See And Do
Great Barrier Island is 90km north east of central Auckland, New Zealand, located at the edge of the Hauraki Gulf, the Barrier is one of the most unspoilt places you’ll ever find, with an area of 285 square kilometres (110 sq mi), it is the sixth-largest island in New Zealand. Great Barrier Island was named by Captain Cook for the barrier it forms between the Hauraki Gulf and the open sea. For more local information & history visit: Milk, Honey and Grain Museum | Ph: (09) 429 0773 Gray’s Museum | Ph: (09) 429 0123
Flights & Ferries
Sunair Daily flights are available to Great Barrier from Ardmore, Hamilton, Tauranga, Whangarei and Whitianga. For current flight schedule and pricing visit www.sunair.co.nz Fly My Sky Daily flights are available o Great Barrier from Auckland and Whangarei Domestic Airports. Return flights from the Barrier are available Mon – Sun. Private charter flights are also available. For a current flight schedule and pricing, visit www.flymysky.co.nz Great Barrier Airlines Daily flights are available to Great Barrier Island from Auckland. Domestic Airport as well as Northshore, Whangarei, and Coromandel Airfields. Return flights from the Barrier are available Mon – Sun. For a current flight schedule and pricing, visit www.greatbarrierairlines.co.nz Sealink Regular ferry sailings for passenger and vehicles depart daily from Wynyard Wharf, Auckland. Return sailings from the Barrier are available Mon – Sun. For a current sailing schedule and pricing, visit www.sealink.co.nz
We can organise a transfer for you from Tryphena Wharf or from Claris Airfield when you arrive or depart from Great Barrier Island. Prices are competitive and you can pay the driver directly. We can also help our guests arrange their Island transport before arrival. Just ask when you make your accommodation booking with us. There is no public transport on the Barrier, however tour operators can to take you to and from local attractions and activities such as walking tracks, beaches etc. Rental cars are readily available for you to explore the island at your own pace. 4WD is not necessary to get around the island or to get to Sunset Waterfront Lodge. Note: Other Island accommodation may require 4WD for driveway access. Useful Links:
Bush & Bike
Great Barrier Island is a popular destination for walkers, hikers and mountain bikers. There are more than 100 kilometres of well-maintained tracks and the canyons, valleys, native forest, mountains and coastline make forspectacular sigthseeing – even in the rain. A number of bush walking, island traversing and mountain biking events are held on the Barrier each year. Guided tours are available or simply explore the many walking tracks at your leisure. The Barrier walking tracks require a reasonable level of fitness and caution is required on some tracks with steep drop-offs. Mountain Biking is only permitted on public roads and on the Forestry Road from Whangaparapara to Port FitzRoy. See the Map When visiting the Barrier, Glenfern Sanctuary is a must see. It offers a rare opportunity to experience native wildlife on Great Barrier Island and is part of 230ha on Kotuku Peninsula between Port FitzRoy and Port Abercrombie. A guided walk is available. Useful Links: Paradise Cycles – Mountain Bike & Cycle Hire | Ph: (09) 429 0700
Art & Crafts
The Barrier is home to many talented artists including potters, painters and wood carvers. Some artists have their own studios while many display their work in the Galleries on the island. Those with an eye for creativity and originality will be delighted with the artistic pieces on display and available for sale. Local artists & galleries: Aotea Community Art Gallery | Ph: (09) 429 0508 Peter Edmonds Workshop & Gallery | Ph: (09) 429 0414 Sarah Harrison – Shoal Bay Pottery | Ph: (09) 429 0455
Sand & Surf
Great Barrier Island is a wonderful playground for lovers of sea, sand and surf. Swimming, surfing, sea kayaking, and body boarding are all popular activites on the Barrier and the east coast beaches are great for families or just hanging with your mates. Beach essentials including swimwear, diving gear, boards and kayaks can allbe hired on the Barrier. Medlands Beach is considered one of the best surfing beaches on the Barrier.It’s a ten minute drive from Claris airport and a 15 minute drive from the ferry terminal at Tryphena. According to the local surfers, it has good sand bar breaks along its entire length, particularly on an incoming tide. Whangapoua Beach is only a short walk from Okiwi Airfield and is straight across the island from the Port Fitzroy ferry terminal. Good surf waves break over sandbanks across the mouth of the Whangapoua Estuary producing “beaut barrels in a north-easterly swell”. Awana Beach is noted for its good all year round surfing conditions and the variety of waves resulting from rapidly shifting sandbanks. Any respectable easterly swell will push up fast-moving, heavy beach breaks on an incoming tide. Kaitoke Beach is the largest east coast beach and boasts a number […]
Food & Fun
If you’ve had your fill of native bush, biking or swimming, the Barrier has plenty of other activites to entice you. Fishing is a very popular pastime to enjoy alone, with family or with friends. There are a number of great fishing spots around the Barrier and friendly charter operators who may share them with you! Crayfish and Schnapper are amoung the bounty which is abundant in the typically clear waters of the Barrier. Snorkelling and diving are also popular around the sheltered coves and bays. There are also two shipwreck sites for those with an extra sense of adventure. Great Barrier Island Golf Course is a 9 hole course and offers specaular views and gentle exercise to golfers of all handicaps. Family groups are welcome. There are several great pubs, cafe’s and restaurants on the Barrier to choose from – so if you havent had any success with the rod and reel, there’s always a fish burger from the takeaways. Useful links: Mulberry Grove Store – Fish Bait & Ice | Ph: (09) 429 0909 Hooked on Barrier – Fishing & Diving gear hire | Ph: (09) 429 0714 Great Barrier Island Golf Course | Ph: (09) 429 0420
If you don’t feel like venturing too far around the Barrier, we have plenty for you to do right here at Sunset Waterfront Lodge. Games Galore – Enjoy volleyball, right on our own private reserve or simply head to the safe swimming beach straight over the road. Smokin’ – Once you’ve returned with your catch of the day, you’re welcome to usethe fish cleaning facilities at the Lodge. Use our fish smoker to get your fish ready for eating or simply throw it on the BBQ. Yoga anyone? – We have just the spot for focussing the body and mind while enjoying the fresh air. We call it ‘the island’ and it’s a quiet, green sanctuary right near the Beach Villas. It’s peaceful and private and a fantastic place for yoga, Tai Chi or Pilates. A yoga session can be arranged for you or your group. Relaxing Massage – What better way to unwind than a professional theraputic massage in such a glorious setting. We’d be happy to book a session for you. Feed the pet eels! – A very popular activity with our guests who are young at heart. The Lodge has a gentle stream running through the property […]
Dark Sky Sanctuary
Our skies are spectacular. Aotea/Great Barrier Island is the first island in the world to receive International Dark Sky Sanctuary status. We are committed to protecting our outstanding night sky. Sanctuaries are in remote areas with few threats to the exceptional quality of their starry nights . Aotea/Great Barrier Island is a unique place where our isolation, our small resident population and our being off-the-grid means we can preserve and protect our night sky for future generations to enjoy. We are committed to the International Dark Sky Association (IDA) principles and requirements for maintaining our island as a Dark Sky Sanctuary. We live with an exceptional night sky. The Milky Way spans our Southern Hemisphere sky and the Magellanic Clouds, not visible in the Northern Hemisphere, are easily seen. The night sky is woven into Maori culture with Matariki, the rise of the Pleiades constellation, signalling the Maori New Year. The night sky is a sight residents already share with visitors but the spectacular nature of the Island sky deserves to be shared with the world.
What They Say
“Just a short note to thank you both for your hospitality over the last weekend. All our members found the accommodation pleasantly above expectation and it was the little things that counted such as your willingness to allow us to have late checked outs given the inclement weather and the free scoops of ice to top up our chilly bin to bring home the fish in good condition. We will be happy to recommend you to other potential RSA groups.”
Loved Every Minute
“We had a wonderful time at Sunset Waterfront Lodge – loved every minute. The accommodation was perfect for us, with a magnificent view, a comfortable bed, a kind and helpful hostess, and the beauty of the Barrier all around us as the photos will show. There wasn’t one thing we could complain about. Thank you so much for looking after us so well! God bless you!”
”We thoroughly enjoyed our experience at Sunset Waterfront Lodge. The couple who run this place have got it so right! We stayed in one of the A-Frame apartments which were just so immaculate, well equipped and very cosy. The place was like a haven with a beautiful deck and outdoor area, pure serenity. We have already recommended this place to friends who are coming over and will be sure to recommend to anyone else. The location was perfect, right near the water and local amenities, what more could you ask for. The price was fantastic for the facilities we got, we couldn’t have been happier! Will most definitely be back to visit again, thanks so much for making our holiday a fantastic experience!”
We’ve Recommended You
Just a quick note to say thank you for your hospitality over the Easter Period. My parents, sister and I thoroughly enjoyed our weekend on the island and in large part this was due to the accommodation. We loved the outlook over the bush and the sound of the birds and we were lucky enough to have good weather so could enjoy sitting out on the lawn with a good book (and the occasional glass of wine!). The unit easily accommodated 4 adults and the amenities were clean and well presented. My sister & Mum both appreciated having the café next door as the coffee was excellent. I have already made recommendations to two colleagues who are planning holidays on Great Barrier.
A Top Experience
From the first contact by phone, nothing was too much for Gloria & Brain – the car, the accommodation and above all else the friendly and homely feel made us want to stay longer. We will be returning to see them as we visit the island three or four times a year to unwind, and after staying here it certainly makes you think twice about booking elsewhere. Once again, a top experience that we can recommend to all.
The Perfect Place
My stay at Sunset Waterfront Lodge was such a pleasant experience. The freshly decorated studio unit with attractive décor made for a relaxing couple of days. The view from my deck provided a vista across the bay towards Coromandel; keruru and tui basked in the trees; water lapped in the bay, only a few metres away across the road. Great Barrier Island has such fantastic unspoiled NZ scenery, it is a wonderful place for a few days ‘to get away from it all’ and Sunset Waterfront Lodge the perfect place to stay and enjoy the local beauty. I recommend it!
A Great Tour Base
We have just completed two successful group tours of Great Barrier Island, staying at Sunset Waterfront Lodge. The beach, cafe/bar/general store (right next door) and the presentation of the Lodge’s grounds made our accommodation an excellent base in which to explore the island from. We will return.
Sunset Lodge is an outstanding place to be. We spent a few days in a frame villa with our two children. There’s plenty of room inside and outside for the little ones and they really enjoyed as the parents did. We also appreciated the close beach, the marvellous sunsets and the playground at the primary school a few minutes walk away. It’s a headaway in the nature with a fantastic garden and the most friendly hosts you could dream about. We are sure coming back some day… There’s nothing we cannot recommend !
A Perfect Get-Away
The accommodation at “Sunset Waterfront Lodge” can be recommended. Chubby & Brain are great Hosts, very cheerful, helpful and nothing being too much trouble – (even offered to drive us to & from restaurant on Saturday night).
Great studio room, sensational outlook onto the lawn, through the Pohutakawas and out to stunning Tryphena Bay. It’s where you want to be on the Barrier. Gloria and Brain were wonderful hosts … professional, friendly and passionate about their beautiful place. You’ve also got the well-stocked store next door with everything from tasty burgers, to bait and reasonably priced beers. And you can rent a car from the joint next door to explore the rest of the island. Will definitely come back next time, with a few mates to savour the experience.
A Wonderful Weekend
Just a note to say thankyou for a wonderful weekend with you. Units are perfect and your hospitality tops. We had a great weekend and will recommend you and the Barrier to everyone.
I’m coming back
What a fabulous holiday from start to finish. After a smooth ferry ride and some Orca spotting, I was welcomed onto the Barrier by my Sunset Lodge ‘taxi man’ who was waiting for me at the Wharf. Just a short trip around the bay and we were at the Lodge. My studio room with private deck was just superb and the outlook across the lawn to the beach was breath-taking. The room was cosy and quiet and the managers Chris and Brain looked after me well. I’m definately coming back again for a dose of fresh air and sunshine – Sunset Waterfront Lodge is a great tonic to revive the senses.