September 17, 2004
Some basic facts:
Situated 90km from Auckland, Great Barrier Island is the largest of the 50 islands in the Haurauki Gulf. It is NZ’s fourth largest landmass and has a fixed population of about 1000.
60% of the island is managed by the Department of Conservation (DOC).
Regular ferries only run in the summer (December to March) so we had to come over in the Eco Islander, one of the local ferries – which runs at odd times (We took the 7am Tuesday ferry). You can fly over – 30 minutes in a toy plane with a 12 year old pilot (maximum 10 seats – including the pilot) = 3 times the cost – but we decided against it.
Actually the pilots aren’t 12, but they come from the flight training university and have to get in 1000 hrs flight experience before they are allowed on the big planes so they practice by doing the inter island runs. So we had 4½ hrs of deep blue sea which allowed us to see many of the surrounding islands. It’s quite comfortable; they had 2 screening rooms showing Shrek and Starsky & Hutch – which passed some of the time, and there is a bar on board.
Continue reading Great Barrier Island