Three times the size of New Zealand’s far more famous Waiheke Island, Great Barrier Island is one of the last great wilderness areas of the country’s upper North Island. At 285-square kilometres (compared to Waiheke’s 92-square kilometres) and with a population of just 1000, Great Barrier is widely thought of as New Zealand as New Zealand used to be. Like a step back in time, this is sparsely populated, non-commercial, mountainous, rocky outcropped, beach-blessed, mostly forested slice of Kiwiana is – despite its off the beaten track reputation – rightfully growing in tourist popularity with each passing year.
In September 2018 I explored Great Barrier Island with thanks to New Zealand’s number one travel magazine, Let’s Travel, as well as ATEED and the island’s lovely Trillium Lodge. Click here for subscription and digital download details for my full article in the magazine’s current issue, but in the meantime, see my top 30 photos below for why you should put the Barrier near the top of your must-visit list. The images include several from the stunning 30-minute flight to the island from Auckland Airport. Links are at the conclusion of the photos.