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New Zealand Yacht Charter

The Bay of Islands one of the finest sailing destinations in the world

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New Zealand Yacht Charter

Great Boating Holidays Begin in the Hauraki Gulf!

Auckland boasts the busiest recreational harbour in New Zealand and consequently is known as “The City of Sails”. It is fortunate to have on its doorstep one of the world’s largest cruising grounds. With 1500 nautical miles of coastline to explore, including numerous islands within short sailing distances providing a wide choice of anchorages and unspoilt beaches, the Hauraki Gulf provides the perfect destination for your cruising holiday. The Hauraki Gulf provides year round sailing conditions with comfortable temperatures and average wind strengths of 10 – 25 knots.

Rangitoto Island

The youngest of Auckland’s volcanos; only 700 years old. It is the closest island to Auckland city, and Islington Bay, the main anchorage, is about 8 miles by boat. It has an amazing volcanic landscape of black lava slowly being colonised by moss, plants and trees including the largest Pohutukawa forest in the world. It has been a Recreation Reserve since 1890. A brisk walk to the summit of 260m from Islington Bay rewards with magnificent views of the Hauraki Gulf. There are also other walks, both short and long on the island.

Motutapu Island

Attached to Rangitoto by a narrow causeway; it is quite different in character and is a farmed reserve within the Hauraki Gulf Maritime Park. Sheltered bays, beaches and walks are features of this island. It has WW11 gun emplacements and a more extensive area of defence buildings at the northern end. Replanting is taking place on parts of the island.

Motuihe Island

Also very close to Auckland city; a recreation reserve with an interesting history, and very popular with day trippers on fine summer days. It has a beach and sheltered anchorage for every wind direction: Ocean Beach on the north side is a beautiful long golden sandy beach and on the south side is a smaller lovely beach. In 2005 it was declared pest free and native bush and wildlife are now being restored to the island. There are numerous walking tracks and it is possible to walk around most of the coastline at low tide.

Waiheke Island

12 miles in length the island boasts 22 established vineyards, an array of dining options from silver service to beach cafes, golden, safe, sandy, swimming beaches and delightful cliff top walks: all adding up to make it a holiday destination in itself. Oneroa, the hub of Waiheke has a unique village atmosphere and is a good place to buy local crafts and restock supplies, sample award winning wines and the interesting collection of cafes and restaurants. Stony Batter on the eastern end, named after the rock formations, is also home to a WW11 defence system with an assortment of tunnels, chambers, and gun emplacements which can be visited (don’t forget to take a torch!) This attractive island is now a suburb of Auckland with regular fast ferries from Matiatia. It has major communities mainly on the western end of the island. The northern bays are only suitable for settled southerly conditions whereas the southern side of Waiheke is ideal in northerlies or easterlies.

On the east side of Waiheke Pakatoa, Ponui and Rotoroa Islands beckon with secluded sandy bays and secure anchorages for all conditions.

Rakino Island

A charming island with a small community of houses, mostly holiday homes. Woody Bay is a great anchorage in a north easterly and has a pleasant sandy beach with an access road to the top of the island from where it is a pleasant walk to the wharf at the other end.


A long peninsula largely protecting the Hauraki Gulf from easterly winds and ocean swells. On its western side are Coromandel Harbour and Te Kouma: secluded harbours with enchanting bays and sandy beaches. The historic mining town of Coromandel, only accessible at high tide even by dinghy, offers quaint cafes which specialise in seafood delicacies from the local marine farms. Out around Cape Colville the eastern side is open to the big ocean swells: bays on this side can get very uncomfortable is the wind drops off!