ABOUT GREAT BARRIER ISLAND
ACCESS: Great Barrier Island is accessible by sea or air, with airports at Claris and Okiwi and ferry services operating into Tryphena, Whangaparapara and Port Fitzroy.
TRANSPORT: Whilst a great deal of the island is inaccessible except by foot or sea, there is a reasonable network of roads connecting all the main centres and points of interest. Boats and planes are serviced by taxis, buses and shuttles. It is advisable to pre-book these services. However, if you prefer to hitchhike, you are almost certain to get a lift from a friendly resident within minutes.
SUPPLIES, ETC: There are very few shops of any kind on the island and NO banks. Such shops as there are do not provide a 24-hour service and usually close at 5:00 p.m. (usually earlier on the weekend). They accept payment by cash or EFTPOS only. Make sure you bring an EFTPOS card or sufficient cash with you. Note too that virtually everything on the island is 'imported', and consequently costs more than on the mainland. Okiwi passion deliver vege boxes if ordered.
HEALTH SERVICES: A resident health team is based at Claris and at Port Fitzroy, and there is a pharmacy at Claris (open week mornings only). There is a resident dentist. If you need prescription medicines, bring them with you.
WATER: There is no public reticulated water supply on the island. Fresh water is available from various sites, and is generally considered safe. However, to guard against the parasite Giardia which can cause serious illness, it is recommended that all drinking water be boiled.
ELECTRICITY: There is no reticulated electricity on the island, hence no street lights, etc. This means that there is no light pollution so we have amazingly clear night skies, but it's probably a good idea to bring atorch.
PUBLIC TELEPHONES: Card or coin operated call boxes are situated at various places around the island. It is a toll call to Auckland. Reasonable cell phone coverage is available (depending on where you are).
PROHIBITED ANIMALS: Great Barrier island is free from predators such as stoats, weasels, ferrets, deer, wallaby, possums, hedgehogs, and Norwegian rats. These species are prohibited. Cats, whilst not prohibited, are not welcome! Many species of birds, frogs, lizards and plants which are extinct or endangered elsewhere make their home on the island. Shooting of any waterfowl anywhere on the island is prohibited.
DOGS: If you bring your dog the Barrier, you must carry proof of registration. Dogs must be under control at all times and are prohibited on all Department of Conservation land. As is the case in any rural situation, any dog found harassing stock or poultry on private property runs the risk of being destroyed.