“Wind from the North” is what Hauraki means. And with reason. The islands lie in a unique location where there is a fairly constant wind. This ensures that many Aucklanders come to sail around the islands in their holiday or weekend. In total there are about 47 islands in the Hauraki Gulf, although that can be taken with a grain of salt since some 'islands' are no more than a collection of rocks. Nevertheless, it is a beautiful region that is only a few minutes away from Auckland. It is therefore an ideal day trip. The most famous islands are Waiheke, Rangtoto and Great Barrier. The latter is more difficult to reach, but it is one of the most beautiful islands. Most islands are simply accessible, which also makes it such a fascinating environment. On some islands you can not just come. If you can come there this is indicated (recreational use with full access). Other islands have been assigned as habitat for endangered wild animals. You can not just come here. If you want to go there, you need a permit. Moreover, it is not only the islands that are so special. The surrounding sea is also a unique place. There are dwarf minke whales, whales, killer whales and dolphins. If you are lucky you can even spot humpbacks. Rangitot is the island closest to Auckland. However, the busiest, densely populated island is Waiheke. This is also the most visited. What once was a small island is beginning to look more like a get-away where many Aucklanders reside. You can do good fishing, surfing and hiking here.