Level: Intermediate / Advanced (intermediate is feeling comfortable in a kayak with moving sea and up to 15 knots of wind)
Group size: 6 people – 2 guides (Magnus and Ana)
Have you been on a sea kayaking trip with us in Northland and are keen to be part of a new adventure with us? Or maybe you have always dreamt of going to Great Barrier Island and this is your opportunity?
We welcome anyone with an intermediate to advanced level of sea kayaking to join us on Great Barrier Island and experience this new Kiwi expedition in a breathtaking part of New Zealand!
Please note that we now have two trips scheduled in 2020 due to the high interest you have been showing:
January 30th – February 7th 2020 : 1 SPOT AVAILABLE
February 11th-19th 2020 : AVAILABLE
Great Barrier Island is located in the Hauruki Gulf, a 4-5 hour ferry ride from Auckland. Named by James Cook during his exploration of the Southern Ocean, the island acts as a protective barrier between the Pacific Ocean on it’s eastern side and the Hauraki Gulf to the west.
Why do we love it so much that we want to share it with you? Because this is one of NZ’s unsung wilderness areas, a paradise of dense forests, convoluted coastline and craggy peaks. With wildlife that is reminiscent of NZ 100 years ago. You will get to hang out with 3/4 of the worlds population of Pateke (Brown Teal) and be as near as you will ever get to the rare Kaka (NZ parrot). At camp, a few Banded Rail are always mucking around whilst Ruru(Morepork/ Native owl) provide a gentle soundtrack at night.
Great Barrier has a wild coast and a slightly less wild coast! The Eastern side is open to the Pacific with little shelter, many surf beaches and some very committing paddle days! (It’s also stunningly beautiful!) Rakitu (Arid Island) is spectacular beyond belief and a great day paddle when the swell is down.
The Needles at the Northern End of the Island are stunning rock formations making up the North cape of the island. The pinnacle of any paddle expedition to GBI is rounding The Needles, a feat that takes a combination of hard work, good tidal planning and some luck with the weather! (Its a ‘Maybe’)
The Western coast is considerably more user friendly to a paddler with a whole series of indented bays just waiting to be explored by kayak. There are numerous stunning beaches to camp on, great cliff paddling and island groups such as the beautiful Broken Islands to explore. Shelter from the open ocean makes this side easier to plan around, but a stiff easterly wind can still kick up a good chop.
For those that like to snorkel, the water around the entire island is usually spectacularly clear and the ocean is teeming with life!
Great Barrier has fantastic hiking through its prehistoric landscape. Varying from easy walks to visit hot pools, to challenging days climbing the rocky peak of Mt Hobson, there is walking to suit everyone. The tracks make excellent fallback plans when the wind is up and paddling unattractive. Hiking here is a fantastic way to get insight into GBI’s fascinating pioneer history, with relics of both whaling and forest industry littered through the bush and bays. The mighty Kauri trees that brought the loggers can be viewed making their patient comeback in the densely forested valleys.
A good road network links the different parts of the Island and for this trip we will use vehicle support. This gives us the option to take advantage of the local conditions allowing us to take in the best bits of the island as and when the weather gives us the breaks. It also makes visiting the Kaitoke hot-pools at the end of a hard days paddle a feasible activity. Having the Van and Trailer close to hand will mean that every day can be packed and adventure filled, no need to be wind bound on one side of the island whilst the other has perfect conditions to play.
- Ferry Auckland-Great Barrier return
- Transportation on the island
- All meals
- Kayaking gear
- Last dinner at the Pub
- NOT INCLUDING: Alcoholic beverages - Camping gear