TIRI TIRI ISLAND
In “Tiri Tiri Matangi Island”, you can come as a volunteer to help them for different posts as needs. It is a DOC ( Department Of Conservation ) in New Zealand. It is the opportunity to assist them for the daily routine & more. You will find all the details on the website of the “DOC“.
2 different way to go ; a week or a day. I went for the week by only send an email as they ask & let them know my motivation to come help. 2 volunteers come for a week, so send it the earliest you can to be sure to be booked on the week you want.
It is a 6 hours / day. It can be ; General maintenance, track clearing, painting, beach clean up, feeding the birds, cleaning the water tank…
Warning ; Don’t bring plastic bags. There are some people who bring it & go back with it & it is fine but please try to come just with your backpack. Most Important thing that you will have to bring ; Food for the week ( A big TIPS ; take more than you need – if the weather is not good*, the ferry doesn’t come & you could be stuck in the island for longer than expected !! ), your sleeping bag or bed sheets, mosquito spray, torch & if you want to clean your clothes – your washing powder.
You will share your room with the other volunteer & during the week, if some tourists pay to stay over night, they can be on the same room than you if it is very busy. There are 4 bedrooms, 4-6 beds in each. A big kitchen & a huge table in the share space. The showers are in another room & it is recommended to don’t have long showers.
There is No WiFi on the island. You will find a connection coming up but it is exclusively for the “Researchers” who stay on the island for months. And No, before you ask me, they sign a paper to don’t give the password – HA HA !
Once you are accepted to come to help ; The ferry return is booked for you but you need to go to the Wharf to told them that you are going on the island as “a DOC Volunteer” to get your tickets. There is 2 Wharf to get to ; The Wharf, 2 Queen Street, North cote Point, Auckland, New Zealand & Gulf Harbor. Be at the Wharf 30 mins before departure, it leaves at 9 am.
Ferry Departure Info ; 099 162 241 – After 7 am. Yes because of course, you can be stuck on the island for bad weather but you can also don’t be able to go on the island if there is bad weather*.
Ferry ; Bad weather*= Too much wind or/& storm.
When you arrive at the wharf at the island, leave your backpack in the vehicle trailer that will go to your bunkhouse straight away as you are free to enjoy a visit 2 hours around the island with a ranger & the tourists ( hardly recommended as it was an amazing one & to learn more about all the birds & the island – & take photos of birds ). Then you get time to have lunch & then you are going to learn about the things to do ( Water bath – Water Truff ), rules, security, etc..
Rare & endangered birds of the island ; New Zealand pigeon – Huge, Kokako – very rare to see them & have a beautiful sing, Takahe – They were thinking it was an extinct animal, White head, Bellbird, Saddleback, Stitch Bird, Fantail, Brown Quail & Robin.
Woke up early in the morning to do the “Water” task before 10 am before the visitors arrive. There are 2 walks, same timing – 30 mins, to do 3 spots in one walk & one on the other but it is further away. You will have some company during your walk ; birds are around & they know you are coming for the water. A bit shy but they come to drink very close to you when you are filling the water – Amazing.
We went in the afternoon in the visitor center to clean it & the rest area outside with the benches. Recycling check & sorted from our bunkhouse.
It is an easy going task everyday to do & there is no pressure until the job is done properly. We had some free time & before sunset, we took some torch with the red paper on it, to go try to spot some blue penguins & kiwis at 7 pm. It was exciting. 10 mins walk from the bunkhouse to the wharf & go next to the “penguins boxes”. We had a beautiful sunset & a long wait fixing the ocean for any forms different than waves. Sadly, we didn’t see any, but it is difficult as they have different areas to come back from the ocean.
Walk from “Hobbs beach” then “Cable Road” to “Cable Track”. We saw “Tuataia” – big lizard crossing in front of us. Arriving to the lighthouse ; The stars in hr sky were so bright that I couldn’t resist to take some photos… When suddenly, during the shooting photo, a little kiwi came out from the bush & walked on the walk path to finally run to the other bush next to us. So glad to see a kiwi into the wild.
For 2 days a week, we don’t fill the water bath but we clean it with “Trigene”. Then, we went with the ranger in the Jeep to “Fisherman Bay” to clear veg from fences as they will move some “Takahe in this area & don’t want them to be able to climb in the plants around the fences & escape. It is a hard work but very nice to accomplish.
We had after that 3 days of heavy rain & wind. No visitors to the island for all this time & no rangers as there are no ferries. So we were 5 in the island. 2 volunteers & the 3 researchers.
Had some few hours without rain & went for a walk “East Coast Track” to the view point. We was “rescued” by Safe Guards from the coast as they drop the ranger & the volunteer for the next week, we took the opportunity to have a ride back to “Auckland”.
It is definitely an experience that I recommend to everyone who loves wildlife & nature. It is one of the place protected in New Zealand & it is a privilege to be in the island for a week. Enjoy it & share your experience too.