Weekend getaway

If you're looking to get just a taste of the Barrier in a weekend away, here's some ideas to make the most of your time.

This weekend getaway is based on a Friday departure, to allow you enough time for your travel to and from the Barrier by ferry. Alternatively, you could choose to fly.

Day 1

Check in 60 minutes prior to your departure from Wynyard Quarter, Auckland City, ready for an 8am departure. Enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of the ferry (read the paper or a book, watch a movie, have a sleep in your car!) before your arrival at Tryphena, Great Barrier Island at 12:30pm.

Once you’ve found your accommodation and checked in, use the afternoon to explore. Here’s a few ideas:

  • Visit local artists Sarah Harrison (potter) and the Black Cow where Peter Edmonds (wood carver and painter) and Fenella Christian (painter) are based
  • Sit in comfort and style while you enjoy unobstructed views and feel the ‘wind in your face’ freedom that only a ride on a Crazyhorse trike can offer
  • Enjoy a leisurely walk along Pah Beach at Tryphena
  • Walk along Medlands Beach or go for a surf (wave permitting)

Day 2

Embark on your day tour of the island. The island is steeped in history and there are many families living there today whose forbears were the first settlers. Your tour today will include little local museums, Windy Canyon for 360 degree views of this island paradise and a walk into the Kaitoke Hot Springs for a Barrier style spa in the bush. Boil the billy on the beach for a cuppa before returning to your accommodation. Dine at your accommodation or perhaps meet up with the locals down at the local sports club or nearest restaurant.

Day 3

Enjoy a leisurely day on the island or sample from one of the items below:

  • Enjoy a half-day kayak tour around the picturesque Whangaparapara Harbour
  • Take a guided walk through Glenfern Sanctuary over a swing bridge into the crown of a 600 year old kauri tree (entry time 11am – tour is approximately 1.5 hours). Bookings are essential.
  • Take a 30 minute gentle graded walk on Warrens track from Port Fitzroy through a kauri plantation to a waterfall where the stream has many deep pools that are ideal for swimming.

There are several cafes to choose from for lunch at Claris (Claris Texas Cafe), or Tryphena (Wild Rose) as you head back to Tryphena wharf for your return sailing to Auckland. Departure is at 3pm, with arrival back in Auckland City at 7.30pm.