News and Events

General Information:

There is usually an open day on either the last Saturday or Sunday of each month, however this can vary. Keep in touch via our Facebook page or email newsletter. (Note, if you have a gmail address, the newsletter will go into your ‘promotions’ folder.)

The usual pick up for the boat is Back Beach, by the Port Chalmers Yacht Club, at 10am, however a pick up is also available on the Portobello Wharf (Pontoon Jetty)  by prior arrangement. Occasionally there is a Carey’s Bay pick-up (e.g. for events).

We can usually help with car pooling, if you give us some notice of where you live and contact details. Don’t forget to let us know you’re coming at least a day beforehand so we can let you know if there’s any change of plans. The usual boat charge is $15-20 pp return, $7.50 -$10 for children, but sometimes we are able to subsidise special volunteering themed events thanks to grant funding.

Upcoming open days: Saturday 30th November (boat pick up Back Beach 9am – leaving the island about 3:30pm, or  stay overnight. If you’re busy during the day on Saturday, but want to pop over on the boat picking up people (about 3.15pm, or on Sunday morning, let us know). A pick up is usually possible on the Portobello side by prior arrangement. $15 per adult for boat; $7.50 per child.

Lots of interesting activities you can help with if you’d like – rescuing seedlings from the long grass (releasing), weed control, beach clean-up, or general maintenance. Please contact our Keeper on the Island so we know who’s coming and have your contact details  If you’d just like to come and relax and explore, you are equally welcome.

Bring a dish to share at the potluck lunch (usually  about 1pm) or your own picnic if you’d prefer, clothes for warm or cold, and sturdy footwear. We’ll provide Fairtrade tea and coffee.

Next open days: Saturday 25th January and Saturday 29th February

Working holiday or volunteering at other times?

There are lots of projects we’re hoping to progress, from weed control, building fences, and stiles, releasing trees, to painting. Please let us know if you can help, particularly if you have relevant skills. We’ll gladly offer free accommodation in the Lodge and cover boat fares for volunteers.  Contact the Keeper at

Read an account of volunteering and staying on the island from recent volunteer, Carolyn Stallard, a young musician and teacher from New York. We loved having Carolyn on the Island!

Give a gift that gives twice...Try saying that fast! The recipient gets a beautiful gift voucher for an overnight stay on the island, or boat transport to this special place, and your purchase helps us to continue to look after the Island…

Contact to order.

Older Newsletters

July 2014

Feb 2014

May 2013

QI Island July 2010 Newsletter

QI Island Sept 09 newsletter

Some articles about Island events

‘Families adventure coming to an end’ ODT 3/12/2013

‘Not quite utopia but it beats city stress’   ODT 1/3/2014


‘Six men drowned’  The Argus, Melbourne. 13/11/1928

‘Question of Dual Control’ 26/1/1918

‘Quarantine Island’ ODT 11/4/1917

‘Willochra’s men in quarantine’ Evening Post 15/5/1917

‘Quarantine Island’ ODT 4/7/1874


‘The Victory’s passengers’ ODT 9/9/1863 (over 150 years ago)