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.
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
There is no 12 or 24v DC
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
Make sure the TV/stereo is off
at the wall switch (neon indicator will flash when off) at
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
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
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
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.
are not and some become involved in accidents (usually with
the locals!) May I suggest a Barrier driving code:
- 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.
- 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.
- but dont 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.
down steep hills in the loose metal
use a lower gear
as an engine brake and when you do inevitably meet another vehicle
dont 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
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
THERE ARE NO BANKS or ATMs
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,
your pets at home.
The management of IslandStay is always available to answer
Evenings (09) 4290 190