No, cash is not essential on Great Barrier Island, but you’re welcome to bring a small amount, if you wish, in case we make a spontaneous coffee or icecream pitstop!
There is a small museum, art gallery and a cafe on the island where you might find something nice to take home. These places have EFTPOS and credit card facilities, but cash is a good idea in case these systems aren’t working on the day we visit. There are currently no ATMs or banks on Aotea/Great Barrier Island and no currency exchanges. The local currency on Great Barrier Island is the New Zealand Dollar.