Bathurst Island



Bathurst Island


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As the Island faces many risks, landowners and developers have rushed to secure land for future development. This is to the detriment of many of the hardy indigenous plants, which have found no place in the scenario. Learn about the changes taking place on Bathurst Island, read for updates on the current horticultural scenario and find out who is making land available for continuing native vegetation preservation efforts.

Bathurst Island


Bathurst Island was first discovered by Europeans in 1774. The first group of settlers, led by Scottish trader Alexander Ogilvy, arrived on the island in 1812. A penal settlement operated from 1830 to 1868 and the island’s plantations were productive for sugar cane and cotton. By 1911 only a few hundred people lived on Bathurst Island, but it was declared a National Park in 1915 due to its exceptional natural features.

Conservation Through Native Planting

A three-year land use planning process, which ended in February 2011, is being used to harmonize current management needs relating to native flora and fauna with their desired level of protection. The island’s potential ecosystem cannot be developed without significant changes from existing uses set out in the Strategic Plan.


Bathurst Island has an oceanic climate, which is moderated by the surrounding Tasman Sea. The island experiences warm to hot summers and cold winters with rainfall mainly in the winter months. It is sub-tropical and borderline humid, with annual temperatures ranging from 15.8 to 28.2 °C (60–82°F). The climate of Bathurst Island was determined through the establishment of its baseline bioclimatic conditions in 2004 including physical factors such as mean relative humidity, average winter temperatures and a range for three different weather sensors.


The Māori people have inhabited the island for centuries. They are of the iwi Ngati Apa, who claim descent from Hotene Tana-i-Rangi (the first man), through Rauparaha and Tuhoe. There is also a small population of Pakeha on Bathurst Island descended from families that arrived in the early 1900s during New Zealand’s gold rush . The island is well known for its seafood and red crab fishing, which has recently been developed following a recent decline in stocks. The superb natural environment attracts outdoor recreationalists ranging from bird watchers to mountain bikers, as well as shipwreck enthusiasts who come searching the waters off Bathurst Island’s coast .


The island is part of the Tasman District Council and is represented by two councillors. The district council has responsibility for local issues such as land use, environmental protection and infrastructure development. Like most rural areas in New Zealand, Bathurst Island is a stronghold of the National Party. Bathurst Island has a long history of early English explorers and whalers, such as Captain James Cook. Later Bathurst Island was given its current name by Lieutenant Philip Gidley King during the 1840s who named it after his family property on New South Wales in Australia.

Government Services

The island is served by the RNZAF Station Wigram and Air New Zealand service from Christchurch. There are Auspost, Telecom, and Vodafone stores on the island. A hospital operates as a part of the DHB Waikato Regional Hospital in Hamilton . There is no public transport on the island.


The primary economic activities are tourism, red crab fishing and sheep farming. The largest employer is Air New Zealand with a workforce of 46 full-time and 229 part-time staff . The farming and tourism industries each contribute $3.9 million in wages to the economy on an average per year basis. In 2017, a seasonal ferry service was introduced that provides cars between Great Barrier Island and Bathurst Island operated by members of the Club Nautique de Nouvelle-Calédonie (CNC). An annual regatta is organised by yacht clubs at either end where tourists can visit for free .


Tourism dominates the economy on Bathurst Island with an estimated 2,500 visitors per month in 2018. The majority of tourists are from New Zealand with a smaller number coming from Australia and Europe . In 2017, visitor expenditure reached $3.8 million which generated 84 jobs . There are a number of accommodation options with some operated as part-privately owned lodges. The local council offers visitors walking tracks through the island where you can see sheep, red crabs and abandoned family homesteads . Some sport fishing regulations still apply on Bathurst Island


There is no public transport on the island with visitors having to rely on Air New Zealand to get between the different areas of the island. The only way to get off the island is by ferry operated by CNC which runs every day from both ends of Bathurst Island . Access to the island is entirely private and there are no publicly accessible beaches. Climate

Bathurst Island has a tropical climate with two distinct seasons. The southern half is humid and warm, the northern side similar but less so due to cooler ocean currents. June through December are considered typical tourist months with high nights , low temperatures and 30 mm of rain per month . Summers on the island can be dry however rainfall increases in May during the annual monsoons that hit Australia’s north-west coast.


The majority of the cuisine on Bathurst Island is inspired by New Zealand with dishes such as kaiake and pork schnitzel being popular. The island also has its own beer, wine and rum producers . Extremely limited fresh seafood is available including local crayfish.

Recreation Activities There are few activities available on the island apart from fishing and attending to sheep. The island is mainly a place for leisurely days of relaxation. Occasionally, independent films have been shot near Bathurst due to its isolation and ocean views .


Bathurst Island protects two offshore marine reserves which were established in 2012 by Norfolk Island Marine Park Authority (NIMPA) under the provisions of Australia’s EPBC Act .


The island is home to a number of native animals including the 14 kg (30 lb) kiwi, flightless cormorant and tuatara . The endangered Australasian sea lion and the hefty rufous hare contribute to the island’s endemic biodiversity . Many of these species are protected under international agreements, much like Norfolk Island which is neighbouring half way across Bass Strait.


Australia is a long way off from the coast of Europe. But, to navigate the sweltering heat that is present in that distance, there are plenty of options. One of these is Bathurst Island. This island lies about 17 kilometres off the coast of Batemans Bay in New South Wales. It is a tiny piece of heaven for those who love beaches and the serenity that it brings to those who rest near its shores. If you have never known this island, you should look into its history and learn more about its claims to fame.


Is There Anything Else That I Should Know Before Joining This Program?

Yes, in addition to the fact that we do not have borders or staff members at the island. Bathurst Island is a part of New South Wales (NSW) and residents can apply for permanent residency after four years whenever joining Sailing Around Australia program.

Is there anything else I need to know before purchasing Sail & Surf?

Is There A Catch To Joining This Program?

There are no catches with the program that we conduct. It is simple, straightforward and straight-to-the point for those who want to experience sailing around Australia like a breeze without spending an extravagant amount of money in doing does. Plus, there isn’t any need to put you through more stress than it already offers since all regulations were followed by our team members when they joined this course few years ago

What Is Bathurst Island?

Bathurst is a beautiful small island situated off the coast of Batemans Bay in New South Wales. The one-square mile landmass is roughly home to around 100 people and independent businesses with only three restaurants on it.

Pros Cons ● Easily accessible via water transport (estimated at two hours). ● It has an artisan’s mindset which sets it apart from others -they work as suppliers for other islands, resorts and hotels

How Does Bathurst Island Work?

Services provided

Sailing and/or boating : – You will be guided through your sailing in and around various Australian islands by our skilled instructors.  This activity is restricted to one group per tour that features at least three students from different locations ● Providing accommodation for pupils who are interested on the island: – If you do not have accommodations, we can help you find where to stay for free. Otherwise, our team

What Are The Benefits Of Participating In The Bathurst Island Program?

As the title of this FAQ states, you will be able to fulfil your desire of experiencing sailing and boating in Australia without paying a hefty amount. Here are some reasons why: ● You will not have to worry about arranging for accommodation since it is already provided for free.

  • Without stopping on any stops along the journey, there is little chance that our team members may reach their destination earlier than planned due to whiles between islands during their navigation

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