Great Barrier Island is located 93 kilometers from Auckland City. It’s Maori name is Aotea. From Auckland to the Barrier you can take the barge which will take 4.5 hour, or catch a 30 minute plane ride. The population on the island id around 940 people, in the summer it explodes with many people heading down for holidays. During the summer they hold fishing tournaments, the famous Mussel Festival. Otherwise there are plenty of beaches to laze around on.
My wifes family were the first inhabitants to Great Barrier Island. They are from the northern part of the island called Motairehe which means Katherine Bay. Since being on the island her family worked on the whaling station which closed in 1962. They have old whaling tool artifacts at their homestead, like glass buoys, whale cutting tools. These days her family is of the older generation and retired. My wifes homestead on the island is over 100 years old, which was transported by barge from Helensvile.
When I was living Auckland, every Christmas holidays I’d take the family to the barrier. My first couple of days of my trip, I would have to visit the old people in the bay and do odd heavy jobs. Lifting things, pulling out stumps or giving haircuts to the koro’s (old fellas). Then me and the kids would head out to net fish, rod fishing, hiking and swimming at Maybey’s Beach. The food is so amazing and fresh. My favorite food is snapper, mussels, oysters the size of your hand and crayfish. At night in summer you can hear generators in the distance. The stars are so clear in the sky, you can almost touch them. Now I’m living in Australia, haven’t been back for about ten years, I’m due for a trip. Missing the taste and smell of home. If you get a chance head over to this beautiful rustic part of Aotearoa.