People say Great Barrier Island is one of the most pristinely beautiful places in New Zealand. Haven’t been? Yeah neither. Probably because it’s far from a low-admin getaway.
Firstly, it involves nearly a five-hour ferry journey from Auckland, which is excruciatingly long when you feel like you are minutes away from chundering up that chicken kebab, which in hindsight, you inhaled far too quickly. Sometimes the water gets so rough, the ferry actually has to turn around and take you all the way back, so you just endured all of this for nada.
If you aren’t a fan of travelling by sea, you could fork out for a seat in one of the tiniest planes you’ll probably ever see. As all eight of you pile in, you’ll be pondering how physics allows the thing to lift off the ground. Whatever you do, don’t listen to the dodgy stories from back in the day—but just know it’s definitely not a trip for the faint-hearted.
Taking your car or boat on the ferry is also a mission and super pricey too. But if you do make the investment, you need to be careful out on those remote roads. Most of them are old and narrow and can be really dangerous for visitors accustomed to roads being wide enough for two cars.
You really can’t forget how small and isolated this place is—there are no supermarkets except for overpriced minimarts and a handful of restaurants. So you will need to seriously plan ahead and carry all your food and supplies with you. Forgot the champers? Tough luck.
There is also no electricity on the island, so everything is powered the old school way—big gas gurgling noisy generators. Auckland Council actually had to enforce maximum noise levels for generators during the day and night because there are so many complaints. Relying on generators also means power cuts are pretty standard, so don’t be alarmed. There is also no reception on the North side of the island—so sadly you won’t be able to live stream everything you do. Disaster.
But even after all this, Kiwi photographer Lola Wright is fairly certain she is retiring here. I guess these photos do the explaining as to why.