1. Soak in natural thermal springs
New Zealand’s Kaitoke hot springs are reached by an easy 45-minute walk along a flat track, which begins about a 10-minute drive from Claris. The track skirts the island’s largest wetland, where fernbirds and nikau palms abound.
2. Play castaway on a beach
Visit Harataonga or Whangapoua (see above) at the northern end of the island, stocking up on snacks at the Claris Store or My Fat Puku along the way. Many beaches have swings suspended from pohutukawa trees.
3. Scale a peak for the view
Summit the island’s highest point, Mount Hobson, for 360-degree views. Start at Windy Canyon, where the track begins in a forest of andesite pillars. The ascent should take about two hours.
4. Cruise on the water
Hooked on Barrier is a tour company that offers sightseeing and fishing charters along the eastern coast. Being on the water allows you to get up close to the tiny islands that dot the water. Favourable weather is a must.
5. Take a day for self-care
Rug up and enjoy stormy weather from beside the fireplace – because the island is off the grid, your accommodation will almost certainly have one. Massages, yoga classes and forest therapy sessions are all available on the island.
Please check the establishments’ respective websites for opening hours as well as booking and seating requirements before visiting, and remember to adhere to safe-distancing measures while out and about.
This article was originally published in the July 2018 issue of SilverKris magazine