Welcome to beniSland. I live on Great Barrier Island (New Zealand) and publish three websites. This one is about blogging, personal views, experiences and off-grid living on the Barrier. In 2015, I started a website dedicated to photography (www.images.benisland.com) and one dedicated to rockfishing (www.fishing.benisland.com).

My life – so far – can be categorized into three parts involving three distinct cultures. Starting off in Iran, where I was born and gained my first experiences, and leading via a period of 15 years in Germany, where I attended high school and university, to New Zealand. 10 12 years ago, I came to New Zealand, not quite knowing what to expect and actually not knowing anything in particular about this beautiful country.

I finished my post graduate studies here and commenced a career as a scientist in academia. After realising that my career wasn’t going the way I wanted and that academic life is more about politics and personal gain than anything else, I started thinking about one of my biggest desires, which is perhaps a reason why I came to New Zealand in the first place.

I always dreamt of owning a private property, some place that is ample in size and also far away from ordinary life. Somewhere, where I can live in harmony with and off the land. I never had a problem with city life – or better – the way people live in cities, however, I rather saw myself further away, recluse and living simpler. Turning my back on this noise that is omnipresent in ordinary lives, be it the noise of people telling you what you should do, the literal noise of urban life or the simple matter of having to ‘fit into’ a routine in order to live a ‘successful’ life. Instead of trying harder to fit into a career, I decided to opt out and to follow my emotions, which is in essence what most plan to do once they have retired.

So here I am, I purchased an 80 acre block of bush in Tryphena, Great Barrier Island and have permanently relocated from Auckland to my land. I’ve been living here for almost two four years now. I‘ve got to pay off my mortgage, need to establish a permanent further develop my home and land, want to start a family and dream of making a suitable and rewarding living from the island.

Initially I wrote that I am looking forward to the many rewarding projects and adventures that lie ahead and that I hope to cope with the entailing challenges and hard work. The only thing that has changed about this statement is that I gained some experiences about the challenges of living off the grid and in isolation, and also learned that I can be comfortable without having much money and luxuries.

Ben (Island) Assado


Have a read about this beautiful island called Aotea (Great Barrier Island).

Support and/or suggestions of any kind are greatly appreciated. Contact me via email.

Copyright: All content on this blog is copyrighted to BENIsLAND, fair use applies for quotes and such quotes must include a linkback.

Comments: Keep it civil, meaning no personal attacks, not even ones couched in polite language that you think is clever. I reserve the right to edit/delete any comments that don’t follow these simple rules, and to ban those who left them.

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22 thoughts on “About”

  1. I admire you for leading a meaningful individual life, one that – as Bernard Williams said – does not reject society, and indeed shares its perceptions with other people to a considerable depth, but is enough unlike others, in its opacities and disorder as well as in its reasoned intentions, to make it your’s. And I wish you the health, discipline and luck necessary to achieve your aims.

  2. Hi,

    Just saw your episode on Kimi’s TV series. Was very interesting to see how you are going about life. Very best of wishes and good luck in achieving your way of life, if you haven’t achieved it already.

    1. Hello Narahari,

      thanks very much for your comment and the kind words. There is another TV show coming out soon, similar to Kimi’s series, although I doubt her show can be beaten. This was a very good and memorable experience. My life is in progress, life is good, I’m healthy and the living in nature. Best wishes to you, too. Cheers, Ben 🙂 My new blog, work and focus will be updated on
      Great Barrier Photography

  3. Hello from Malaysia! Today we celebrate our 60th Independence Day and I am watching about you with Kimi Werner from my living room.
    Truly admire your off grid life and I believe you truly embodies the meaning of independence!


  4. Hi Ben, my 10 year old son and I have just watched the Ben Fogle episode of New Lives in the Wild, featuring you and the beautiful island you live on. My son was fascinated by you, your background and the way in which you now choose to live. We live in the UK and there’s so much pressure on kids to ‘conform’ to society and for them to have the latest ‘this and that’. My son found you an inspiration and is now planning how he can find his own slice of paradise! Thank you for sharing your story, and all the very best for the future.

  5. i was watching the episod of ur life in the my5 tv chanel england ٫ it was amazing ٫i m really impressed ٫i understand u when u were speaking about war and school in ur childhood where i am coming from too.

  6. Hello,

    Amazing episode!

    Just one question- which month was Mr Ben Assado born?
    As i believe it could explain the reasons of liking live to it’s own rules and independent being…

    Inspiration to many, including myself!

  7. Hello,after reading and watching you on net geo people,i can only say you are living in ecstacy in mother nature.from nature to the nature.really it’s amazing journey with lots of thrill and adventure.I wish that one day with God’s grace i should see the emperor of yours.

  8. Hello Ben, greatings from Hungary! Right now we finished to watch on BBC Earth New Lives in the Wild episodeas well…
    Me and my husband want to congrat for your braveness and courage to live the life you want to live! When I heard that you write a blog, I just jumped on the web to find it. Just to say: Junge! Mach so weiter, gib nie deine Träume auf! 😉
    Will continue to follow your other site. Take care!

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