Summer 2014-2015

It’s summertime…
Some days its incredibly inspirational working here.
Recently I had a family group of nine volunteer a
day of their annual holiday time to weed, mulch
and help maintain our Pateke habitat area, all
organised by their 15 year old son – a passionate
conservationist and ornithologist. He had emailed
several weeks earlier enquiring about volunteering
and carried through, arriving with two families all
keen to contribute their time despite the searing
temperature (their reward was a tour of Glenfern
walk to see the black petrel, followed by a refreshing
Whilst they were weeding I had another family group
arrive for a guided tour. This group had three girls from
5 to 12 years old, so I assumed a relatively quick tour.
I was proved very wrong. They were totally absorbed
along the tour, exclaiming at the weta, enthralled
by the Kauri tree swing-bridge and platform and
impressed by the black petrel sitting diligently in its
burrow. They had lots of questions and really inspired
me as to the value of the work we are doing here.
This enthusiasm makes the more mundane tasks of
rodent control all worth it, although we have had
many wins recently in this area as well. More on this
DOC continue to be our primary funding source with
a successful bid to the Community Conservation
Partnership Fund secured late last year. This will
provide funding for biosecurity and help towards

restoration projects for 2015. Other funding is being
sought towards bird monitoring and tracks for this
As we launch ourselves into another anticipated
busy year, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank
all the people that have contributed their time
and resources to support this Sanctuary, helping to
‘create a safe haven for our native species’.
Emma, Scott and Pippa


All donations are greatly appreciated and used soley for the biodiveristy and biosecurity management of the sanctuary.


Pay By Credit Card, Direct Deposit or Cheque

Credit Card:

Direct Deposit can be made to:
Account Name: Glenfern Sanctuary Charitable Trust
Bank/Branch No: 123198
Account No: 0040211 00
Bank: ASB
If you require a receipt please include the word “donation” in the description and email:

Cheques can be made out to Glenfern Sanctuary Charitable Trust and sent to: Glenfern Sanctuary
Port Fitzroy
Great Barrier Island

Anything you can afford to give will make a difference and allow us to continue to create and maintain a safe haven for our precious native species.

Thank you!


260 hectares of established and regenerating native bush carefully managed and monitored within a predator proof fence.


A predator proof fence runs along the eastern perimeter of the Kotuku Peninsula


Aerial photo of Port Fitzroy in 1959 (a barren Kotuku peninsula is displayed on the right)


With the success of the Glenfern Sanctuary Project and the return of the birdlife of old, Tony had the vision to extend the predator controlled area to the entire Kotuku Peninsula. This was to be an enormous undertaking and required something more than just baiting and planting.

The solution was two fold. The first step was to put in a grid netwok of over 1200 tracking tunnels so that we would know the location any pests within the monitored area. The second step was installing a 2km long Xcluder Predator Proof Fence that would guard the entire peninsula from reinvasion.

Kotuku Peninsula showing the monitoring grid including over 2500 tunnels and
bait stations

The fence and moitoring system have been in place for over three years now. In that time there have been many reinvasions but with a constantly evolving mangement plan and concientious work we are able to keep pests at bay.

See our latest peninsula-wide monitoring results here.

About Us

The Glenfern Team are responsible for not only “Glenfern Sanctuary” but the biodiversity management of the entire Kotuku Peninsula.

This unique area is administered by the Kotuku Peninsula Charitable Trust, consisting of landownwers and passionate individuals with specific skill sets.

We have few full time staff but employ the use of many skilled and passionate Great Barrier Island locals for specific tasks.

We usually have at least a couple of greatly appreciated volunteers living on site. If you’re interested in volunteering we’d love to hear from you. Contact Emma at


A (very) brief history …
In 1992 Tony Bouzaid planted the first few trees in his property in Port Fitzroy that was later to become known as Glenfern Sanctuary.

20 years later the area of restoration has been expanded to include the entire 260 hectare peninsula and the Kotuku Peninsula Sanctuary was created.

This area is now protected by a 2km Xcluder Pest Proof Fence and is intensely managed and monitored.

The sanctuary is providing a safe habitat for many endangered native species including the black petrel, brown teal, chevron skink and the recently re-introduced North Island Robin.

Accomodation is available on-site through Glenfern Cottage and Fitzroy House


Reviews and Testimonials

Check out our reviews from Book a Bach or read a testimonial from the editor of Elements Magazine..

“Arriving at Fitzroy House, and indeed its more modest neighbour, [Glenfern] Cottage, is a special experience. The moment you reach the pest-proof fence – the legacy of the Late Tony Bouzaid whose aim was to keep this part of magic Great Barrier Island as pristine as possible – you realize you are entering a special sort of Eden, a place this community treasures and has strived to protect.

The splendour of the luxury of Fitzroy House itself – a large, open-plan and gorgeous historic homestead – is a surprise: it doesn’t feel as though staying on a conservation estate should feel so luxurious. From every west-facing window there are tantalizing views of the deep, still, Fitzroy Harbour and, on the hill behind the house, moreporks call through the night from the cover of the bush.

There are a multitude of things to do – the trouble is what to do first, and how to fit it all in. Choose from a plunge into the depths off the private wharf (a short stroll through a nature walk down the hill), take an open kayak and explore the little bays of Fitzroy Harbour or, if you’re feeling adventurous, hop into one of the more serious sea kayaks and go further afield.

The real treasures, however, are up the hill behind the house, happily residing in the regenerating bush of some 15,000 planted natives and ancient forest too tough for the loggers of yesteryear to bother with. Birdlife is multitudinous, and on the rise, thanks to the efforts of the conservation team and their wide network of volunteers. Scott and Emma will give you the full rundown of their work and the value of protecting our vulnerable fauna. There are several tracks to explore, and you can take a moment to check out the breeding pair of Pateke ducks on the pond, view the memorial to Bouzaid at the top of the hill, and walk into the branches of a 600-year-old kauri tree via a swinging bridge into its crown. Walk the easy, board-walked track down the outrageously lush valley back to the house.

On a special island, Glenfern Sanctuary is a uniquely special place, one in which you can combine a rediscovery of nature with a deeply relaxing and comfortable stay.”
-James Russell
Editor Elements Magazine


Both Fitzroy House and Glenfern Cottage are available for holiday rental accommodation, weddings and corporate functions. Please view the two minute video above to view the property. The historic buildings are positioned overlooking Pt FitzRoy and are set among mature gardens and lawns. They are located within Glenfern Sanctuary which is a fenced, pest controlled restoration project. Access is via the main road or by boat.

Fitzroy House and Glenfern Cottage are ideal holiday homes for those with a boat for fishing and exploring the harbour and coastline, as a base from which to explore the island on foot or by vehicle, or simply as a place to get away from it all and experience life at a slower pace.

Read some reviews, see our seasonal rates or contact us to make an enquiry or booking.

For information on Lovebirds 2014, a three-day Great Barrier Island (GBI) getaway to view native land and sea birds in their natural environment, follow this link.

Glenfern cottage
Glenfern Cottage was built adjacent to the main house in 1923, and has been completely renovated to offer clean, comfortable accommodation for up to six people. The Cottage is a self-contained, 3 bedroom separate entity. There are 3 bedrooms (one queen, two single beds, and one bunk bed) , 1 bathroom (with shower, basin and toilet) and a kitchen/living area and several/entertainment areas. The kitchen/lounge is well-equipped and comfortable, with French-doors opening onto two porches, both having marvelous views out over the Port and set against Barrier’s native-bush-covered hills. A Logaire fireplace in the lounge makes the cottage cosy and warm in the winter. The self-contained domestic facilities include all linen, towels, cutlery, crockery, pots, pans and the basic condiments. The Cottage has a full-size fridge/freezer and a gas stove.

The cottage accommodates six people. Available throughout the year.

Click here for the availability calendar of Glenfern Cottage via our listing on the ‘bookabach’ website

Fitzroy House


Built in 1901, Fitzroy House is the original homestead and is set within 230 ha pest fenced Glenfern Sanctuary. The much loved home of the Bouzaid family, Fitzroy House is offered for the first time for families to share and experience this unique location.

This recently renovated homestead offers spacious open living areas with bay windows opening to a large deck, overlooking Fitzroy Harbour. There is a functional modern kitchen complete with gas oven and Stanley wood oven. The dining area adjoins the kitchen and has seating for up to 10. There are five large bedrooms (one with ensuite); two bedrooms have queen beds, the others have two singles. The main bathroom has a shower, bath tub, wash hand-basin and toilet, and the master bedroom’s ensuite has a shower, wash hand-basin and toilet.
A short stroll from the house accesses the private wharf with floating dock and boat shed which is available for your use. A mooring may be available on request.

Check-out is around 10 am on the day of departure but guests are welcome to continue to use the grounds and facilities until their departure time.

Click here for the availability calendar of Fitzroy House on our listing on the ‘bookabach’ website

Private wharf, floating dock with deep water and boat shed
Kayaks available for your use
10 minute walk to Pt Fitzroy store and boatclub/pub
24 hour power, laundry available
Day and overnight walks (eg. Aotea Track) easily accessed from the property
Unlimited access to Glenfern Sanctuary walks, which include access to the crown
of a Kauri tree via a swing bridge

Glenfern Cottage
2 nights stay: $225 per night for 2 people, plus $50 extra per person, per night
3 nights stay: $175 per night for 2 people, plus $50 extra per person, per night
Public holidays making a long weekend: $375 per night flat rate
Peak Season: 24th December – 15th January: $400 per night flat rate
Sleeps maximum of 6

Fitzroy House
Off Peak: 15th January – 23rd December: $700 per night flat rate
Peak Season: 24th December – 15th January: $750 per night flat rate
5 night minimum stay (excluding long weekends and Easter)
3 night minimum stay long weekends and Easter
Sleeps maximum of 10

10% discount for stays of 1 week or longer (excludes peak season).
Minimum stay 2 nights. A 33% deposit is required on confirmation.

Glenfern Sanctuary Guided Walk
$40 pp Min of 6. Contact us for a booking

Price on application

Refund Policy
A full refund of your deposit less 20% administrative charge will be made if more than 21 days notice is given:
We refund 50% of the deposit if more than 14 days notice is given.
We cannot refund if the cancellation is received less than 14 days from the arrival, or in case of peak season (Xmas to 10 February) less than 31 days from arrival, except in exceptional circumstances and at our discretion.
In the event of either the sea or air transport being cancelled, clients are required to use the alternative means of transport or forfeit their deposit. Any additional cost to be incurred by client.
In the unusual event of extreme weather conditions making travel to the island impossible by both sea and air we will refund in full less the 20% administration charge, or accept an alternative booking.



Glenfern Sanctuary is a predator controlled area on Great Barrier Island in the Hauraki gulf of New Zealand, where threatened and endangered species are able to thrive once more