Updated: 2 May 2022

Aotea Great Barrier Island’s borders are open to all NZ travellers.  However, with Omicron in the NZ community and the whole country including Great Barrier Island is functioning under the  Covid Protection Framework (Traffic Light System) it is wise for visitors to plan ahead.

Please note there are no vaccination or testing requirements to travel to the island.

The New Zealand borders are now open to eligible international travellers – this is being managed in a stage process.

Holidaying on Aotea Great Barrier Island – Plan ahead.

The Government’s Covid-19 travel advice is to make contingency plans should you or one of your party have to self-isolate.

Reading through the government guidance – ‘If you test positive for COVID-19 while travelling away from home’ will help you plan for your group.

Travellers who have to take public transport or break a journey overnight will have to isolate where they are. If you’ve flown to a location or taken a ferry, it is advised to budget for an extended stay. This is the case for all visitors coming to the island who have flown or used the ferry, unless you have come by private plane or boat.

If you experience Covid-19 symptoms whilst you are on the island, get tested immediately and you will have to isolate in your accommodation until you receive a negative result. This means budgeting for an extended stay.

For more information on safe travel see covid19.govt.nz

Other considerations when booking your holiday to Great Barrier Island.

When booking, you should be aware that  your stay could be cancelled as there is a chance that the guests before you have to COVID isolate in the accommodation you are staying in if one of their party becomes sick or is identified as a close contact.

The island has a high proportion of at risk residents and there are no hospital facilities on the island, so it is important for you to follow the ministry of health guidelines to keep everyone safe. 

We need your help to protect the health of everyone on the island and to keep our services, infrastructure and businesses running.

Please wear a mask where possible and required on the island.

As more information becomes available we will continue to update this page.

Frequently Asked Questions

Barrier Air vaccination policy 


  • No longer require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test
  • Please dong

Sealink vaccination policy 

  • Please read the policy in full on the website, it includes: ‘To the extent that our services are public transport services, we will be making provisions within our operations to accept both vaccinated and unvaccinated passengers as required by the Order…’

Please remember you must NOT travel to the island if you have any symptoms of COVID-19

Can I rent a car?

Yes, you can rent a car. You will need to talk to the individual car rental business to determine (contactless) pick up/drop off and anything else relevant during your stay

Will the shuttle and passenger transfers still run?

Shuttle drivers will be in operation this summer. Again, each individual business will tell you their vaccination status, policies and procedures around using their service. You will no doubt find that shared services will be less frequent if not non-existent so you should book early to ensure you can get to your destination. 

For example, some shuttle services may take less passengers in order to safely socially distance the driver from the passengers, therefore you may have to book two cars for a group. 

The island will be operating under the traffic light system. Each business will have its own COVID-19 policies and will communicate this to customers. This will also be dependent on what level of the traffic light system we are in as determined by the government. 

We highly recommend checking out specific policies on the websites or facebook pages of these establishments for up to date information. 

Many places, regardless of COVID-19 restrictions, get very busy over summer and require you to call ahead and book in, we absolutely recommend doing this to avoid disappointment. 

Most of our eating establishments will offer a take-out option. Consider enjoying a gourmet takeaway in the setting of your accommodation or on the beach, instead of visiting the premises of the businesses. 

  • Call Aotea Health on 09 4290 356 for advice regarding testing.
  • Inform your accommodation provider immediately, especially if you are in shared facilities. 
  • Isolate all people in your party.
  • Follow the advice of the health service and the government guidelines for isolating in the community – ‘Care in the community’
  • Meanwhile, you should all isolate in the group but seperate the infected individual from the rest of the group
  • Many of the shops and eateries offer take away/contactless service so there should be no reason why you have to be out in the community. 
  • You will need to follow advice from the health service regarding your party leaving the island.

Department of Conservation up to date rules can be found here.


General guidelines and suggestions

  • Recheck the guidance. Check government guidance immediately before you travel and read all of the advice from your travel and accommodation providers.
  • Plan your journey. Plan each stage of your journey and stay on Great Barrier.
  • Face coverings. Pack sufficient face coverings for the duration of your stay. 
  • Individual businesses will have their own coronavirus policy. Please look out for these policies and observe the rules in place for each island premises you enter. 
  • Hand sanitiser. Bring hand sanitiser with you so you always have access to it. Where there are hand sanitiser stations available, please use them. 
  • Medicine. Bring at least 10 extra days’ worth of any medication or medical supplies you rely on, in case you are required to self-isolate on the island.
  • Have a plan for if you or anyone within your travel party develops symptoms and then tests positive for COVID-19
  • Use the COVID-19 app to scan QR code posters wherever possible. 
  • Comply with the rules in place in each business you visit. 
  • Use contactless payment where possible.

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