I had an amazing week working remotely from Great Barrier Island, although I was severely infected by the “Barrier Bug”:
Symptoms include: A subtle but incessant sense of peacefulness and wellbeing, a loss of memory concerning responsibilities back on the mainland, a gradual loss of memory of ‘the mainland’, an uncontrollable urge to wave at oncoming traffic & to stop and chat with everyone you meet, a heightened awareness and appreciation of the beauty surrounding you and an inability to stop looking at Real Estate pamphlets and flyers.
I felt privileged to experience such a stunningly beautiful and quirky place. It’s incredible that working in tech can facilitate visiting these wild natural spaces, all the while keeping up usual working hours!
Barrier is pretty easy to get to, it’s only a 30 minute flight from Auckland Airport. But it’s a world away from the mainland. The 900 locals live totally off grid, generating their own electricity, and there are no banks, public transport or streetlights. The residents I met were incredibly resourceful, friendly people, who were always welcome to hitchhikers.
The island has reliable areas of 3G coverage which are perfect for all web development needs like video calling, screen sharing, googling. I was staying with another remote working friend, so we spent the days focused on programming, and the afternoons going on island adventures!
Over 60% of the island is public land administered by the Department of Conservation. Despite years of mining and logging, the island’s ecosystem is recovering, resulting in stunning beaches, forests and wildlife. We went tramping, snorkeling, star gazing, and ate freshly caught fish every day, alongside organic veggies from the koha community garden.
The photos of Barrier speak for themselves. It’s an incredible place that I can’t wait to return to!
Photo credit: Ben Maule