This Great Barrier Island guided day trip begins with a 30-minute flight after hotel pickup from Auckland. Board your light plane and soar over the Hauraki Gulf to New Zealand’s sixth-largest island, located 62 miles (100 km) from the central city.
On arrival, enjoy breakfast at a local cafe, followed by an easy 1-hour walk through the Kaitoke swamp to the Kaitoke Hot Springs. Follow your guide on boardwalks under the cover of giant nikau palms, and learn about the unique native flora and fauna along the way. When you reach the natural thermal springs, feel free to soak in the stream.
After your stroll, you’re taken to a private homestead for a picnic lunch and a dose of Kiwi hospitality.
Another short drive brings you to a deserted stretch of white sand where you can meander the shoreline or have time for a swim. Perhaps visit the gravesite of shipwreck victims drowned on the New Zealand coast, before calling in at the island’s only working cattle and sheep farm. Get a glimpse of the brown teal duck population that makes its home here, and feed monster eels that inhabit a nearby stream.
Top off your day with a climb to the summit of Windy Canyon. The short path winds around rocky outcrops past sheer cliffs coated with rata vines. Soak up the magnificent vista of Great Barrier Island and the Hauraki Gulf before re-boarding your plane for the return flight to Auckland, and end your full-day tour with convenient drop-off at your hotel.