10 Things You Should Know About Great Barrier Island

Useful information for the 1st time visitor to Great Barrier Island.

10 Things You Should Know About Great Barrier Island

There is no reticulated electricity supply on the island; therefore there are no streetlights and as the locals harness energy from the sun and wind, sometimes there is limited power. Be sure to bring a torch.

There are no banks or ATM s on the island. Most outlets and service providers accept credit and/or eftpos cards and depending on the time of the year, you can usually access some cash with your eftpos card.

The roads on Great Barrier are all winding, narrow are often unsealed and have no centre line. The most important road rule for all drivers to remember is to stay left at all times.

Visitors to Great Barrier Island are often surprised to realize there is no public transport service. There are shuttle and transfer companies that operate throughout the island. It is advisable to pre-arrange your airport or wharf transfers before your arrival.

There is also a wide range of rental cars and vans available for daily hire. During the busy summer months the demand for rental vehicles can be greater than the capacity to supply, so be sure to book your car nice and early.

The biggest risk to Great Barrier Island is fire. Please take care when using matches, cigarettes and lighters etc. A restricted fire season is in place all year round and permits are required for all open-air fires. For permit information contact the Great Barrier Island Service Centre on 09 429 0258.

Great Barrier Island is free of possums, stoats, weasels and Norway rats. Utmost care must be taken when packing for your visit, particularly if you are arriving by private boat.

There are no supermarkets on the island but general stores sell a good variety of supplies including fresh fruit, veges, milk and bread etc. Tryphena has two small shopping complexes, one at Mulberry Grove and another the Stonewall Store at Pah Beach. Claris, Whagaparapara and Port Fitzroy also have similar outlets.

Fuel outlets are situated at Mulberry Grove Store, Claris, Whagaparapara Wharf and Port Fitzroy Wharf.

Important Phone Numbers:

Police and Fire Emergencies 111 or 429 0343

Claris Medical Centre 429 0356

Great Barrier Island Tourism Information 0800 997 222

Taxi and Sober Driver Service 429 0222

Auckland City Service Centre 429 0258

Department of Conservation 429 0044

There is a strange phenomenon on Great Barrier Island. Although not everybody is affected, visitors should be aware that they are at risk of catching the 'Barrier Bug'

Symptoms include: A subtle but incessant sense of peacefulness and wellbeing, a loss of memory concerning responsibilities back on the mainland, a gradual loss of memory of ‘the mainland’, an uncontrollable urge to wave at oncoming traffic & to stop and chat with everyone you meet, a heightened awareness and appreciation of the beauty surrounding you and an inability to stop looking at Real Estate pamphlets and flyers. 

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