Accommodation:

You’re a christian community, does that mean I have to be a christian to come and stay?

There are no prerequisites for being a guest or visitor here. We welcome all. We have chosen a christian, community-based way of living with a disposition to love and provide generous hospitality.

We won’t push our faith on you but we are always happy to share it over a cuppa. So if you’re seeking direction and would like to talk or pray with someone about your own faith journey please talk to Anne Marie or Ryan at Orama reception.

If you would like to stay and join in community life for a while you can apply to be a volunteer.

Activities:

Can I walk through the bird sanctuary?

You can get to the Kotuku Peninsula sanctuary from the Orama side by following the farm road from the Orama car park up the hill and through the pine trees behind the Shady Heights cabins. You will eventually reach the top of the hill and see the predator proof fence. The fence runs all the way down to Port Fitzroy and is designed to protect the sea birds nesting in the Kotuku Peninsula from rats and cats. You may enter sanctuary through the door in the fence.  Please remember to close the door after you. Once through the door you can walk down the farm road into Arthur’s Bay and beyond via the network of tracks. These tracks are currently used for rat trapping and are not well formed walking tracks – so please be careful as they are very steep in some places.

Please respect the boundaries to other people’s property when walking along the peninsula. In addition to land owned by DoC the peninsula is owned by four main land-owners – Orama, Glenfern Sanctuary, the Winger Family and the Leys Family. In particular if  you want to venture into the Glenfern Sanctuary you must let the sanctuary managers know in advance. We are happy to do this on your behalf. Just come into the shop and let us know when you’re going.

Do you have any fitness equipment or a gym?

At present we do not offer gym facilities. A recommended alternative is to try the various walks on the property or to jog up Karaka Bay Rd and back. We do have a hall with a marked basket ball court and hoop at one end. The hall can also be set up for volley ball if required.

Do you hire out push bikes?

We do not hire out bikes at this time. eBikes and scooters can be hired from Paddles and Saddles.

What beaches are close by?

If you’re up for a walk with the reward of a stunning white sandy beach then head over the ridge from Orama to Onehwhero Bay (adjacent to Nimaro). The walk takes about 60 minutes from Orama and is suitable for adults and children with a medium level of fitness.

Another very popular beach about 20 minutes drive from Orama is Whangapoua Bay. Turn left at the Okiwi School into Mabey’s Rd and drive to the end where you’ll find a carpark and a DoC campsite. A short walk through the trees gets you to one of Barrier’s most beautiful white beaches.

What outdoor activities are available?

There’s plenty to do here at Orama and in the bay. Sports and volley ball on the front lawn, exploring the foreshore, fishing, diving, snorkelling, walking, bird watching are all popular activities. Orama does not hire outdoor equipment, however Hillary Outdoors are able to hire out kayaks, wetsuits and diving equipment but you will need to book these well in advance – contact the Hillary Centre Manager Gemma Parkin by email at gemmap@hillaryoutdoors.co.nz or phone 09 4290762.

What walking tracks are close by?

Where can I go jogging?

Where is the best place to go snorkeling?

Karaka Bay has a number of smaller bays and reefs that are great for snorkelling. Green island at the northern end of Port Abercrombie is also a favourite spot.

Where is the best place to surf?

The closest and best surfing is at Whangapoua Beach with its famous right hand break. The next nearest surf beach is 30 minutes drive away at Awana and even further south is Medlands another 20 minutes drive.

Boating:

Can I launch my boat from a trailer?

Yes – we have a good concrete boat ramp suitable for launching trailer boats. You can launch at most times except when the tide is dead low. Please make arrangements with us in advance about where to park your trailer before and after launching.

Do you have a mooring I can use?

We have one mooring which can be booked subject to availability. If you would like to use the mooring please contact us well in advance of your visit. Besides the mooring other options are just to anchor in the bay or to tie up at the Orama wharf – although use of the wharf/pontoon for other than pick-up and drop-off must be arranged prior to your visit.

Do you hire out kayaks or boats?

Orama does not hire out kayaks or boats. However they can be hired from the Hillary Outdoors Education Centre located here at Orama. You will need to book these well in advance since this equipment is used by Hillary’s own programmes. Please contact the centre manager Gemma Parkin for more details via email gemmap@hillaryoutdoors.co.nz or by phone on 09 4290 762.

How deep is the water at your wharf/pontoon?

At dead low tide there can be as little as 0.5m under the pontoon through to about 2.5m at high tide (and closer to 3m during a high king tide).

What facilities do you have for boats?

We have a wharf with a floating pontoon and a mooring available for guest use. The pontoon is not big enough to have boats tied up to it for long periods – so use of the pontoon is limited to pick-up and drop-off only.

Options for longer term parking of your boat include re-trailering your boat, using the mooring, anchoring in the bay or tying up at the back (north end) of the pontoon (subject to availability). You will need to get permission to tie up at the pontoon for longer than the pickup/drop-off period of 20 minutes.

Drinkable water is also available on the wharf via a fire hose. Please ensure the hose is left coiled up on the deck of the wharf and out of the way so no one trips on it.

Where can I park my boat trailer?

Space is limited around the boat ramp area so please do not park your trailer there otherwise it leaves little space for boat launch and pickup. So please arrange parking for your trailer in advance at time of booking or by contacting Orama.

Communications:

Do you have a public telephone?

We have a telephone booth for guest use located outside the Orama shop – just inside the main entrance to the lodge. Calls to land-lines within New Zealand are free, however international and mobile calls are treated as toll calls and you will need a phone card to make these calls. Phone cards are available from the Orama shop.

Do you have mobile coverage?

Orama has patchy mobile coverage for the Vodafone network only from a cell site located on Kaikoura Island to the north west. This cell site provides coverage for the Port Fitzroy and Port Abercrombie areas and its signal is repeated over the hill to the Okiwi township. There is no access to the Spark network in the bay. One or two bars of signal can be found on the Orama foreshore, and much stronger signal is possible as you walk up the track to the lookout above Orama or up Karaka Bay Rd toward Aotea Rd. Typically there is no coverage inside any of the Orama buildings.

Do you have wifi?

We have a wifi network covering the majority of the buildings and adjacent grounds. This network is connected to the internet via a 4G rural broadband connection. Guest access to the network is available through a wifi hotspot and the use of vouchers which are sold at the Orama shop. Vouchers are priced on a per MB basis in increments of 100MB, 250MB, 500MB, 750MB and 1000MB.

Please note that internet performance is not guaranteed and is very variable due to our remote location and contention for cell tower use by other users such as boaties and the Port Fitzroy and Okiwi townships. At peak holiday periods with the influx of boaties and visitors internet speed is much reduced and patience is required!

Wifi terms and conditions must be accepted before you connect to the wifi hotspot. A link to these terms and conditions is provided on the hotspot landing page when you connect to the Orama Guest network.

How do I post a letter or send a package?

There is a mailbox for outgoing mail outside the Orama shop. The mailbox is usually cleared each day and mail taken to the post office facility at Port Fitzroy Store. Incoming mail is also collected from the Port Fitzroy Store, sorted alphabetically and put in one of the A-Z pigeon holes outside our shop. Larger items and parcels are placed on the floor underneath the pigeon holes. Postage stamps can be purchased at the shop.

Entertainment:

Can I light a fire on the beach?

In general no. Over the summer there is a total fire ban until the middle of April when fires then become restricted and require a permit from the local council. If you particularly want a fire for a specific event during the restricted season please contact us and we’ll attempt to organise a permit for you.

Do have an activities room with a TV?

Orama has a breakout room with a table tennis table and an adjacent hall with a marked basket ball court and hoop at one end.

Fishing:

Do you have a fish smoker?

Orama does have a fish smoker located by the fish cleaning station at the Orama wharf. However currently the smoker cannot be used during the summer until mid-April when there is a fire ban in place. Please contact us if you would like to use the smoker so we can confirm that it can be used.

Do you hire out fishing gear?

No we don’t hire out fishing gear – so best to bring your own. We sell a small amount of fishing tackle (hooks, sinkers) at the shop. Bait (pilchards and squid) can also be purchased at the shop.

Do you sell fish bait?

Both squid and pilchard bait can be purchased from the Orama shop.

Where are the best places to fish?

Now that would be telling! Seriously many fish are caught in and around Karaka Bay – sometimes off the Orama wharf and also off the rocks around from the wharf. However fishing is much better if you have a boat. You can catch fish just about anywhere in the bay and a little further out into Port Abercrombie but some favourite spots include the mussel farm on the way to Port Fitzroy, close in to Green Island, over the top of Green Reef, the western side of Nagles Cove and just off Bradshaw Cove.

Where can we get rid of fish frames?

Fish frames and guts should be disposed off at sea – at least 1km from the Orama wharf to prevent attracting sharks and sting rays. The wharf and pontoon is a popular children’s swimming spot.

Where can we gut and clean fish?

There is a fish processing bench with running water down by the wharf. After using this area please make sure it is left clean and tidy. Make sure you remove all fish frames, scales and guts and dump these out at sea at least 1km away from Orama. Please do not put fish frames and guts in with Orama rubbish, or throw them off the wharf or pontoon – doing so will attract sharks and sting rays and put at risk the kids who swim in this area.

Facilities:

Do you have heating in the rooms?

The self-contained rooms have portable LPG heaters. All other rooms do not have any heating devices. Hot water bottles are recommended in winter and one should be located in your room – if not you can request one from housekeeping.

Do you have laundry facilities?

Orama has a commercial laundry facility located on the ground floor. The laundry has token-operated commercial washing machines and driers. Tokens can be purchased from the Orama shop.

What facilities do you have for children?

Orama is a paradise for children. In addition to the expansive lawn for running around on there is a professionally built children’s playground, a trampoline, a rope swing, a volley-ball net (in the summer) and a table-tennis table in the break-out room. For the under 5’s there is also a playroom kitted out with toys and activities. The older kids will love to fish, swim and jump off the pontoon; and the smaller ones will enjoy swimming from the boat ramp or the sandy spots on the foreshore. For those who like basket ball and volley ball the hall has a marked court for both and a basket ball hoop at one end.

Where do we put rubbish?

Orama maintains recycling bins along the north side of the lodge past the main kitchen. Please put your rubbish into the appropriate bins. Labelled bins are available for: Paper, Plastic, Aluminium cans, Tin Cans and Glass. All other rubbish should go into the bins marked landfill.  Fish frames and guts must not be thrown in the rubbish and should be dumped at sea at least 1km away from the Orama wharf.

Food and Beverage:

Can I buy meals?

Meals including continental breakfast, lunch and dinner can be ordered online, or when you book your accommodation or by arrangement from the Orama shop.

Do I have to boil the water before drinking?

There is no need to boil water at Orama. All our water is fed from the stream and treated at our water-treatment station where it is both filtered and sterilised (with UV). Normally the water is crystal clear however it can get a little discoloured during periods of heavy rain when the stream gets silty.

If you’re in anyway worried about drinking the water then you can buy bottled water (still and sparkling) from the Orama shop.

Do you have BBQ’s?

A BBQ available for general guest use is located outside Rose Cottage. The two Seaview units each also have a BBQ located on the veranda outside each unit.

Do you sell alcohol?

We do not have a license to sell alcohol. A limited selection of beer, wines and spirits can be purchased from the store at Port Fitzroy or at the Rocks in Claris.

Do you sell icecream?

You’d be surprised how often we get asked this. Unfortunately we do not sell ice cream due to the difficulty in transporting it without it melting. The nearest shop that sells icecream is the Port Fitzroy Store – 15 minutes drive from Orama.

What cooking facilities do you have?

Shared guest cooking facilities are available in the Guest Kitchen upstairs in the lodge and in the Rose Cottage camp kitchen adjacent to the lodge’s courtyard. All self-contained rooms and units have their own kitchens.

Where can we store food and keep food cold?

There are storage shelves available for food in the Rose Cottage camp kitchen. There are also fridges available in Rose Cottage and upstairs in the lodge guest kitchen. Since these are shared spaces please make sure it is appropriately contained/sealed and labelled with your name.

Where can I buy decent coffee?

Good coffee is available at the My Fat Puku cafe in Claris. They also do great pizza’s from 4:30pm in the evening during the summer.

Policies:

What is the age applicable to child rates?

A child is considered to be aged from 2 to 14 years old. This means adult prices apply to persons 15 years and older.

Do you allow alcohol?

Alcohol may be consumed inside your room or on the deck outside your room but not in public or shared-use areas which include front and back lawn, community dining room, upstairs lounge, guest kitchen and the camp kitchen. Excessive consumption of alcohol is not permitted as this may lead to unsafe behaviour.

Do you allow smoking?

Smoking is not permitted in and around any of the Orama buildings. Smoking is permitted on the foreshore and in the public carpark. Please use the sand-filled tins provided for cigarette butts rather than throwing them on the ground.

What are your check-in and check-out times?

Our standard checkin time is 2pm and checkout is 10am. Late checkout can be arranged at reception or at time of booking.

Services:

Do you have credit card and EFTPOS payment facilities?

Yes – the Orama shop has EFTPOS and credit card facilities for paying your bill or purchasing items from the shop.

Do you sell ice?

We do not sell ice but you can buy bags of ice at the Port Fitzroy Store, 15 minutes drive from Orama.

Do you sell LPG?

We do not sell LPG however you can get refills at the Port Fitzroy Store, 15 minutes drive from Orama.

What restrictions are there on using electricity?

Orama is totally off-the-grid which means we generate all our own electricity. We use a mixture of solar and generator-based power. Solar is used to charge batteries that supply critical equipment around the site 7 x 24 and the generator is used to power everything else – including lights and all high-power appliances (clothes driers, vacuum cleaners etc). The generator comes on automatically between 7:00am to 10:30am and 4:30pm to 10:30pm. This means you will need to ensure any power requirements you have fall within these times.

There are a limited number of battery-based inverter power outlets available around the lodge for those that need to charge low-power electronics e.g. computers, phones, tablets, speakers, CPAP machines etc. Please ask at the Orama shop for the location of inverter power outlets. These outlets must not  be used for high-power appliances such as hair driers, vacuum cleaners, microwaves, electric blankets etc as this will result in blowing a circuit breaker and the disabling of other important equipment.

If you need power during the night for a CPAP machine please also discuss this with us in advance of your stay.

Where is the nearest doctor?

Where is the nearest petrol station?

The nearest petrol station is Port Fitzroy Fuel and Marine Supplies on the wharf at Port Fitzroy. Both 91 octane petrol and diesel is sold there.

Where is the nearest pharmacy?

The nearest pharmacy is Barrier Pharmacy in Claris, 117 Hector Sanderson Rd, phone 09 4290 006.

Where is the nearest shop?

Orama has a shop just inside the main entrance to the lodge. The shop sells a limited range of confectionery (including chocolate), chips, biscuits, soft drinks, water, toiletries, fishing tackle, batteries etc. The shop is typically open during business hours (8:30am to 5pm) and usually closed on the weekends. Contact the duty manager if you need to buy something on the weekend.

Much more selection is available at the Port Fitzroy Store just 15 minutes drive from Orama. The store can be contacted on 09 4290 056.

Transport:

Do you have any cars or vans for hire?

Orama does not hire out vans or cars for guest use. Your best bet is to use one of the local hire car operators e.g. North Barrier Car Rentals.

How do we get to you?

Details of how to get to Orama can be found here.

Is there a taxi service on the island?

There is no taxi service per se – but there are various shuttle services available on the island. Here in the north you can contact Mike Newman on 021 876 296 or 09 4290 052. Orama is also able to provide transport for airport transfer and some activities. Please contact us in advance with your requirements or ask at the Orama shop if you’re already on site. Other shuttle services located further down the island include:

AA Tryphena Shuttles – 027 282 2733
Explore Great Barrier – 09 4290 897 or 021 636 398
GBI Shuttle & Transfers – 09 4290 062
Go Great Barrier Island – 09 4290 222 or  email info@gogreatbarrierisland.co.nz
Great Barrier Travel – 09 4290 474 – 0800 426 832
Tryphena Shuttles – 027 282 2733

What transport is available to/from the airport?

Airport pickup and drop-off by an Orama van can be arranged at time of booking or through the Orama shop. Please contact us in advance with your requirements or ask at the Orama shop if you’re already on site. Other shuttle services on the island include:

AA Tryphena Shuttles – 027 282 2733
Explore Great Barrier – 09 4290 897 or 021 636 398
GBI Shuttle & Transfers – 09 4290 062
Go Great Barrier Island – 09 4290 222 or  email info@gogreatbarrierisland.co.nz
Great Barrier Travel – 09 4290 474 – 0800 426 832
Mike Newman on 021 876 296 or 09 4290 052 (located at Port Fitzroy)
Tryphena Shuttles – 027 282 2733

Where can I park?

Guest parking is available in the public carpark outside the main Orama entrance and on the side of the road along the foreshore. Parking is not permitted on the lawn or by the wharf without prior arrangement.