as the island’s grocery outlets cover the basic necessities  but not all brands & varieities.

Money – Yes, you will need it!

There are no banks or ATM machines on the island, so it pays to come with a bit of cash in your back pocket, just in case. Most food and accommodation outlets have Eftpos and they often will allow you to take “cash out” if they have surplus cash . But we suggest you bring extra cash as you may need some to buy a big pot of Great Barrier manuka honey, or some beautiful artwork from a local gallery or the Stonewall Markets. Cash also comes in handy for the many honesty boxes around the island. Rule of Thumb: Bring your cards and some cash. Use the cards where you can and save your cash for where you cannot use your cards!!

Weather…..Or Not

Being an island off the east coast of New Zealand, we are exposed to unique weather systems not necessarily experienced on the mainland. Extreme weather can affect sailing and flying schedules to the island, so be sure to check the forecasts around the time of your travel. It pays to bring a clothes selection for all seasons as, like the rest of NZ, weather can be unpredictable.

Waste – get it sorted the Barrier way

To help maintain the island’s uniqueness, please dispose of all waste responsibly and support the island ideal of reducing waste going to landfill on the island. Whether you are camping, renting a house, staying with friends, on a boat, or staying in commercial accommodation, you will generate waste. If you need to leave waste items on the island, please separate out recyclables from landfill rubbish. Check out the resources for land-based and boating visitors to see what your options are for getting your waste sorted the Barrier way.

Need more information or assistance contact The Great Barrier I-SITE  0800 468 622 or send an email enquiry