Pack your bags and get ready to explore Aotea with this essential travel checklist.

Packing for Paradise: Your Off-Grid Great Barrier Island Checklist

Headed to Aotea, Great Barrier Island for a break? We’re thrilled to have you!

A visit to Great Barrier Island, or Aotea as it’s known in Māori, is not your standard vacation. We’re proudly off-grid, powered by the sun and surrounded by pristine nature. To ensure you’re fully prepared for this unique adventure, here’s a guide to what you should pack – and what you can leave behind.

Must-Bring Items

Keep Cup: Many local cafes have implemented a disposable coffee cup ban. While you can enjoy your coffee on-site, getting a takeaway might be tricky without your own cup.

Cigarette Charger and Power Battery Banks: Many places on the island only have 12-volt power, meaning you might need a cigarette USB charger. Some locations will have very limited solar and battery storage, so it’s great to have charged-up power battery banks. Be sure to alert your airline if you bring them.

Jandals and Hiking Boots: Comfortable footwear is essential for both beach strolls and rugged hikes.

Mulberry Grove Store Open 7 AM - 7 PM Daily Food Served All Day Eat In & Takeaway Bottle Store & Fuel

Solar Chargers: With limited power options, solar chargers are invaluable for keeping your devices running, especially if you are staying somewhere without power, like a DoC campground.

Swimming Togs and Towels: Enjoy the beautiful beaches and hot pools without worrying about taking towels from your accommodation.


Specialist Items: While the pharmacy, Stonewall, Mulberry Grove, and Claris stores stock some specialty items, it’s best to bring any specific necessities from the mainland due to limited availability.

Wet Weather Gear: Great Barrier Island receives twice as much rain as Auckland, so waterproof clothing is a must.

Sunscreen and Sunglasses: The sun here is amongst the most intense in the region so protect yourself accordingly.

Plenty of Clothes: Washing facilities are limited, so pack enough clothing to last your trip.

Torch: With no street lighting, a torch is essential for navigating at night.

Cash: EFTPOS availability is limited, and there are surcharges for Apple Pay, Google Wallet, and contactless payments. Carrying cash is advisable.

Solar Hot Water Shower: If the idea of cold showers doesn’t appeal to you and you’re staying at a DoC campground, bring a solar shower.

Hats and Water Bottles: Protect yourself from the sun and stay hydrated during your outdoor adventures.

Barrier Drainage

Spare Batteries or Memory Cards for Cameras: Ensure you capture all your memories without running out of power or storage.

Leave Behind

  1. Hairdryer: The island’s power supply cannot support high-energy devices like hairdryers.
  2. Laptops without USB Charging: Opt for devices that can charge via USB, such as iPads or phones.
  3. Single-Use Plastics: Our landfill is closed, and there are very few rubbish bins. Avoid bringing disposable plastics to minimize waste.

By packing thoughtfully and being mindful of the island’s unique environment, you can ensure a memorable and hassle-free visit to Great Barrier Island.


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