Protecting & Sustaining the Local Wildlife & Environment

Here at Barefoot Sailing Adventures, we care deeply about our environment and we want to ensure that locals and visitors alike can enjoy this unique part of the world for generations to come. For that reason we take sustainability seriously, meaning that protecting and sustaining the local wildlife and environment is our priority when it comes to designing and hosting our tours from Paihia to the Bay of Islands.

We are proud to be recognised as leaders in regenerative tourism as these values are an intrinsic part of our business function since before the term was even a thing. We believe what we actually do here at Barefoot Sailing Adventures really sets us apart.

Managing our impact on the fragile ecosystem is a responsibility we place on ourselves as guardians of our local environment. We do this through impact minimization initiatives on location and in all areas of our business. Investing time and donating funds to conservation management programs to support the island biodiversity and the health of our marine environment. Educating our guests and providing opportunities for people to connect with nature is an integral part of our business offerings.
We believe in a regenerative approach for improving the environment, by giving more than we take, leaving it better than we found it.

Culture of caring – Manaakitanga – hospitality, kindness, generosity. We are a family business, and our culture is that of family values. Our guests, our staff, our community and our local business community all contribute to the Barefoot Sailing Adventures experience. We strive to create a workplace environment that is healthy, caring, supportive and rewarding. We are very engaging with our guests to help educate how to respect nature, respect culture and our host community.

We see an environmentally, socially, and economically diverse and healthy community as a key part of our business success. Being Paihia locals, we are active and engaged in local community events, and enjoy the diverse community connections we have gained which our business enabled us to form. A thriving and engaged community makes a wonderful place for both locals and visitors alike.

Focusing on long term business performance and resilience allows us to invest to create value, opportunities and to drive sustainability practices. Pricing sustainably allows us to procure responsibly, give back and support local projects, be an employer of choice, innovate to solve problems, create new ways of doing things and increase productivity.

We are very proud to be a part of New Zealand’s tourism industry. We work closely with industry bodies to learn, support and encourage a movement for sustainability and continue working towards a bigger vision, collectively we make a big impact.


Sustainability Accreditation & Awards

We have a strong desire to positively influence the rebuilding of our incredible tourism industry in New Zealand. We envision a tourism industry that delivers high quality experiences for both domestic and international visitors, while having a positive impact on our local community and environment. By contributing to the restoration and protection of our natural environment, we are helping rebuild the economic sustainability of our tourism industry while also delivering vibrancy and diversity to our community. We are proud to be committed to sustainable tourism. 

With this in mind, we undertook a globally-recognised environmental accreditation programme called Blue Flag, we became the first boating operator in the country to be accredited. The scheme factored in everything from the handwash and the products used onboard to the way the boat maintenance is carried out..

To get the accreditation we needed to have an education component to our business, we got in touch with Project Island Song (PIS). We now donate a portion of each trip’s profits to the trust and offer staff time and help when required. Moreover, we placed an emphasis on educating passengers about the islands, their inhabitants and the efforts being made to protect them.

Our promise to sustainability has not gone unnoticed, we are proud owners of the Gold Sustainable Tourism Business Award. It is an award that identifies those businesses leading the way in making the New Zealand tourism industry a world-class sustainable visitor destination.

We received Qualmark Gold on our first application for the prestigious Qualmark programme, and were hugely congratulated for our effort as this is almost unheard of getting such a high rating on first audit. (usually applicants progress from Bronze to Silver to Gold)

We’ve also been featured in the New Zealand Geographic Magazine for our work in protecting the Northland environment. While accreditation and recognition is important, positively being part of the community is just as crucial as it ensures education takes place and keeps this area sustainable for generations to come – nature is not something any of us can take for granted.

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