Island no Barrier to love
First there was the Middlemarch Singles Ball, then Stewart Island's and now Great Barrier Island is getting in on the act.
Singles from across the country will be invited for a cheeky weekend away on 'The Barrier' in August for an event inspired by television series The Love Boat.
The Partners in Paradise event will see up to 350 singles treated to food, wine and a chance to mingle with the opposite sex in a bid to raise money to support the island's Tryphena Netball Team.
Great Barrier Island Local Board chairman Paul Downie is the poster boy for the singles weekend and said the board would like to see it become an annual event.
"We believe it has the potential to capture imaginations and hearts from around the region and bring first time visitors to our island,'' he said.
Tryphena Netball Team member Sarah Richardson said the event was created because there were a couple of single girls on the team.
"We thought 'why not', it's a good way for some of the locals to meet off-islanders and an opportunity for people to find their true love,'' she said.
Organisers are expecting anyone between 18 and 80 to sign up.
"It will be fun, but tame, and cater for all ages - there will be ice breakers," she said.
Richardson said there has been positive feedback from locals already.
"People have said it's a fantastic idea. It started off as a smaller thing and now it's a massive event that will continue every year hopefully," she said.
The netball team will play host for the event and have devised an imaginative programme of activities including a world-class hypnotist show by master performer Tony Banfield, island style speed-dating and live music by local rock band Beatz Workin.
Other activities include chartered fishing trips, local market shopping, a guided bush walk to the island's natural hot springs, a pig hunting and a nude model drawing class.
Partners in Paradise will be held August 3 to 5 and is restricted to those over 18 years.
Tickets cost $165 and can purchased through eventfinder.co.nz.
Visit www.thebarrier.co.nz for more information or www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/greatbarrier to win yourself and a friend tickets, luxury accommodation and return flights to the island.