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Why Kiwis Should Holiday at Home this Year

Let’s getaway… to our own backyard

As we rejoice in New Zealand’s return to level one and celebrate that we are one of the few countries to eliminate COVID-19, we all want to make the most of our new found freedom. After lock-down, as we return to work this means we want holidays… get-aways… escapes. But with our borders closed, that means it’s time to holiday at home. It’s time to support local business and local tourism. We all deserve a reward as we realise what an amazing job New Zealand’s team of 5 million has done. It’s time to plan a holiday with those close to you or to organise a corporate retreat to thank loyal staff that have stood by you.

Come to Great Barrier

But where to go? What to do? Given many of us are still probably choosing to avoid large crowds, an island getaway is perfect, and nowhere more so than Glenfern Sanctuary on Great Barrier/Aotea. When you stay at Glenfern Sanctuary you can choose between two beautifully restored historic homesteads: Fitzroy House or Glenfern Cottage.

Fitzroy House is one of the oldest homesteads remaining on Great Barrier Island also one of the most charming. Built in 1901, the house has accommodation for up to ten guests. Glenfern Cottage is a renovated workers’ cottage from the Whangaparapara sawmill and can sleep up to six guests. Both dwellings are fully self-contained, with comfortable living areas, heating for the cooler months, private decks and access to expansive gardens and a jetty.

There’s plenty to do when you stay at Glenfern

At Glenfern you’ll find three sanctuaries in one: native birdlife, native wildlife and an International Dark Sky Sanctuary (Great Barrier is internationally recognised for the quality of its starry nights). We can give your group guided tours of Glenfern, sustainability workshops or an unforgettable day volunteering in the sanctuary filled with native birdlife, including tui, kereru, kaka parrots, black petrel and brown teal. In late the afternoon, you can stroll to sunset rock for stunning 360-degree views of Port Fitzroy Harbour.

Other activities on Aotea

There’s plenty to do on the Barrier, too, from thrilling activities like fishing and diving, surfing, horse treks and trike tours, to more sublime pursuits such as bush walks, coastal cruises and stand-up paddle boarding. You can even enjoy nine holes of golf at the Great Barrier Island Golf Club.

Getting there and Getting around

There are several ways of getting to the Barrier. You can take a Sealink ferry from Auckland’s Wynyard Wharf three times a week in Winter and daily in summer. This takes approximately 4.5 hours to Tryphena. You can fly from Auckland Airport, North Shore, Tauranga and Whitianga. You can even fly one way and boat the other.

Getting around the Barrier is pretty easy. There are airport and wharf transfers available, as well as car and van rental. It’s a wonderful island to explore, and most main roads are now sealed.

Don’t wait! Holiday in NZ on iconic Great Barrier Island

So take advantage of holidaying in our own backyard, New Zealand. Come and stay at Glenfern Sanctuary on that most iconic of New Zealand Islands – Great Barrier/Aotea. It will be one of the best, most memorable holiday’s you’ll ever have. Guaranteed!

NOTE: All income from Fitzroy House and Glenfern Cottage goes towards the management of Glenfern Sanctuary, helping to protect our precious and endangered native species.


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