New Zealand Cruising Notes

The Hauraki Gulf

Your charter start base in Auckland is gateway to more than 1500 square miles of beaches, protected anchorages and islands waiting to be explored. The inner islands of Rangitoto, Motutapu and Motuihe all provide secluded anchorages, just half and hour's cruise from Auckland. Outside the Gulf, you'll find Great Barrier Island, with some of the best diving and fishing in New Zealand, Kawau Island, the favourite haunt of the dolphins and Pakatoa Island - a holiday resort with good marina facilities and a fine restaurant.

Hauraki Gulf Cruising Notes:

The Inner Islands Within an hour of setting sail from our Auckland base, you will reach the inner of the islands, of which the nearest, Rangitoto Island, dominates the landscape. Now an extinct volcano, it has a hiking trail through the Pohutukawa Forest to the summit, providing panoramic views of Auckland.

Waiheke Island Further on, you'll come to Waiheke Island, home to some of New Zealand's best wineries, where you can wine and dine in superb style among the olive groves. Besides beautiful white sandy beaches, the island boasts a range of local crafts, potting, weaving, leatherwork and art.

Pakatoa Island and Coromandel Peninsula To the east is Pakatoa Island, a holiday resort with good facilities and a fine restaurant. You can relax here before sailing across the Firth of Thames to the enchanting Coromandel Peninsula. In its more colourful past the Coromandel area experienced the excitement of a gold rush. Today, its steep, wild mountains, its forests, and its lovely coastline are favoured by nature enthusiasts and visiting yachtsmen.

Great Barrier Island Sail north out of the Gulf to the leeward side of Great Barrier Island to find some of the best cruising, diving and fishing in New Zealand. A hot thermal spring, rare birds, ivory beaches and superb seafood are among the island's other attractions. You will find several good locations where you can renew your supplies, and find a sheltered anchorage for the night.

Kawau Island Cruising to Kawau Island is a memorable experience, especially when you're accompanied by dolphins. Part of the Hauraki Gulf National Maritime Park, this island proves popular with yachtsmen for its sheltered anchorages and scenic coves to overnight in. From here, you can sail home to our Auckland Base, or venture up the coast to our base in the Bay Of Islands.

Suggested Itinerary: 1 week Hauraki Gulf

Day 1 Arrive in Auckland
Day 2 Waiheke Island - 15nms
Day 3 Coromandel Peninsula - 20nms
Day 4 Great Barrier Island (Tryphena) - 35nms
Day 5 Tryphena to Fitzroy Harbour (Great Barrier Island) - 13nms
Day 6 Kawau Island - 30nms
Day 7 Auckland - 30nms

Bay of Islands

The Bay of Islands has attracted sailors from around the world for over a century and our base is in the quaint township of Opua, just half an hour from the nearest airport. From here, the cruising, snorkelling and fishing are excellent, as is the local cuisine. Explore the sleepy bays and sweeping beaches of Roberton Island, the rugged isolation of Cape Brett and Deep Water Cove with its spectacular marine life. Experience magnificent views from Urupukapuka Island and visit historical Russell - the site of the first European settlement in New Zealand.

Bay of Islands Cruising Notes:

Opua - Once a bustling commercial port, Opua has retired into a quaint fishing village
and is now the largest clearance port for visiting overseas yachts into New Zealand. Your charter's start base is nestled in the heart of Opua, adjacent to a fabulous seafood restaurant, a local shop for provisioning and near the local yacht club. Shore based showers and laundry are available.

Paihia and Waitangi- Amongst the most popular tourist destinations in New Zealand, Paihia boasts
literally dozens of fabulous restaurants many specialising in serving fine cuisine based on local seafood and produce. Souvenir shops are in abundance and the local shopping centre adjacent to the foreshore provides virtually everything you could require. Waitangi is home of the "Treaty House" this being the site where the Maoris and Pakehas signed the treaty agreement of New Zealand. The Treaty House
along with much of New Zealand's cultural heritage is displayed at the Waitangi Visitors Centre, well worth a visit.

Russell- Situated directly across the inner harbour from Paihia, Russell was the site of the first European settlement in New Zealand and was its first capital. Once a bustling whaling town, Russell is home to The Captain Cook Memorial Museum which is well worth a visit to get a true taste of the Bays colourful history. The town has shops for provisioning and some world class restaurants.

Roberton Island - With a wide open bay on the southern side, Roberton Island is an attractive
anchorage and is sheltered from the northerly breezes. A delightful snorkelling trail set in a natural lagoon lies near the middle of the island and is both safe and fun for young and old alike.

Te Hue - A large cove with high surrounding headlands makes Te Hue an ideal overnight stop. A small wharf at the upper end of the cove provides fresh water for yachts at high tide.

Moturua Island- A scenic reserve with several beautiful anchorage's and sandy beaches this island is steeped in history. Explorers such as Captain Cook and Marion de Fresne have visited this island, a bottle claiming New Zealand for the French is said to be buried somewhere on Moturua. The pretty anchorage of Honey Moon Cove is a favourite amongst many visiting yachtsmen.

Urupukapuka Island- Boasting exquisite anchorages like Paradise Bay, Indico Bay and the famous
Otehei Bay, Urupukapuka is the largest of the islands in the Bay Of Islands. Moor up at the charming Otehei Bay or a picnic or dine ashore in the restaurant. Sandy beaches and island walks provide magnificent views of the Bay Of Islands.

Cape Brett and Deep Water Cove- An exhilarating sail east brings you to Cape Brett, isolated and rugged, this outer most guardian of the Bay charges skyward from the depths of the Pacific. The unique, world famous "Hole in the Rock" has become a major tourist attraction for the tens of thousands of visitors to the Bay each year. Deep Water Cove is a popular day time anchorage where you can anchor
virtually on the shoreline. The area has a reputation for superb diving, spectacular marine life and some of the worlds best big game fishing. The Bay Of Islands is home to large schools of dolphins, more often than not they will join you for some fun and thrills on your bow wave.

Cavalli Islands- Lying approximately half way between the Bay Of Islands and Whangaroa Harbour this isolated group of coastal islands provides a stunning stop for lunch or even an overnight anchorage in settled weather. The scenery is spectacular both above the water and below, the sunken ship wreck of the Rainbow Warrior lies just north west of the group.

Whangaroa Harbour- The northern most point of our vast cruising area this fjord like harbour is
simply spectacular. Rocky outcrops thrust out of the sea to over 1100 feet high, cosy anchorages nestled at the base afford peaceful overnight anchorages. The quiet township of Whangaroa is home to a commercial fishing fleet and big game fishing boats. Entering the harbour entrance, the famous King Fish Lodge has been visited by many celebrities looking for that special touch of paradise. Make sure you make your reservation for an exquisite meal, you never know who you may be dining with.

Suggested Itinerary: 1 week Bay Of Islands

Day 1 Russell - 3nms
Day 2 Roberton Is/Moturua Is - 6nms
Day 3 Deep Water Cove/ Cape Brett/Urupukapuka Is - 16nms
Day 4 Exploring Urupukapuka/Waipiro Bay - 2nms
Day 5 Roberton Is/Te Hue - 4nms
Day 6 Kerikeri Inlet - 10nms
Day 7 Russell/Opua (Base) - 11nms

One Way Coastal Cruising:

For the more experienced sailor, cruising between Auckland and the Bay Of Islands opens up 120 miles of fabulous sailing, as you explore the coastline between our bases.

Visit delightful fishing harbours such as Leigh and Tutukaka. The coastal harbour of Whangamumu makes another idyllic overnight stop. Remains of an old whaling station are still visible on the shoreline.

You are always able to keep in touch with the charter bases. Friendly staff are there to help and give you all the information and advice you need.

Dining Ashore

New Zealand's reputation for its wine and cuisine is the envy of the southern hemisphere. Local Pacific dishes range from fresh crayfish to wild pork, New Zealand lamb and a banquet of ethnic dishes, and there's a wealth of fine seafood restaurants in both cruising areas.


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This page was last updated: Sunday, 29 March 2016 20:53