Benisland Has Come To An End

Hello, I started blogging about my life and Island life right after moving to Great Barrier Island in June 2011. Almost 6 years later, I can say that I enjoyed and in a way needed to have a blog like benisland. Thanks to all readers and supporters over the years.

Why End?

It hasn’t really, my online presence and what I want to convey has just changed and I will not update this site any more. In other words, I’m doing something different, it is the next step, I’m happy and excited about it.

Great Barrier Photography

I invite you to follow my work and life on my new website titled Great Barrier Photography ( Here, I document Aotea photographically, my photos are available to view for free in fullHD, most photos are available as direct, royalty-free downloads and prints and other services are also available.


That’s it folks, thanks Ben

Cheers, Ben Island

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Happy New Year

Happy New Year,

                  my brother, Barry, and I went fishing (Legendary Rockfishing) twice and had a great holiday. It’s mid summer, weather’s strange, but warm, maybe not strange at all, it’s all good. I don’t have any resolutions for this year and won’t even state that I plan to write more.

Click on the picture to read the story.

Click on the picture to read the story.

I’ve been thinking about how to offer the online content I create in a different format, and am working on that in the background. In the foreground, there is lots happening, family, friends, visitors, work, and some exciting stuff. All good stuff


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The New Zealand Wood Pigeon

The kereru is a large and vividly coloured pigeon. A few weeks ago I heard them flying into my small plum orchard and went to sit under the biggest tree to observe their behaviour. I did that for three days in a row, their timing was like clock-work, and was therefore able to get pretty close to them on the fourth day to get these shots. Click on any of the following photos and you will be linked to a gallery of high-resolution kereru photos.


Click on this photo to be linked to my “kereru” gallery.

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Great Barrier Island Photography

I started this blog 5.5 years ago, writing about my life, experiences and opinions on Great Barrier Island. Thanks to all who remind me that this is worthwhile and that I should write more regularly. At the moment, I don’t know what to write about and don’t feel like re-chewing stuff I already wrote about.

During this process I discovered a love for photography and am enjoying this medium very much.

To see these and many more photos of the Barrier in high-resolution, visit:

Cheers, Ben

P.S. If you like my work and have been following this blog out of interest, please share it with others.

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A Special Big Snapper

Roughly a month after our last fishing adventure (the best snapper fishing we’ve experienced so far), Sinclair and I hit another remote ledge on the Barrier. We met at 1430 and headed to the south of the Island. After about 45 min. of hiking we reached a small bay and rock-hopped for another 15 minutes to get to a ledge. The conditions were good, if not great and our timing turned out to be rather perfect. Low tide was at 1730, and we had baits in the water at about 1600. There was a small breeze, the sea calm, the sky overcast, the views outstanding and even the birds left us alone.

The full article including high-resolution photos is available for free on my fishing blog. Click on the following photo to be lined to the article.

What did I catch, click on this photo to read the full article.

What did I catch, click on this photo to read the full article.

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Best Snapper Fishing – Great Barrier Island

Whether you’re a fisher(wo)man or not, I bet you’ll like this story. It is a story of two friends who went land-based fishing on Sunday, 18th Sept. 2016, it is also of a perfect day, worry-free, adventure-rich, spontaneous, the sort you don’t forget. Let’s start with the morning. A windy, cold and rainy morning it is. Are we going fishing?, is it going to stop raining?, are we going to find a decent spot?, shouldn’t I rather stay in by the fire and have an easy Sunday?, I was asking these questions to myself whilst tying fishing rigs and sorting out my backpack.

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Johnson’s Bay – Oruawharo Bay – My Backyard

My good friend tells me to go fishing, the volunteer on site – who is creating a new hiking track – tells me to go fishing and something tells me that more than a few of the good people who read this blog want me to go fishing as well. The bad news is that I wasn’t fishing and have nothing to write about in this respect.

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Where To From Here?

Usually, at this time of the year, with spring being a  month away, I would write about how I revive the garden beds, plant seeds and grow some produce. Presently, a volunteer called Cole is on benisland (and I hope he gets most of the garden preparations done.).

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Words On Food & Eating Habits

When it comes to food, a few things have changed since I moved to the Barrier. The most obvious ones are that I spend less money on food and that the time spent in the (grocery) shop has decreased considerably. Stonewall Store, where I exclusively buy my goods, is in comparison to a supermarket rather tiny, yet it has a great selection and variety of foods and alcoholic drinks. I’m really fortunate to live close to the heart of Tryphena, the biggest settlement on the Island, where Stonewall – the best store on the Barrier (biggest variety, best price, best staff, open 7 days a week) – is located.

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On Being Happier

You probably have experienced more than once that feeling, be it after a birthday, a vacation, the beginning of a new year or a random occurrence, when you realize that you want to and/or need to change. The last couple of years have been rather comfortable, I don’t owe money, my micro-home has come together nicely, the firewood is sorted for winter, visited family and friends in Europe twice, became a keen photographer and other good stuff happened, too.

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