About Great Barrier

  • 19 kms north off Coromandel Peninsula
  • Approximately 90kms north-east of Auckland
  • 40km long, 16kms wide, 258 square kms in area
  • known as the 'Guardian of the Hauraki Gulf' or 'Aotea'
  • 4th largest island (after Stewart Island)
  • Population currently just below 900 residents
  • Average temperature 3 degrees warmer than Auckland
  • Largely frost-free
  • 60% of property owned by off-shore owners
  • 70% of island owned or controlled by DOC
  • Only some 1430 private properties
  • Two airlines each fly several air taxi flights per day - 1/2 hour duration
  • Ferry services regulary from Auckland - 4 1/2 hour trip with car/freight/passenger service
  • Home to 75 rare and endangered indigenous species
  • 1/4 of all native plants of NZ grow on the island including 48 species of native orchids
  • No possums, stoats, weasels, Norwegian rats or hedgehogs
  • Has no reticulated mains power, each household generates its own power by a combination of wind/solar/generator/inverter/batteries
  • First commercial bee-keeping operation in NZ in early 1900's
  • Scene of gold, silver and copper mining
  • Extensive kauri forests logged from early 1800's
  • Once was home to Al Capone's gangster car - used as a taxi for years
  • Hideaway haven for the well-heeled and famous
  • Primary schooling available for island children, then officially part of the Grammar Zone with subsidised boarding provisions for secondary school children
  • Famed for fishing and diving with extremely clear water
  • Internationally known surf beaches - Medlands, Kaitoke, Awana and Whangapoua
  • More then 100kms of DoC walking tracks for visitors to explore
  • Boating and yachting mecca
  • Some areas now broadband enabled


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