Home Location Accommodation Bookings Information Birds Visitors Book Trails Links

This information is posted to assist you to plan, prepare and enjoy your stay on Great Barrier Island. Every effort is made to update and ensure its accuracy but we ask that you check with the relevant providers for specific needs.

Accommodation Information

Power: There is no public reticulated power on GBI. The lights and electrical appliances in our visitor facilities are running on power generated from solar panel sun exposure, stored in lead acid batteries and inverted into AC current for final use. The battery bank can store enough power for three or four days of moderate use. The long summer days and sunshine mean plentiful recharge but remember that the system has a finite capacity. Please turn off lights, TV etc when not in use, especially when leaving the cabin or sleeping.

Points to note:

  • There is no 12 or 24v DC current available

  • The system will not support high current devices like hair dryers, electric kettles and irons which will trip a circuit breaker and render the whole house 'dead'. In this case find the manager! The system can support moderate use of a bread maker.

  • The use of trickle-charge devices for recharging cell phone batteries, I-pods etc is recommended from the mid-afternoon onwards. Please turn them off overnight.

  • Make sure the TV/stereo is off at the wall switch (neon indicator will flash when off) at night.

Cooking and Refrigeration: The house has gas cooking, gas hot water heating and gas refrigeration. There is a freezer compartment for meats etc. (420 wide x 320 deep x 180 high). A gas BBQ is also provided with one full 9kg bottle. Food and alcohol is expensive and in limited supply on island. Non perishables can be freighted beforehand via Subritzki-Sealink shipping at a cost of about $15 per banana box and I can pick up from Port FitzRoy and store.

Water: The drinking and washing water is sourced from a mountain stream and filtered. Patrons are welcome to bring drinking water if they wish. Unlike many other parts of the Barrier there is a year-round supply of water although patrons are asked to be conservative.

Waste Disposal: Great Barrier Island has no sewerage system. Please do not dispose of any chemicals, hair dyes, oils, bactericides or poisons through toilets or sinks as they will render the natural decomposition process inoperative. The management will take such substances for safe disposal. Likewise we wish that solid wastes be separated into (1) organic material fit for composting; (2) paper and plastics; (3) glass and cans; and (4) batteries in the separate bins provided. Rubbish will be removed daily.

A separate stand and sink for cleaning and filleting fish has been provided at the rear of the cabin. Offal bins are also provided there. Please do not clean or fillet fish inside the cabin or on the deck. Linen and towels are provided for your comfort and convenience. If you are staying longer than seven days they will be exchanged. Tea towels also will be exchanged as necessary. Please do not hesitate to ask for additional linen if necessary.

Laundry: A washing machine (cold wash only) is available at the Lodge. Please leave your washing in the laundry bags provided and we will wash and return to you as soon as practicable. There is a clothes line at the rear of the cabin. As power and water is limited please do not make small washes.

Fire: As we have no Fire Brigade on GBI, fire here has serious consequences - so please, no naked lights, candles or incense and smoking only on the outside decks. Great Barrier Island has a total outdoor fire ban in the summer season except for fully enclosed BBCues and incinerators. Please note the location of the kitchen fire extinguisher. Fireworks are totally banned – any breaches of the fire code will be taken seriously. Your host is a rural fire officer.

Communications: A pay phone landline is available at the main building (Pateke Lodge). There is no cellphone reception in the Okiwi valley, however from the top of the FitzRoy saddle and down into port FitzRoy, 10 minutes away by car, there is coverage. E-mails can be received and sent by arrangement with the manager.

Emergency: In the event of a fire, serious accident or injury, as soon as possible make a 111 call on the pay phone at the Lodge - the 111 service will notify the relevant island authority or service. Any serious injuries are airlifted to Auckland on the Westpac Rescue Helicopter which can be on the island within 1 hour of notification, but this service can only be authorised by Aotea Health professionals. For more mundane matters the local rural nurse Adele Robertson is available on 4290 047 and operates out of the Nurse's Cottage, Port FitzRoy, please ring for an appointment. Aotea Health have a public clinic at the Nurse's Cottage, Port FitzRoy on Wednesday 9-12 as well as having a doctor available at the Claris Health Centre (4290356) every week day and weekends for emergencies. The only chemist shop on the island is at Claris - and you are advised to check opening hours first.

General Information

Surviving our roads: The locals are used to the often one-way and loose-metalled roads with the blind corners, sheer dropoffs, radical inclines and canyon like gutters. They are also aware of what is appropriate speed in these conditions and where you can and cannot pass. Visitors often are not and some become involved in accidents (usually with the locals!) May I suggest a Barrier driving code:

  • Drive slowly - then you have time to react and your car may have time (and distance) to stop, because in many places that is precisely what you have to do when meeting an oncoming vehicle.
  • Drive slowly - and peer round that blind corner as you go assuming that there IS another vehicle coming – the extra half second reaction time may save your skin.
  • Drive slowly - but don’t get carried away with the view - the consequences of going off the road can be serious. If someone is on your tail, pull over and let them go through.
  • Give way to vehicles coming down hill, they often have limited ability to stop in the loose metal - pull over where you can to allow downhill traffic to move past you.
  • When driving down steep hills in the loose metal use a lower gear as an engine brake and when you do inevitably meet another vehicle don’t jump on the brakes. You will lock up and slide, often at much the same speed and mostly without steerage. Back off the throttle and steer your way through.
  • Over the holiday period there is an additional police presence including random breath testing – drive safely.

Surviving our coastal waters: You have all heard the fish stories and some of you will be keen to get out there amongst them. Talk to the locals about weather, tides and winds – we are a lot more exposed out here than the inner gulf and conditions can change quickly. Tell people where you are going, give them a rough return time and treat the ocean with respect.

The North Barrier has a number of amenities. Shops – one of at Port FitzRoy – bread on Mon, Wed and Friday, milk usually available Tuesday through to Friday, daily paper (by 11am), some food items including frozen meats, ice and alcohol. There are coin and card phones available outside. Food is expensive due to limited sales volume and freight – patrons are strongly advised to bring as much as they can.

Fuels – one dispensary at the Port FitzRoy wharf – open every day in summer. He also sells bait.

Food - The Boat Club – Restaurant and bar – open lunch and evening. The Burger Bar on the FitzRoy wharf reclamation.

Dive fills – see Brent at Dive Station on the Port FitzRoy reclamation

DoC HQ at Forestry Bay, Port FitzRoy for track information, campground permits and information on access/hunting/dogs etc in Great Barrier Island DOC administered estates which is approximately 60% of the island.

The Nurse's Cottage – opposite the shop in Port FitzRoy – resident rural nurse Adele Robertson can be contacted on 4290 047 for appointments/first aid/emergencies and the Barrier Doctor has a clinic on Wednesday morning.

THERE ARE NO BANKS or ATM’s on GBI but most retail outlets have EFTPOS. However cash may not always be available at peak periods. I recommend you bring some.

Biodiversity and your Pets: We are fortunate in having several rare and endangered species resident here in Okiwi. Due to the absence of certain introduced predators, species which are rare or nearly extinct on mainland NZ are alive, well and reproducing, right here. These include: kereru (native pigeon), North Island kaka (native parrot), kakariki (native parakeet), pateke (brown teal duck) and chevron skink. Because of the high value of these species and the habitats that support them there are restrictions on bringing certain animals into the Hauraki Gulf Islands and more specifically onto IslandStay property. These include a total ban on all varieties of cats, dogs (with the obvious exception of guide dogs), rats, stoats, weasels, ferrets, opossums, hedgehogs, wallabies. Please leave your pets at home.

The management of IslandStay is always available to answer enquiries.  Evenings (09) 4290 190

Home Location Accommodation Bookings Information Birds Visitors Book Trails Links