Barrier is the largest of the Hauraki Gulf islands. It is approximately 22 nautical miles long and has a natural sound-like harbour, Port Fitzroy,
Fitzroy is protected by Kaikoura, a rugged and remote island, and entry to Fitzroy through the narrow and deep Man-of- War Passage is a great adventure for the careful navigator!. Port Fitzroy is a very sheltered harbour comprising of many bays and inlets all within easy sailing distances. The Department of Conservation administers much of the forestland covering the Island and has developed many walks in the area. You can pick up a leaflet at the local store or check out the DOC website www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/tracks-and-walks/auckland/great-barrier-area. Historical sites are in evidence: the site of Australasia’s first ship building yard, a whaling station, kauri dams, gold and copper mines and ship wrecks. There are also natural mud pools, and Smokehouse Bay has an old bath complete with fire to heat the water! Whangaparapara harbour is a splendid fiord –like bay, surrounded by high hills and old world charm. There are bush walks and a lodge where you can have breakfast, lunch, dinner or morning or afternoon tea.