Walking New Zealand
Great Barrier Island Aotea Track for a bit of a challenge
For those up for a bit of a challenge, walk Aotea Track - Auckland’s only multi-day walk – on Great Barrier Island/ Aotea.
The track takes you through magnificent scenery to secluded hot springs, waterfalls and spectacular views.
Aotea Track shows off the many pristine habitats of Great Barrier Island/Aotea, which host a fascinating variety of native species, largely because many pests have never reached the island. The track is a combination of easy walking tracks, boardwalks, steep climbs, stairways and bridges, suitable for reasonably fit beginners or experienced trampers. Depending on your fitness level and how you plan to walk it, it can be completed in two days/one night, or three days/ two nights.
Boardwalks cross the unique Kaitoke Wetlands where you may hear the call of a fernbird or spotless crake, and see orchids and sundews close to the track.
Enjoy the Kaitoke Hot Springs before ascending into surviving forests of kauri, rimu and kahikatea. On reaching Mt Heale Hut, the striking sunsets over Te Hauturu-o-Toi / Little Barrier Island make the journey all worthwhile.
Consider taking a side trip to the Mt Hobson (Hirakimata) summit for a 360° panoramic view. You may see rare species such as kākā, kākāriki, tomtit/miromiro, black petrel/tāiko, and recently re-introduced North Island robin/ pītoitoi. The beautiful endemic Great Barrier tree daisy and tiny sundews like it here as well.
Depending on your fitness you may complete the rest of Aotea Track in a day, or choose to stay at either the Kaiaraara Hut or campsites along the
Traverse streams and cross a l ong swing bridge, enjoy native bush and extensive vistas of the bays to the west.
Before completing the track, reward yourself with a swim in the pool of a waterfall by taking a five minute detour to Kauri Falls.
If you would prefer a day walk or something shorter, there are plenty of options covering the breadth of the island and all the beauty it has to offer, and a wide range of accommodation for you to relax and unwind in.
SeaLink offers regular vehicle and passenger ferry services between downtown Auckland and Half Moon Bay to Tryphena (south) and Port Fitzroy (north) wharves, and takes approximate 4.5 hours. Three airlines operate services to and from the island: Fly My Sky, Barrier Air, and Sunair.
For more information, and to prepare for your walk visit www.doc. govt.nz.