Water Nomads new Zealand | Great Barrier Island Surfari Trip


The Ultimate Surfari Escape

Tripadvisor Travellers Choice Award 2024 | Water Nomads New Zealand

Your Dream Great Barrier Island Holiday

Great Barrier Island Holiday – only a 30 minutes flight from Auckland, and still so hard to reach if you want to take all your toys. Unless of course you take the ferry, which will cost you an arm and a leg to take your car over….. Water Nomads will take the pain out of the plane and get you and your toys safely to the Barrier.

Play all day in the water – be it wingfoiling, windsurfing or surfing, then come home to a warm fire place and enjoy a delicious dinner with good company. Or soak those tired muscles in natural hot pools under the stars – an unforgettable experience!

Our Surfari trips are all inclusive, meaning you don’t need to do a thing except book the trip and turn up! We show you the best Great Barrier Island has to offer and will make your holiday one to treasure for the rest of your life.

NZD $ 1950.-
  • USD $ 1220.-
  • EUR € 1120.-

4 nights quality accommodation

Single/double/twin share available. Limited to 8 guests.


Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner - fully catered throughout your stay.

Free shuttle

All transport for you and your gear included during your stay.

Flying in

Full Flexi-Return flights from Auckland included.

Local knowledge

We ensure you will be at the right spot at the right time.


Professional photos taken of you on the water available.

What you want to know

Discover the Great Barrier Island holiday dates currently available, your package pricing options, and if you’re looking to travel light, the rental options.

2024 Season:

20th – 24th of November 2024 – Book Now

2025 Season:

To be confirmed – Enquire Now

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Alternatively you can request a date that suits you! Get a crew of four (minimum) and contact us for a Custom Surfari.

  • $2950 NZD Single occupancy room
  • $1950 NZD Double room / Twin share room per person (must be booked and paid together).
  • $350 NZD  for 1 windsurf or wingfoil board + 3 wings / sails  for the whole duration of the trip (if required, by prior arrangement only).
  • $100 NZD for 1 Surfboard

What you need to know

Explore everything that is included in the Great Barrier Island holiday package, what you need to bring with you, and what skill level you need to be at.

  • Return flexi-flights from Auckland (value ~$330).
  • Transport of your equipment from Auckland by ferry (value ~$1100).
  • All transport for you and your equipment on Great Barrier Island.
  • 4 nights quality accommodation.
  • 5 days in watersport paradise.
  • Local knowledge and advice.
  • Weather conditions knowledge and advice.
  • Continental breakfast every morning.
  • Individually packed picnic lunches every day.
  • Dinner and desert with complimentary glass of wine, beer or a softdrink every evening.
  • One evening soaking in natural hot springs under a starry sky – unforgettable!
  • your own equipment (unless prior arranged with us).
  • sunblock
  • sunhat
  • water bottle
  • insect repellent
  • medications

If you are unsure what equipment you should bring, please contact us. 

  • This trip is suitable for intermediate to expert wingfoil, windfoil and windsurfers (please note, we currently do not offer lessons or tuition). 
  • Due to the nature of the beaches and wind conditions, this trip may be more suitable for wingfoiling than for windsurfing. 
  • There will be the option of going surfing, paddleboarding, kayaking or hiking on calm days (gear not included unless arranged prior).

If you’re not sure if this trip suits you, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

What to expect

Great Barrier Island, New Zealands 6th largest island, is a leap back in time. It’s only a 30 minutes flight from Auckland, yet you leave the hussle and buzzle of the city behind the moment you board the small plane. All the houses on Great Barrier Island are off-grid.

Getting watersports gear to the island is not easy as the planes haven’t got much freight capacity. This is where we make it easy and affordable for you. 

Enjoy an epic multi-watersport adventure in a pristine environment without the crowds!

After a long day on the beach, come home to your very comfortable accommodation close to Medlands Beach.

We cater for small groups of up to 8 guests, thus you will enjoy the large living spaces and comfortable bedrooms.

Enjoy the cosy inside and outside fireplaces along with the all seasons covered rear deck. Beautiful timber floors, floor to ceiling windows front and back that drink in the view, a large kitchen and an expansive open plan living area make it the perfect place to relax and rejuvenate. 

All your culinary needs will be looked after from the moment you arrive.

  • It starts with a continental breakfast, locally baked breads and freshly brewed coffee (or tea!).
  • A hearty lunch is individually packed by our local caterer to allow you freedom to roam if you wish to do so.
  • The day finishes with a wholesome meal followed by desert and a lot of tall stories!

All snacks and fruit during the day are provided. A glass of wine (or juice) will be served with dinner.

We work with the very best caterers on the island to provide you a unique and unforgettable experience.

We take professional action shots of you on the water which are available to purchase at discounted rates.

View our Northland Photo Gallery.

View our Canterbury Lakes Photo Gallery.

Your Surfari Trip starts at Auckland Airport with a flight to Great Barrier Island. You can chose to fly in the morning (10:00am) or afternoon (4:00pm), depending on your work commitments. Return flights will be leaving Great Barrier Island on Sunday at 6:00pm, so we have all day to enjoy on the island.

Your flight is a full flexi-ticket so you can opt to stay on the Island and continue your holiday! (Accommodation, food and transport not catered for extended stays)

You will be transported to a surf, wingfoil or windsurf spot every day, depending what the conditions offer. If there is no wind or wave, we might suggest to go for a hike or something similar. It is however ultimately up to you if you want to join into the days activities and your judgement on your ability to decide if you want to go on the water in the conditions presented. 

We will meet you the day prior to the Surfari Trip in Auckland to load all your equipment in our vehicle and take it to Great Barrier Island via ferry. Your equipment will return the following day by ferry to Auckland.

Rental gear is available on request, please get in touch. 

Watersport conditions

Your Great Barrier Island holiday has a huge variety and choice of beaches and harbours. However, some of them are more suitable than others, depending what you want to do.

Wing Foiling, SUP’ing and Surfing and the main stays of this Surfari, but the potential to Windsurf is also there. This is a water-persons paradise with almost a tropical island feel that will be remembered.

This Surfari Trip is of course watersport centered, however, if there is no wind, there is also a lot else to do and explore. So don’t forget the board shorts and snorkel!

The pristine sandy beaches of Medlands, Awana, Kaitoke and Okiwi are well known for surfing. However, in the right conditions, they are a fun playground for windsports too. 

West facing bays, which do provide good winging conditions in a westerly / southwesterly. 

Very sheltered harbour area with plenty of islands and headlands to be discovered by kayak or SUP. 

  • Hire a kayak or bring your SUP and explore sheltered inlets on the West Coast.
  • Hike (45minutes flat) to natural Hot Pools in the middle of the bush and soak those tired muscles after a day in the water.
  • Explore fantastic rock pools at low tide.
  • Hike Windy Canyon and Palmer’s Track to Mount Hobson (Hirakimata) and be rewarded with fantastic views (3 hours return).
  • Bring mask and snorkel and catch yourself some crayfish or just enjoy the rich marine fauna.

Our Reviews

The Water Nomads rock. Heidi and Bevan are super mellow cats but they really know their stuff. They are unassuming and authentic folk who will just quietly and confidently make sure you have a great time on and off the water. Both are incredibly well informed, low key operators whose life is based around prowling our amazing coast line and waterways and their combined local knowledge and nous will ensure you are on the right gear at the right spot on the right day. That sort of guidance is invaluable. Plus Bevan takes stunning photos. They aren't in this game to get rich, they are in it to enrich the lives of others. The Water Nomads will ease your path to transcendental times on the water.

Great Barrier Island Wind History

Frequently Asked Questions

The Great Barrier Island holiday itinerary is pretty relaxed, and the flow is usually dictated by the forecast.

The day before departure your nominated equipment (boards, wings, foils, sails, masts, booms, wetsuits etc) will be picked up for ferry transport to Great Barrier Island.

The first day you will be picked up from Claris Airport on Great Barrier Island and settled into the accommodation. Your flight ticket is flexi, so you can choose a morning flight or afternoon flight. Early arrivers can opt to hit the water or go for an explore. Dinner will be around 7pm.

The following days breakfast is agreed upon, usually between 8-9am. The fresh coffee stops when you stop drinking it. Your lunch is provided individually packed to give you the freedom should you wish to spit up, or just enjoy at your leisure. The evening meal starts when everyone is refreshed and ready, this is usually agreed around 7pm. The last day finishes with pack-up and heading for the airport, again you have a flexi ticket, so you can choose a morning or afternoon flight.

Your nominated equipment will return the next day to Auckland via the ferry…

The group size is limited to 6 guests. All guests are expected to have an intermediate to expert proficiency, we do not cater for beginners or offer lessons.

Situated on the outer edge of the Hauraki Gulf in New Zealand’s only National Marine Park, Great Barrier Island is a mere 90 kilometres from Auckland City. The sunniest days on Great Barrier Island are enjoyed during December which has an average of 6.4 hours of sunshine per day, and the windiest month is October when the average maximum windspeed is around 34kmh and the average wind speed is 19kmh. By planning our Trip in November we attempt to leverage the best of both conditions!

The average sea temperature of The Great Barrier Island in November is approximately 18 °C.

For comparison, it is much the same as Auckland spring sea temperatures. 

In spring (September through November) the wind is reasonably reliable with Southeasterly through Southwesterly and Northwesterly. As a rule of thumb you will either be experiencing a Westerly frontal system or an Easterly frontal system.

If there is a day of light conditions, there is always a surf/SUP-surf/prone-foil possibility on any one of the famous surf breaks of the beautiful Great Barrier Beaches.

The journey from Auckland Airport to Great Barrier Island is 90km which is a 30 minute scenic flight.

As part of your Surfari package Water Nomads includes your return flight minimising your journey time. Your fight is a flexi ticket meaning you can choose when you wish to arrive and depart, thus enabling you to extend your stay at no extra travel cost.

The Ferry journey from Auckland Harbour to Great Barrier Island is 4 hours 30 minutes. 

Water Nomads manage all your gear transport via the ferry service making your journey hassle free. Your boards/sails/foils/wings are collected in Auckland the day before the trips and returned to Auckland the day after.

Got more questions? Try our Surfari Trips Frequently Asked Questions: