There are some things you won’t find on Aotea, but once you’ve got your head around this the alternatives may just become the best part of your island experience. 

You won’t find…

Large supermarkets…but try our local shops and you’ll be surprised by their selection, and their miraculous ability to keep their shelves stocked when the freight ferry doesn’t come in.

Malls…but many quirky galleries, with creations from our talented locals that breathe the islands essence more than any photograph.

Footpaths… but our roads are shared, and we’ve got a diverse range of walking tracks with individual quirks, all over the island. Please be careful as a walker and driver on own narrow roads. Drivers stick to the left, especially around corners.

Streetlights… which is one of the reasons why we’re a Dark Sky Sanctuary. Bring a torch if you intend to go out on foot at night.

Public transport… but Great Barrier Buses operate a daily post run from Tryphena to Port FitzRoy and back every weekday morning. Have a chat with the friendly driver – See page 9. 

Taxis… but friendly shuttle services and rental cars. Book before you arrive. Or go light on luggage, rent a solar charged Motu Bike or catch a trike ride with Go Great Barrier. 

Large tours… but small personalised experiences with Steve (Go Great Barrier), Chris (Hooked on Barrier), Benny (Star Treks) or Deb and Hilde (Good Heavens).

Zoo… but many taonga (treasures) more rare than the animals you see in the zoo. (Look out for kākā, tāiko, banded rails, dotterels, chevron skinks… see page 24).

Fun parks or adrenaline rides… instead, we have waves and the Hillary Outdoor Pursuit centre, same same but different.

Surf stay safe around the ocean, watch out for rip currents, swim with a buddy and stay within your limits. 

Reticulated power… so no hair dryers, electric toasters and rice cookers, please – but charging your device is usually fine.

Reticulated water… So take quick showers!

Banks… but most places now have EFTPOS facilities, although not always credit cards facilities.

Public Rubbish bins… but check out the inside cover to find out how you can dispose of your waste and how you can help us with our zero waste mission.