The Community host a monthly ‘Open Day,’ usually on Saturday on the last weekend of the month. This makes it easier for individuals and small groups to visit the Island, if they don’t have their own boat transport. We charter a boat which usually leaves Back Beach in Port Chalmers, at 9:30am sharp, on Saturday morning, and returns about 3:30pm. It may be possible to come over on the afternoon boat too, if you are staying overnight. Bookings in advance are essential – boat places are limited! A pick up on the Portobello side for Peninsula dwellers is usually possible by prior arrangement.
Visitors are welcome to stay overnight in the lodge, returning Sunday afternoon. The night sky on top of the Island is awe-inspiring!
On the open day, there is always time for exploring, relaxing and interesting conversations. We usually try to ‘work’ for a few hours on a variety of projects, too; this is part of how we care for the Island. We welcome your help. ‘Work’ includes helping with bush restoration, general maintenance, collecting pinecones, doing a beach clean-up, tidying up in the lodge, and looking after first-time visitors. There is something for everyone, to suit their age, fitness, and interests. If you have specific skills or expertise you are happy to share, please let us know.
Sometimes open weekends are held as themed weekends with workshops and retreats (e.g. art, history, environment, social justice).
We usually go whatever the weather (unless there are very strong winds). Wear your work clothes, sturdy footwear, and bring some yummy food to share for a potluck lunch. Slippers or thick socks are good for inside the Lodge.
Donations to the Island are welcome. Overnighters will need sleeping gear (plus a hottie in winter!) and more food (see page for overnight).
Dunedin buses can be taken to and from Port Chalmers (e.g. 9am, from Countdown and 4.15 from Port Chalmers, Allow about 10 minutes to walk from the township to Back Beach. Please tell the Keepers (e.g. text or email) when booking you are taking the bus there, as you might be a little late. Alternatively, we may be able to help you organise a ride with someone, so please let us know your address and phone number when booking. Offers of help with carpooling with the same information is appreciated.
Please contact our Keepers on 478 0874 or e-mail by the Wednesday before the open day, so they can confirm boat bookings and accommodation.