Great Barrier Island was (re)discovered by Captain James Cook in 1769 and is 90km NE of Auckland, New Zealand. The island has been known for centuries as “Motu Aotea” (Island [of the] White Cloud) .
Harataonga Bay on the east coast is one of the most spectacular locations on Great Barrier Island and an ideal spot for camping. The BBC chose Harataonga Bay as the location for the Castaway series.
Medlands Beach is the closest surf beach to Tryphena. It is separated from Kaitoke Beach by the Sugar Loaf headlands at the northern end. At the southern end there is a DOC Campsite.
Port Fitzroy has long been a favourite destination for yachties as it offers shelter in almost all weather conditions. Kaikoura Island, a nature reserve, guards the entrance to both Port Fitzroy and Port Abercrombie.
Tryphena Bay takes its name from the brig “Tryphena” which made several visits to Great Barrier Island between 1841 and 1845.
Before this it was known by the early European settlers as Port Tofino.
Whangaparapara was in industrial centre on Great Barrier Island for mining, timber milling and whaling.
Gold and silver were discovered in the late 1800’s. The Oreville stamping (ore crushing) battery is still a prominent landmark on the Whangaparapara Road.
Whangapoua Beach is on the east coast of Great Barrier Island. It is a popular surf spot and also an important conservation area. At the head of the Whangapoua Estuary is the settlement of Okiwi which has a small airfield, from the beach Rakitu Island is clearly visible.
Windy Canyon is a volcanic rock formation located in the centre east of the island that offers spectacular views of Okiwi to the north and Awana to the south. It is less than 200 m below the summit of Mount Hobson (Māori: Hirakimata) the highest point of the island at 621m above sea level.
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