Great Barrier Island Travel Tips

Looking to travel to Great Barrier Island? Great Barrier Island is a pristine experience of native New Zealand, as it was around the 1950’s. Whether you’re looking to relax and unwind, or hit the beach and make the most of the great surfing on offer, we’ve put together a list of travel tips to make your stay that much more enjoyable.

  • Electricity

    Bring a torch! Electricity is generally provided during breakfast and dinner time – recharge your phone and use your hairdryer (bring your own) during these times. Each property runs a generator to produce power. Fuel to run the generator is expensive to transport to the Island. Solar power source is common to run the lights and TV.

  • Money

    Money – bring cash & Eftpos. There are no banks or ATM cash machines on the island. You can use EFTPOS at most eateries and accommodation. Credit card might not work and fees apply.

  • Transport

    Book transport from the airport before arrival. Don’t get stranded. Island Transport: Check the cost of shuttles versus car hire here and and . There is no public transport on the Island. If you choose to drive yourself you will need to hold a NZ driver licence.

  • Road Map

    Check the Great Barrier Island road map here to learn where you arrive, where you want to go and your accommodation address.

  • Water

    Water is used from streams and rain, do not drink or fill water bottles from any source, unless you can boil the water for at least 3 minutes. Purchase bottled water at the local store.

  • Postal Services

    Pigeon Post in Claris; The Out Post Tryphena; Port Fitzroy Store.

  • Native Species

    Native species of birds are strongly protected, on the beaches and other areas. Don’t bring dogs. The Island has a few dog exercise areas. No dogs are allowed on DOC land which is 65% of the Island. If you are transporting a dog contact us by phone or email, 09 256 7025 or quote your ticket number.

  • Roads

    The Island roads are narrow and winding, now mostly tarmac, there are still a few gravel roads. NZ Road rules apply, remember to keep well left and drive slowly as big road works trucks lurk around each corner.

  • WiFi

    Free Wi-Fi is available on landing at Claris Airport. Auckland Council Library (opposite Claris Airport) offers computers and printers. If you wish to print and scan items visit MRCIT, also near Claris Airport – ask for directions.

  • Mobile Phone Coverage

    Mobile phone coverage is patchy over the Island. Spark is best at Tryphena and Vodafone best at Port FitzRoy, Okiwi, Medlands and around Claris Airport.

  • Weather

    The weather is typical northern NZ sub-tropical weather, which means changeable. One day fine and warm, the next cloudy or rain with wind. Be prepared.

  • Swimming & Surfing

    Ask the locals about the safe beaches. Swim and surf where others are in the water as there are no life guards on Great Barrier Island. Observe and take note of the ocean prior to entering the water. Areas where waves are not rough and not breaking (calm looking water) often has the strongest current. Test the current standing in the shallows before going deeper.

  • Food

    Eat between 6 and 8:30 pm, there is no late night food available. Most bars will stay open late, when there is a demand.

  • Fire

    Due to the high risk of fire the summer season has a fire ban, this includes fireworks. Check when using approved BBQ appliances.

  • Cooking Mussels

    Collecting mussels off the rocks? How to cook mussels go to Mussel or fishing questions contact 09 4290 861 or