Monday, June 20, 2011

Great Barrier Island, Auckland, New Zealand

An unspoiled island paradise 55 miles (90 kilometers) from Auckland, Great Barrier Island will transport you back to the early days of life in New Zealand.

Adding to the island's remote charm is that it has no utilities and is powered almost exclusively by generators and solar. It's a smart move to pack a torch as there is no street lighting. The island has a population of around 900 people but there are plenty of places to stay ranging from backpacker hostels to award-winning designer beach houses with dramatic views over the Pacific Ocean.

The stunning landscape offers a host of activities including fishing, kayaking, horse riding and golf. For the ornithologists there is excellent bird watching and for the hikers there are a number of great nature walks both guided and unguided. On the east coast there is a multitude of small bays that offer some of the best diving in the country.

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