Love Boat the ticket to island romance

By Amelia Wade

Tryphena netball girls Ebony (left) and Roslyn (right) in Love Boat mode with local board member Richard Sommerville-Ryan, who is dressed as the captain. Photo / Supplied
Tryphena netball girls Ebony (left) and Roslyn (right) in Love Boat mode with local board member Richard Sommerville-Ryan, who is dressed as the captain. Photo / Supplied

Are you single, ready to mingle, keen for a nude model drawing class and in the mood for a weekend away on a remote island?

Then Great Barrier Island's singles getaway event could be just the thing you're looking for.

Singles from across the country are being invited to a cheeky The Love Boat-themed weekend away on on the island, at the edge of the Hauraki Gulf, at the start of August.

The Partners in Paradise event will welcome up to 150 visitors to the island to be treated to food, wine and a chance to mingle with other singles in an innovative fundraiser for Great Barrier's Tryphena netball team.

Organiser Mary Williams said they came up with the idea after sitting around brainstorming fundraising ideas, then someone mentionedthe Speight's Southern Man competition.

"And I said, 'Well, what about a singles weekend?' and everyone said 'yeah' but it's kind of just exploded on us from one little idea, it's been taken and run with," Ms Williams said.

"Plus when we fundraise, it's always people from the island who give their money ... and so we wanted to bring new people over."

So far they haven't sold any tickets, but Ms Williams hopes that sales will pick up once the word spreads.

Included in the organised activities are two dinner nights, a hypnotist show, "island style" speed dating and live music by local rock band Beatz Workin.

Singles can also share their interests with potential partners by taking them out on chartered fishing trips, excursions to the local market, a guided bush walk to the island's natural hot springs, a pig hunting expedition and a nude model drawing class for the artistically inclined.

Local board chairman Paul Downie said they were encouraging people of all ages from both the region and further afield to head to the island for great weekend of fun, "Great Barrier style".

He hoped the inaugural singles weekend would grow into 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.

"For these reasons, we are excited and proud to be both supporting and promoting this event," Mr Downie said.

As well as being one of the organisers, Ms Williams is one of the local singles who will be at the event.

The mother of three, who plays goal keep in the netball team, said she put herself forward for the event because she wanted to inspire others to sign up.

"I'll be a bit busy to meet anyone I think, plus I've only just split up with someone - but you never know."

Ms Williams' interests include netball, cooking, fishing, travelling, bushwhacking with her chainsaw and going to the beach.

In her profile, she said she was hoping to find someone who made her laugh, could use a chainsaw, liked to travel and who "can afford to pay for their own ticket".

The $165 ticket price covers two dinner nights, evening entertainment, free shuttle transfers to and from local accommodation from ferry and airport and discounted flights and ferries through sponsors Great Barrier Airlines and Sealink.

Guests travelling to the island via the Sealink ferry on Friday, August 3, will be treated to a Love Boat-themed cruise experience.

Funds raised will assist the Tryphena netball team with off-island games and travel, as well as purchasing new team uniforms and equipment.

Partners In Paradise is suitable for people 18 years old and over. Numbers are limited to 350.

For more information, go to: www.facebook.com/PartnersinParadiseGBI

- NZ Herald

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