Salli Beaumont ended up on Great Barrier Island completely by accident.

But, if there's anyone who has experienced most of the many charms the island and its inhabitants have to offer, it's her.

The 25-year-old - who arrived on the island after hearing about it on the "couch surfing" worldwide travelling network - broke her foot during a visit to the South Island and has been left so humbled by how the islanders have looked after her that she is now hoping to call the place home.

The former personal trainer from Leicester, England, came to New Zealand in October after two tourists she met in Peru told her about couch surfing, a non-profit network that enables travellers to swap details to find and share accommodation with one another.

Her planned one-week stay on the island with her couch surfing contacts was meant to be followed up with a trip around New Zealand, then to Australia.

But, while walking at Franz Josef Glacier, Ms Beaumont broke her leg and ruptured a ligament, which left her unable to work, and she prepared to head back home.

However, when she told her couch surfing friends about her accident, they told her to come back to the island to be looked after.

Then, on her way back there after three days in Auckland City Hospital, she met more friendly islanders who told her that she could stay with them too.

"I've never been somewhere where the people are so nice. That's what makes me want to stay ... It's just a really nice community feel."

Ms Beaumont has been captivated by the islanders' unique charm, the stunning surrounds and the simple way of life.

"I've never been somewhere so hospitable in all my life," she said.

"There's always someone who will give you a bed, or put you up. They're just nice, genuine, caring people. It's so incredible. I've just worked my way down the island, staying with locals.

"I've travelled around the world and either the scenery's been absolutely incredible but the people are boring or the people are incredible but the scenery isn't great.

"This island has both. It's got the bush, it's got the beach, it's got everything."