Take a short 30-minute flight from Aukland, New Zealand, and you reach an island that is so vastly different from the rest of the country and even the continent, that you’d be forgiven to think that you landed in another planet. That is the sheer awe that the Great Barrier Island holds. More than 70 percent of the land on this island is a protected conservation park, meaning that the natural flora and fauna and the culture of its inhabitants remain authentic and untouched by the ravages of mankind. Here, then are a few pictures that try to capture the magnificence of the Great Barrier Islands. ALSO READ: Photos of Canberra that Show You Why This is Australia’s Capital
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Medlands beach view from Mt Hobson, Great Barrier Island



Medlands beach view from Mt Hobson, Great Barrier Island, New Zealand

Little Barrier Islands view from Mt Hobson



Little Barrier Islands view from mt Hobson, Great Barrier Island, New Zealand

A view of the Coromandel Peninsula of the Great Barrier Island

Coromandel Peninsula, view to the Great Barrier Island, New Zealand

Walking along one of the coastal paths in the island

Coastal Path in Great Barrier Island, New Zealand

A view of Whangapou beach on the Great Barrier Island

Whangapou beach, Great Barrier Island, New Zealand

Sunset in forest of Port Fitzroy, Great Barrier Island

Sunset in forest of Port Fitzroy, Great Barrier Island, New Zealand

A view of Mt Heale from Mt Hobson

Mt Heale view from Mt Hobson, Great Barrier Island, New Zealand

Morning view of Great Barrier Island from a yacht

Morning view from yacht of Great Barrier Island, near Auckland, New Zealand

A beautiful sunset over Great Barrier Island

Sunset over Great Barrier Island

Nature, of course, is the biggest attraction at the Great Barrier Island. Step outside and you’ll find a number of species of birds that are otherwise endangered or rendered extinct by the invasion of pest species on the mainland. The kaka and kereru are aplenty, but some of the rarer species are hard to find, like shearwaters, petrels, brown teal, banded rail and fern birds. NOW READ: The Mind-blowing Scenery at Lofoten Islands; View Pics!

While cars are available to take you around the island, we recommend exploring this oasis of life by foot or on cycle. Head to the Glenfern sanctuary, spread across 200 hectares on the Kotuku Peninsula, where you can go for guided walks through the forest to get a glimpse of the rarer birds. Or head to the Whangapoua Beach to find oyster catchers and other migratory birds.