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Exploring Great Barrier Island
May 2019

Lisa Jansen escapes far from the madding crowd in her Ford Transit campervan to Great Barrier Island, where relaxation has never been easier


Barrier Families

Cooper Family

Le Roy Family

Girlie Leroy

Fred Medland's Fishing Tales Fishing on Great Barrier Island from the 1930's

Moor Family - Family Tree available, see end of article

Paddison Family

Sanderson Family

John Springall

A E LeRoy - The Great Barrier Island Published in the ‘Journal of the Auckland-Waikato’  Issue No. 32 April 1978

Adams Family - Buschs' Beach

Rev Baker's  Pastoral Visit to the Great Barrier Island  from the Journal of Rev. A. Baker, M.A. (Church Gazette.) March 1881

Busch Family from Bush's Beach

Castaway on Great Barrier Island 2007
Reality television show filmed on Great Barrier Island on February 28th 2007

Stepping Back in Time on Great Barrier Island Jim Eagles September 2004

Flight of the Albatross Movie 1996 
World Premiere on Great Barrier Island

Flying to Great Barrier with Freddie Ladd - 1971

Gold Edinburgh Expedition to Great Barrier 1972 The route was carefully planned amongst all members of the family and took in courses in navigation, seamanship, boat handling, and Quarter Master duties.

Kaiaraara Kauri Dam - Three dams were erected from the kauri logs, built across the headwaters of the Kaiaraara Stream, directly below Hirakimata.

Karaka Bay Graveyard 
Compiled by Margaret Peacocke, a great-great-grand-daughter of Edward & Annie Paddison

Alethea Major (nee Lamond)

E M Malcolm's Lonely Life on Great Barrier Island 
Part of a printed booklet of 1904 “My Own Story” in which Emile Monson Malcolm describes the sixteen years the family spent on the island from 1854.

North Barrier Library at Port FitzRoy

NZ's First Airmail Service - the Great Barrier Island Pigeongram
Stamps and blank stamped flimsies available commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the wreck of the S.S. Wairarapa issued by Great Barrier Pigeon Gram Co.

Orama Christian Community at Karaka Bay

Painting of Kaiaraara & Hirakimata (Hobson) by George Frederic Allen

Riding to school on Great Barrier Island  Lesley Rockell (then Lesley Mabey) rode to and from school in the 1940s and 1950s on Great Barrier Island.

Dion (Stud) Stellin and Barrier Gold


SS Wairarapa Shipwreck

SS Wairarapa Graves with a partial list of 250 passengers and crew.

Don Woodcock
- A Reflection: My time on Great Barrier Island

WWII History around Great Barrier Island

PDF Articles

Another Country - NZ Today

Beach Row Divides Island Nov09 NZ Herald

Pioneering Life on Great Barrier Island - Memories

Ship of Fate by Vanya Shaw

Voyage for Peace Sept 090

Barrier Breakaway 2010 NZ Herald


Mussel Power
NZ House & Garden
On Holiday Summer 2004.

The Great FitzRoy Mussel Fest
Great Barrier Grief Metro Magazine 1987.
After 20 minutes of ear-crushing roar from two engines just a few metres from our heads, the silence on the ground at the Claris airstrip is just as deafening. A faint breeze rustles the grasses and flax choking the swamp around the green airstrip, but otherwise there is no sound.
'We have to live a little apart '
On Great Barrier Island the nurses are the 'keepers of secrets', the witnesses to life, love and death in a small community. 
"Island Nurses" 2016 is a memoir of over 30 years of caring for generations of residents in a remote, rural island community.

Four-hat double act Great Barrier Island's two person police force, firefighters, volunteer ambulance drivers and skippers for the local coastguard. And the 2013 big scrubbie that took out about 115 hectares.

Me & My Garden: Sue Daly's productive straw bale vege patch on Great Barrier Island.

Although on remote and sparsely populated island in the Hauraki Gulf, there were no straw bales to be had for love nor money, so Daly used bales of native reeds.

Relax On New Zealand’s Great Barrier Island You know you’re on a remote island when the only pub has a sign that reads, ‘Due to the lack of a bank, change is in short supply. Please use change wherever possible.’ I knew that New Zealand’s Great Barrier Island was going be very different.

Edible Gardening on Great Barrier Island. NZ Gardener March 2016

Les and Bev Blackwells are strictly organic gardeners and the Barrier's isolation means they have to be pretty canny about making the best of what's available.

Petra Bagust: ‘Our island is burning’ NZ Womans Weekly 5th February 2013
“There’s a feeling of unreality about seeing something like this happen in front of you, when behind you everything is completely normal.

You go in and Grab 'em! Hooked on Boars Magazine, Feb/Mar 2013
Writer Brown Paraone tells of going out hunting with his
nephew, local boy Kahurangi Fraider (14) who had entered the Claris Sports Club pig hunting competition. Kahu won the comp with his boar weighing 59 lbs. 

Mothers Nature Next Magazine, Nov 2010
Community spirit is alive and well on Great Barrier Island, and has brought its women together to disrobe for a worthy cause. The local Playcentre needed a $50,000 renovation, and just like women on another island a Calendar Girls style calendar "Barrier Unhooked" was born.

Weekend on Great Barrier
North & South, February 2010
The only thing moving in the soft dawn are the birds. Kaka screech, whistle and warble...Tui sing melodically...Kereru swish by...A family of pateke (brown teal) are busy pushing their beaks around boulders for breakfast...

The Great Outdoors
NZ Gardener Mar 2009
The intrepid gardeners of Great Barrier, so many gorgeous gardens, a cornucopia of home grown food to eat.  Wayne McVicar & Linda Power;
Caity & Gerald Endt;  Sue & Bruno Reusser;
Sven StellinLes & Beverley Blackwell

Coming up roses:  
Food Service Magazine March 2009
Despite how isolated it is this newly opened sustainability-focused cafe continues to flourish, thanks to the locals, writes Kathy Cummings.

Weekend Gardener:  Islandstyle
November/December 2008
Susie Longdell visits Great Barrier Island and finds some enterprising gardeners. Featuring 3 gardens visited in the 2008 Garden Tour

Les & Beverley

Memories: Once Upon an Island
June/July 2008

Jennifer Beck’s account of her memorable visit to Great Barrier Island written in 2004. 
Plus 'People of the Barrier';
Eileen's Story;
Pat's Story; Les and Beverley's Story.

Great Barrier Island -Circumnavigation NZ Kayak Magazine 2007. Kayaking around Great Barrier the week before Christmas – what better way to avoid the rush.

Latitudes & Attitudes November 2007. Cruising the fringes of the Hauraki Gulf around Great Barrier Island by Meryle Thomson - Yacht Fallado

Focus on Great Barrier Island
QEII National Trust 2006. 
Protection of the island's
natural character with QEII open space covenants.


A World of Her Own
NZ House & Garden 2006.

Sue Hoffart meets a Great Barrier resident who has made the most of the island's special magic, former Auckland city-dweller Judy Gilbert.

The Last Frontier
Metro Magazine 2003.

Last, loneliest, loveliest, Great Barrier Island is a mystical, mythical place, the last big land mass between Auckland and the vast Pacific.


Across the Waters ...
Women Living on Great Barrier Island

Next Magazine 2004

The ferry Coromel at the wharf of Port Fitzroy, Great Barrier Island, New Zealand, ca 1910
Source: National Library of New Zealand (Alexander Turnbull Library).

A sawmill and wharf structures at Whangaparapara, Great Barrier Island, New Zealand, ca 1910.
Source: National Library of New Zealand (Alexander Turnbull Library).