News and Events

General Information:

There is usually an open day on the last Saturday of each month, however this can vary. Keep in touch via our Facebook page or email newsletter (free to subscribe). (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, however a pick up is also available on the Portobello Wharf (pontoon)  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.

Open day

Sat. November 17th – join us for our open day, to relax, explore, and if you like, help with projects. Return in the afternoon, or stay on for a special barndance in the historic Married Quarters Building (1873). Or come over later in the afternoon or evening. The dance will go from about 7 – 10pm with Catgut and Steel as our wonderful musicians/callers. You don’t need any dancing experience as the musicians ‘call’ the instructions, however knowing your right from your left is an advantage!

The usual boat charge is $15pp, for the open day.

Boat and dance is $30 per person or $ 20 for a child. Additional donations are always welcome as these prices just cover costs. We always try to keep things affordable for people with low incomes.

Bookings for the open day only to


Bookings for the open day and dance, or dance only, to Limited tickets, so get in quick! Specify:

  • how many adults and children, and their age
  • which side of the harbour you are coming from
  • and your preferred time from the options below
  • Let us know if you’d like to stay the night. Usual suggested donation for overnight stays applies.

Open day: 10am pick up from Back Beach, or Portobello by prior arrangement. Return at 4pm or stay on for the dance, and if you would like, overnight.

3.45pm (to Barndance) pick up from Back Beach or Portobello Jetty by prior arrangement. Bring a picnic tea, and enjoy some island time before the dance.

6pm  (to Barndance) pick up from the Portobello Jetty/Pontoon on the Albatross Express. Return, leaves the Island at 11.15pm.

6.30pm (to Barndance), pick up from Careys Bay on the Albatross Express. Return, leaves the Island at 10.45pm

It is also possible to book to stay overnight. Other boat options may be available during the day (Sat/Sun) with the PorToPort ferry service.

What to bring:
* warm clothing and sturdy footwear.
* a plate to share for supper
* something to drink. We’ll provide Fairtrade tea and coffee. Low-moderate consumption of your own alcoholic beverages is fine (bring your own glasses).
* a torch to help you safely find your way along paths in the dark

Health and safety and housekeeping:

Please read this before coming.

Working holiday?

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…

2016 QI-KT Poster Ad sideways.jpgOlder 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)