Great Barrier Island

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Great Barrier Island (often colloquially just The Barrier) is a large island of New Zealand, situated 100 kilometres (62 mi) to the north-east of central Auckland in the outer Hauraki Gulf. With an area of 285 square kilometres (110 sq mi) it is the fourth-largest island of New Zealand's main chain of islands, with its highest point, Mount Hobson, rising 621 metres (2,037 ft).[1]

The remote island was initially exploited for its minerals and kauri trees and saw only some limited agriculture. It is now inhabited by a small population of 852 people,[2] mostly living from farming and tourism.[3] The majority of the diverse environments of the island (around 60% of the total area) is administered as nature reserve by the Department of Conservation,[1] with the local authority being the Auckland Council. Recently, the island atmosphere has also been described as being "life in New Zealand many decades back", not without some positive emphasis.[4]

The island received its European name from Captain Cook because it acts as a barrier between the Pacific Ocean and Gulf.[1] The Māori name is Aotea.[5]



With an area of 285 square kilometres (110 sq mi), Great Barrier is the sixth-largest island in New Zealand after the South Island, the North Island, Stewart Island/Rakiura, Chatham Island, and Auckland Island. The highest point, Mount Hobson or Hirakimata, is 621 metres (2,037 ft) above sea level.

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