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Great Barrier Island Kayak

Great Barrier Island circumnavigation with a difference

November 2017 a team of six headed from the sheltered waters of the Hauraki Gulf to Great Barrier island with a mission to circumnavigate the island self supported. 

Departing Auckland early on a Wednesday morning the forecast was for good conditions with some South Easterly wind picking up early in the trip. We got off the ferry in Port Fitzroy, Great Barrier island and settled in for some stunning afternoon paddling with tail winds and flat seas. We found a camp site just south of Miners head before dinner was caught in the form of a 62 cm snapper. 

Great Barrier Island Kayak Great Barrier is a wilderness kayakers dream destination with rock caves, arch ways, abundance of sea life and challenging conditions. 

The second day sent us around the top of the island and we managed to sneak through the gap in the peninsula leading out to Aguilles Island and the Needles Point. Nice rolling swell greeted us as we punched through the gap.

Sea Kayak Great barrier island

Rangiwhakaea Bay was a pleasent suprise where a decent meal was cooked up and a much needed afternoon nap. As the wind had picked up we decided to head towards Harataonga Bay to camp which was a futher 20 odd km down the coast. As the conditions suited us (kind of as we had a decent beach swell) we stopped off and checked out the graves of the SS Wairarapa (more notes below) on the northern end of Whangapoua Beach. 

Day 3 started with the sound of SE wind which was far from ideal so we made a dash for Whakatautuna Point before getting beaten back to Harataonga. Like all expeditions back up plans are required so we put this into action and got a lift with all the kit, kayaks and us to Whangaparapara Harbour on the calmer eastern side of Great Barrier island. 

From here we ventured south, via blind bay, past Bird Islet to Tryphena Harbor. We where in time for the boats to ferry home and the team to fly back to Auckland. 

Successful, yes. To plan, no quite but loads of fun, challenges and laughter.

Great barrier island flight

ASK Great Barrier Map

Kayak map of Great barrier island

  • SS Wairarapa was a New Zealand ship of the late 19th century plying the route between Auckland, New Zealand and Australia. It came to tragic fame when it hit a reef at the northern edge of Great Barrier Island, about 100 km out from Auckland, and sank. The death toll of around 140 people remains one of the largest such losses in the country’s history.





Ain't no office better than the Hauraki Gulf 💯☀️
Dinner al fresco. Do the guides deserve a Michelin star? @dukeofednz #dukeofedinburghaward
Team New Zealand @emiratesteamnz training on the Hauraki Gulf yesterday. They tried to keep up with our kayaks but I think they had the wrong foils on 😂
Beautiful jellyfish found on the shoreline at Motukorea. Any marine biologists out there have some intel on this cool creature? @emr_nz
Motunau Bay, Ponui Island. Everyone enjoying an afternoon swim at high tide on the Autumn Equinox, Wed, 20 Mar 2024.
For our tinier Auckland Sea Kayaks whanau | here's an epic colouring in sheet to celebrate Te Ika o te Tau - Fish of the Year competition! Complete this comp and be in to win some amazing prizes including:
- A sunset kayak to Rangitoto for two 
- An eDNA kit or eRangers card game kindly donated by Wilderlab 
- A family pass aboard Perfect Day (NTL) kindly donated by @divetutukaka 
- A mask and snorkel kindly donated by @wettie.spearfishing 
- One of two Marine Invaders card games kindly donated by Marine Invaders 
- A Doon River Fishy Pin kindly donated by @doonriver 
- An @emr_nz  goodie bag, and more!

Tag us and EMR so we can see your masterpieces  #teikaotetau2024 😎
Chloe and Bennett have been going hard at @vectorwero practicing their white water skills. Epic to see their continual progression!