Fullers will scrap its regular ferry run to Great Barrier Island after Easter, citing fuel costs and low passenger numbers.

The firm has already stopped its Wednesday service, and will pull its Friday and Sunday runs from April 16. It will then run a ferry only at Easter, Labour weekend and during a summer stint from December 26 to January 28.

The closure means that for more than 10 months a year low-budget travellers to the island must use a Subritzky Line ferry that is 90 minutes slower.

Fullers general manager Chris Bradley said Great Barrier was an important tourist destination, but it was not viable to run a ferry service outside peak times.


Ninety per cent of customers visited the island only during public holidays and summer.

The move comes after Fullers pulled its Gulf Harbour service, saying it was not worthwhile despite a regional council subsidy of $8 a passenger. The Kawau Kat ferry firm took over the run.

Great Barrier residents are philosophical about the closure.

Community Board chairman John Mellars said tourist numbers seemed to be down over summer, and he could not blame Fullers for pulling out if they were not making any money.