Saturday, January 15, 2011

What to see in New Zealand: Great Barrier Island

The day after sailing in Waiheke we took the ferry to Great Barrier Island. While Waiheke is well patronized by tourists, the Great Barrier has remained a bit 'isolated'. Naturally Waiheke is only 30 minutes by ferry from central Auckland, for the Barrier you need two and a half hours (on the fast ferry, four and a half on the slow ferry) and you don't really see foreign tourists there, mostly Kiwis who have a batch there. Compared to Waiheke, full of wineries and cafes, the Barrier has remained kind of... relaxed.

Bye bye Auckland (seen from the ferry)

The sea crossing is very beautiful, sometimes you can see whales and dolphins, but unfortunately this time we didn't.

Landed! What a tranquil place! We rented a car and moved towards Steve's batch. The car was good up to a point, then we had to walk in the bush to get there.

The bach

The kitchen (outdoors). I didn't take pics of the food, basically I just made spaghetti and a salad on the first night, and a frittata with the leftover spaghetti on the second night.

The dining/living room (also outdoors). Three dads, one mum (me) six children (slept in tents) and the great outdoors.

The view

The water supply. No electricity, no bathroom (there is a long-drop but I forgot to take a photo, pity, it was a well built long-drop!); the water for drinking, cooking and washing, had to be carried up to the batch with buckets.

The beach. Great Barrier Island has some lovely beaches.

We stayed 3 days and 2 nights, and flew back to Auckland. Flying only takes about 30 minutes, but the planes are very small (this was for 10 people including the pilot).

You need to wear ear muffs in the plane, and the ride may be bumpy (fortunately for me it wasn't).

But what a great chance to see the Hauraki Gulf from above!

Photos by Alessandra Zecchini ©


  1. An amazing country! Thanks for sharing.



  2. Favoloso, non c'e' altro da dire.
    Spero di riuscire a capitarci, una volta nella vita!

  3. We spent a week there in 1980. Stayed in a friends caravan in the bush

  4. Yep Barbara, that's the style ;-)

  5. Looks idyllic! Being one of those foreign tourists, I never made it this far from civilisation during my couple of visits to NZ. The furthest I got was Rangitoto island - but even that was fascinating.
    Where deos the term "Batch" come from? Is it an abbreviation for "Bachelor Flat" by any chance?

  6. Rangitoto is unique too Mark!

    It seems like the word bach comes from bachelors' flat, and it is used in NZ to define a simple holiday home, usually by the beach. And thank you Mark, I have noticed the spelling mistake... it is bach, not batch :-). I have edited the typo :-) in the text now.

  7. Wow, what an amazing place. your pix and journaling are wonderful. Thanks for sharing,


  8. Thank you Michele.

    Eleonora, ti avverto che e' molto basic :-), tre giorni bastano per me, visto che non mi piace lavarmi con l'acqua gelida del ruscello! Al ritorno mi sono fatta un bagno bollente che sembravo un'aragosta quando sono uscita!

  9. Continuo a rosicare, da morire!!!

  10. bellissime foto, simpatico il racconto, MICROSCOPICO l'aeroplanino!!! Solo un'informazione: qual è l'esatta traduzione di long-drop??? :P

  11. This looks amazing. I am totally going to go there someday! Wow. I wonder how long I would have to get off from work to get a good experience....

  12. Your photos are wonderful and give us a chance to experience something we might not be able to see on our own. Have a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

  13. your pictures are just amazing, love the divine blueness and bit of twinkling sun :)

  14. @ turista, il long-drop e' la toilette biologica senza acqua: si c=scava un buco fondo fondo per terra e sopra ci si costruisce un baracchino con il seggiolino :-)

    @ VIc, to visit NZ and have a good look + outdoors experiences... I'll say 3 weeks (the trip is long, we are far away from everywhere!!!)

  15. Che reportage fantastico!!!!Un baciotto!

  16. Che foto meravigliose!
    Adoro l'azzurro del cielo che s'incontra con il mare.
    Un salutone



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