All posts by Ben

Welcome To Great Barrier Island; Accident, Orcas, Dolphins & more

—Just a note. Sorry for the late update, but I’m having great difficulties picking up a signal for my mobile Internet. —

It is 0700 in the morning and I am on my way via ferry to Great Barrier Island, taking the rest of my belongings to my new home. Relocation started on the 24th of June; the plan was to pack two cars, take them over, build a weather-proof shed, put all my stuff into it, build a case for the batteries and home-made 12 V generator, get the mobile Internet going, install a fire-place and start boarding up the rundown and abandoned A-Frame that stands on the house site. Well, this was the plan, and here is what really happened. Continue reading Welcome To Great Barrier Island; Accident, Orcas, Dolphins & more

Homebuilt 12 Volt Generator Part II

48$ NZ got me a 6/12 V battery load tester including delivery, and it finally arrived from Christchurch a couple of days ago. These units perform both a simple voltage and a discharge load test on a battery. They do a pretty good job of identifying weak lead acid batteries and I thought it would be quite handy to have one. Continue reading Homebuilt 12 Volt Generator Part II

Relocating Soon

If weather permits, I will start shifting my belongings to GBI on Friday the 24th of June. The plan is to sail over with my mate Gary and two fully packed cars. We will build a storage shed, that arrived a few moments ago, and I am going to sail back on the 26th to get the rest of my gear and my tinny fishing boat.

My First Visit to Great Barrier Island

While awaiting the delivery of some tools and building equipment here in Auckland, I thought I share a story about my first visit to Great Barrier Island (Motu Aotea in Te Reo Maori). After all, it was this trip which I took around the Christmas time back in 2008 that made me think about what it would be like to live on Aotea and whether it would be a worthwhile option for me. It all started with me wanting to have some time off and wanting to ‘go away’ for a couple of weeks.   Continue reading My First Visit to Great Barrier Island

Homebuilt 12 Volt Generator Part I

My soon to be home and for that matter all of Great Barrier Island doesn’t have any reticulated electricity or water supply. So basically, individual households are living off the grid and utilize a combination of alternative energy systems – such as solar, wind, water and fuel-driven generators – to produce power. With this respect, communities like Great Barrier Island should be regarded as a model to strive for. Continue reading Homebuilt 12 Volt Generator Part I

First Impressions 1.1

The paper work has all been completed a couple of weeks ago but it wasn’t until now that I had the appropriate time to go to Great Barrier Island, and to take on first impressions of the beautiful piece of land that is partly mine. I tell you now, I am starting to feel the adventurous journey that lies ahead of me and it will take some time until I get to know the land well. I took the Sealink ferry over and stayed at friends for 3 nights. We sailed past Channel Island, a tiny island in the middle of the channel between Great Barrier Island and Cape Colville at the tip of the Coromandel Peninsular. Continue reading First Impressions 1.1

Landbased in Tawharanui

Took my mate Tim fishing in early March. We drove to Tawharanui peninsular which is about an hour drive from Albany and is one of Auckland’s many Regional Parks. Tim is a young, aspiring scientist from Cologne, Germany and is making the most out of his visit to New Zealand. Within a space of 2 months after arrival, he’s been to the Coromandel and Great Barrier Island. I’ve been fishing this specific spot for a while now; it is pretty much always productive with some action from Kahawai and the odd snapper. We hiked from the main car park for about an hour, walking over the hills to the trig and through the bush to the cliffs around Takatu Point, which marks the tip of the peninsular. Continue reading Landbased in Tawharanui