GREAT BARRIER ISLAND BUBBLE BUSTER GROUP TOURS.
Group departures February 20, March 12. - other dates for minimum of 6 at same price and inclusions subject to accommodation and flight availability.
(Independent departures daily from Auckland; Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and sundays from North Shore; and Friday, Saturday, Sunday from Tauranga for minimum of 2. See details at bottom of group itinerary. Check schedule on barrierair.kiwi)
Day 1. AUCKLAND - GREAT BARRIER (D)
Home pickup from anywhere between Albany and Papakura and meet your tour host at Auckland airport. Alternatively if you wish to drive to and from Auckland airport or are coming from Waikato or Bay of Plenty we will pay 4 days parking fees up to a maximum of $50 per vehicle.
Depart Auckland for the scenic 30 minute flight with panoramic views of Auckland City and Hauraki Gulf Islands including Rangitoto, Kawau, and Little Barrier en route to Claris airfield on Great Barrier - weather permitting and subject to air traffic control routing. You will be met by your friendly host and introduced to the Island. Depending on time of flights we will visit charming Okupu en route to your accommodation at Sunset Waterfront Lodge at Mulberry Grove in Tryphena Harbour. Dinner included tonight.
PLEASE NOTE: Order of sightseeing may be changed to suit the weather and opening of galleries - which can be very erratic.
Day 2. GREAT BARRIER (BD)
Today we explore the northern area of Great Barrier including Whangaparapara Harbour. See the photo display of early mining, whaling, and timber extraction and the remains of the whaling station and timber mill locations. Continue by road to beautiful Port Fitzroy Harbour. We visit Glenfern Sanctuary in Fitzroy Harbour and learn of the conservation work here and visit the spectacular lookout and one of the few remaining kauri trees. On the way home we will visit Kiwi Passion* and Jacques Haven* to find the uniqueness of life off the grid on Great Barrier. Also visit Windy Canyon for a 15-20 minute walk each way (with a lot of steps!) to the lookout and get some great photos of the beautiful beaches.
Day 3. GREAT BARRIER (BD)
You will be picked up from your accommodation for around 6 hours exploring the island with your guide. Enjoy a 45 minute relatively easy walk through the forest and wetlands to the natural hot pools in a small stream with the opportunity for a soak if you wish. Medlands Beach is one of the most beautiful on the island and you will have the opportunity to photograph and walk part of it and climb Memory Rock. Continue to Claris and visits can include Milk and Honey Museum, Patina Gallery and the Heritage Art Gallery and Museum. Return to your accommodation about 4pm.
Day 4. GREAT BARRIER - AUCKLAND (B)
Visit Shoal Bay Pottery and spectacular views of the southern end of the island, Colville Channel, and Coromandel peninsula in fine weather.Tryphena area including Puriri Bay and the Elephant and Black Cow galleries. Transfer to Claris Airfield for your scenic flight across the Hauraki Gulf and Auckland City at Auckland International Airport.
We will normally use a flight departing Great Barrier eary afternoon. You are welcome to stayover on the Barrier and explore or relax as you wish.
Tour cost includes:
** Free pick up and return from home anywhere between Albany and Papakura. (or airport parking to a maximum of $50)
** Return flights from Auckland airport to Claris with Barrier Air
** Three nights accommodation and continental breakfast
** Three dinners at your accommodation or alternative venues. We will usually have one dinner at an alternative venue.
** Comprehensive sightseeing by mini bus with your local guide including admissions where necessary.
Please note: order of sightseeing may be changed to suit weather and other reasons. Opening hours of some galleries and attractions can be erratic! "Sorry, we are closed as we are 'off island' for a week is too common!
Rooms are not serviced daily at our accommodation. Extra towels or bedding are available on request
Mosquitoes can be a problem if out in the evenings. We suggest taking some insect repellant. Also a small torch for an evening stroll to the beach! Great Barrier is "off the grid" - all electricity is locally generated and water is collected from rain and bores.
Free wi-fi is provided at Sunset Lodge. Vodafone reception is virtually non existent in Mulberry Grove although OK at Claris. Spark reception is OK at the Lodge.
INDEPENDENT DEPARTURES - depart daily from Auckland and some days from North Shore or Tauranga airports for minimum of 2 passengers. 1, 2, 3 nights
Barrier Air operate 5-8 flights daily between Auckland airport and Claris, 4 days a week from North Shore airport and Claris and 3 days a week from Tauranga - schedules subject to change.. If our group departure dates do not suit we can package independent arrangements for you subject to flight and accommodation availability. Accommodation will still be at Sunset Lodge. Each villa is fully self contained with gas cooker, fridge, and all the crockery and cutlery you need. We make special arrangements for breakfast and lunch for our groups but cannot do this for independent travellers. There is a convenience store and takeaway bar next to Sunset Lodge for ingredients. Please note freight costs are expensive and food is more expensive than on the 'mainland'. Fish and chips, hamburgers, etc are usually available until 7pm. The Irish Pub is 5 minutes drive up the road and the Social Club in Tryphena welcomes tourists on wednesday and saturday nights. The Lodge Manager will take you there and back. For 1 and 2 night packages we will normally be able to arrange early/morning flights up and afternoon flights back to maximise your time on the island.
Tour cost per person - all costs include return air fares from Auckland or North Shore airport, transfers between airport and accommodation which usually includes sightseeing, accommodation (no meals), and sightseeing mentioned.
2 days/1 night - includes 2 x three hour tours. Cost per person: 2 per studio unit $1,130 Single unit $1,270
3 days/2 nights - includes 1 full day touring (7 hours) plus 2 half day tours (3 hours). Cost per person 2 per studio unit $1,690. Single room $1,990. 3 - 4 sharing 2 bedroom villa $1,590
Please understand Great Barrier is a unique community of 7-800, many of whom are 'escapees' from civilisation, Everyone lives 'off the grid' collecting their own water and generating their own electricity. Tap water must be boiled before drinking. Sunset Lodge has its own generators and batteries and electricity is available 24/7. Many creative artistic people reside on Great Barrier and have great galleries however opening hours are erratic. Our resident local guide will know what is open.