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Great Barrier Island Escape     ( (j F, Y) )

"This is the second walk I
"This is the second walk I've done with Walking Legends, and all was perfect again!"
"Great Barrier Island was an amazing place to go to."
"Great Barrier Island was an amazing place to go to."
"Brilliant, fantastic place, good walking and lots of variety in the walks!"
"Brilliant, fantastic place, good walking and lots of variety in the walks!"
"Well balanced and flexible - worked for everyone."
"Well balanced and flexible - worked for everyone."
"The trip itself was a treasure."
"The trip itself was a treasure."
"Everything exceeded expectations."
"Everything exceeded expectations."
"This was our first trip to the Barrier and it whetted our appetite for more!"
"This was our first trip to the Barrier and it whetted our appetite for more!"
"Great team and wonderful weather did help"
"Great team and wonderful weather did help"
"I loved every minute of my time on Barrier with your team and support team"
"I loved every minute of my time on Barrier with your team and support team"
"The lunches were excellent in both quality and quantity."
"The lunches were excellent in both quality and quantity."
"We had a wonderful time from start to finish."
"We had a wonderful time from start to finish."
"Exceeded my expectations. Very well planned."
"Exceeded my expectations. Very well planned."
4 Days
(18-24 miles)
NZD$1000 per child
(15 years and under)

Great Barrier Island Escape Summary

Great Barrier Island (Aotea) is a place of remote beauty and rugged wilderness, with a distinctive Kiwi flavour. With just 900 residents, it is one of the most tranquil and laid-back places you’ll find in the South Pacific. The warm salty breeze mingled with the rich forest air makes every breath a pleasure, while it’s winding trails through volcanic peaks, native forests, golden beaches and crystal-clear waters ensure your daily quota of exercise and adventure. On Great Barrier Island, Nature is King.

  • 4 days / 3 nights all-inclusive* New Zealand walking holiday
  • 4-7 hours hiking each day over varied terrain
  • Carry a day pack only
  • Includes: meals, snacks and wine; 3.5 star boutique lodge accommodation; all transport on the island; raincoats & day packs; experienced guides
  • Join a small group, or have an exclusive trip for your own group
  • 30 minute scenic flight from Auckland; *return flights are additional and are not included in the walk price. (We can book flights for you, this is part of our reservation service at no extra cost to you)

Great Barrier Island Escape Full Itinerary

Day One: Southern Shores

Day Two: Heart & Soul - Mt Hobson

Day Three: Northern Shores

Day Four: Left of Centre

Questions & Answers


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Moderate fitness is required for the Great Barrier Island Escape. The walking trails are of easy or moderate difficulty. The biggest day being the climb over Mt Hobson. The trails range from well formed paths to tracks broken with tree roots, rocks, mud etc. Some of the walks can be varied to provide easier options. Walking times vary between 3 to 7 hours per day. You will need to carry a daypack with your lunch, water, raincoat and jersey. We have good quality raincoats and daypacks you can borrow.


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The colonial-style Shoal Bay Estate is located in the beautiful and tranquil setting of Shoal Bay, Tryphena with a charming, rustic interior decor and harbour views. There are plenty of sunny, private decks to relax on, plus large pohutukawa trees for shade. Double and Twin rooms with shared bathroom facilities. Single Supplement is available. Dinner and Breakfast are served in the lodge dining room. All meals, snacks and nibbles are included. Complimentary drinks with dinner, additional drinks available for purchase.


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Our Great Barrier Island Escape trips depart several times a month, from late October to April. Most walkers fly from Auckland airport and meet us at the Great Barrier airport. We can book these flights for you, but advise you to book early so you don’t miss out on the most convenient timed flights.

For trip dates please see our Walk Calendar.

If none of these dates suit please contact us, we may be able to add more departures, and offer exclusive trips for groups. This trip is also available in winter on demand, please contact us for details.

Do I need to pay a deposit?

Yes! We ask a $300 NZD deposit, per person, per walk at the time of booking. The remaining balance is due around 1 month before departure and this will include your return flight tickets. We'll send you a friendly reminder in advance! 

Credit cards and I do not get along. Can I pay by other means?

Absolutely, we also accept payment via online banking. When you book you will receive a booking confirmation email that contains our direct debit information.

Life has other plans for me, can I get my deposit back?

We completely understand that sometimes the best laid plans go to waste. All is not lost! We can simply transfer you to another date of your choosing. There is no expiry date on transferring your deposit - you can use it anytime in the future! 

If transferring just isn't going to work for you we'll refund your money. The amount we can refund is determined by when you cancel your booking. Click here for our full terms and conditions, or email

Will I need to bring cash?

It's a matter of personal preference, if you feel better carrying a small amount, then that's totally okay. It's not essential, but it's a good alternative for when the electronic payment (EFTPOS) system we use in New Zealand is not working.

Our tours are all-inclusive and we'll take really good care of you but you may wish to treat yourself to an extra coffee or a real fruit ice cream when the opportunity arises! It's good to have a small amount of cash in your pocket to take care of this. 

We offer a glass of wine or beer with dinner. Additional drinks can be purchased on all our tours, with the exception of the Lake Waikaremoana Guided Walk. 


Can I bring a suitcase?

Yes, we are suitcase-friendly! On our lodge-based tours (Coromandel Explorer, Great Barrier Island Escape, Tongariro Hiking Tour, Waikaremoana Discovery Tour) we stay in the same lodge each night so there’s no stressful re-packing each morning. All you need is a small backpack while you’re on the trail, so pop one of those in your suitcase and you’ll be all set! 

Will I need to hire a car on the island?

No, you won’t need to hire a car. Our tours are fully guided and transport is included. Your guide will collect you from Claris Airport on Great Barrier Island in a comfortable, air-conditioned passenger vehicle and transport everyone to our lodge accommodation. You’ll travel with the group to the start of every trail and be transported back to the lodge at the end of the day. On the final day you will be safely delivered back to the airport for your return journey home. 

If you want to stay extra nights either before or after the tour, we can easily arrange a rental car for you at a cost of $65.00 per day, subject to availability. Please let us know in your booking form or send an email to The rental cars are kept at our lodge, so you can start exploring straight after breakfast and they can be deposited back to Claris Airport on your way home.


Can I take the ferry from Auckland to Great Barrier Island?

There is a passenger ferry service that leaves from downtown Auckland and arrives at Tryphena. The journey takes 4 hours and in times of inclement weather the sailing may be cancelled. We recommend that you travel by air instead. If you would like to go by ferry, please ensure your travel insurance provider covers cancelled ferry sailings.

I suffer from terrible car sickness, what are the roads like?

Good question! In general, the roads we travel are well-maintained, bitumen-surfaced single carriageways. Short sections of road on Great Barrier Island can be curvy, but the road surface is smooth and well-maintained. 

If you suffer from car sickness, please equip yourself with whatever remedies you prefer to use to alleviate the discomfort. The best time to purchase medicinal supplies is before you arrive at Auckland Airport.

If you prefer to sit in the front seat to help your car sickness, please do tell your guide! We will do whatever we can to make you more comfortable.


I am travelling alone, who will I be sharing a room with?

The accommodation on our tours is based on twin share. If you'd prefer to have your own room, please select the single supplement option in the online booking form. This will ensure you have a room to yourself. If you're happy to share, you will be placed in a twin room with another adventure-buddy of the same gender in separate beds.

Will I need something nice to wear in the evenings?

You’re on holiday after all, so why not!? Our lodge-based tours visit a local restaurant for an evening meal on one of the three nights, so it’s a good idea to have something nice to wear out to dinner. They’re not super formal occasions, so you could say the dress code is smart casual. Gents – no ties or dinner jackets required, but covered shoes are a good idea. Ladies – comfortable footwear and covered shoulders are advisable, but not enforced.

I have a specialty diet - can you cater for me?

Absolutely. We are happy to accommodate guests with specialty diets, we appreciate as much advance notice as possible. If we don't receive adequate advanced notice, we may not be able to fully cater for dietary needs as we sometimes operate in an extremely isolated environment and it is not always possible to access specialty foods. Please ensure you advise us as early as possible if you have dietary requirements.

Can non-walkers join this trip?

If someone in your group is not a keen walker they can still join us! During the day non-walkers can spend time relaxing at the Lodge, maybe take a fishing trip, or relax on a beach and meet up with the rest of your group in the evenings. Please contact us for more details about this option.

Does the lodge have wi-fi?

Yes, the lodge has wi-fi and solar powered electricity. You'll be able to check email and charge your phone. 

Talk to Cathy

0800 WALK NZ
Overseas phone +64 7 533 3157
email us: