With a population of less than 1000, Great Barrier Island is an amazing destination. It sits on the outer Eastern side of the Hauraki Gulf, New Zealand, 100 kilometres north-east of central Auckland. It’s big too, New Zealand’s sixth-largest off island with an area of 285 square kilometres.Its highest point, Mount Hobson, is 627 metres above sea level and there is lots to do here, not just fishing.
There are a number of charter operators operating from the island on small day boats and plenty of bigger vessels that can take you there from Auckland. Fishing is mostly for snapper and Kingfish, but in season its east coast has some great game fishing too. Further out there’s Hapuku, Bass and Bluenose if you don’t mind hauling fish from the reefs 200 to 400m below.
There is great diving and snorkeling all around the island and dive operators out of Auckland take trips out there regularly. Scallops on the west coast, harbours and great reefs and blue water diving and spectacular pinnacles on the east coast at places like Arid Island and Cuvier to the south.
Where to Stay
Great Barrier is a great place to take a camping holiday. There is a limited amount of accommodation available but there are spectacular campgrounds that are almost empty for most of the year. You can fly there from Auckland or take a ferry.
Take a walk up to Mount Hobson, visit the east coast’s many white sand beaches, surf or venture into the bush to find old Kauri dams and hot water springs.
Ask the locals to show you where you can find the elusive delicious wild mulberry trees that are laden with fruit over summer.