Our environment

Nature is part of the way of life on Aotea/Great Barrier Island. Come and experience it for yourself.

Aotea/Great Barrier Island is fortunate – many of the introduced pests found in the rest of NZ have never been present here. That means plants and birds rare on the Auckland mainland are often found on our Island.


Watch out for dotterel (pictured above), oystercatchers, kaka and banded rail. The threatened pateke (brown teal) can be seen on river edges and coastal flats and sea birds such as little blue penguins, petrel species and gannets, can be seen around the coast.

The Island is home to 13 species of lizard, including the largest and rarest lizard in New Zealand, the chevron skink.

Dolphins and whales are common sights off the coast and include orca, Brydes whales, humpback and minke whales.

Our Island is volcanic in origin resulting in spectacular rugged ranges with ocean smoothed coastlines. The varied landscape has been turned to our advantage with well developed walks through spectacular scenery. These range from three day
walks through the Conservation Estate to short walks to the hot pools and along cliff tops with coastal views.

Nature is part of the way of life on Aotea/Great Barrier Island. Come and experience it for yourself.