Sailing in New Zealand is a once in a life time experience. There are so many outdoor activities to take part in such as fishing, kayaking, diving and hiking amongst the epic scenery. The Bay of Islands is an incredible area, full of lush green islands with sandy beaches. The area is rich in Maori history and natural beauty.
Beginning your trip in the town of Paihia, you can do some shopping and perhaps enjoy a meal before setting sail. We suggest visiting Motuarohia Island first, where you can anchor at Twin Lagoons Bay, a lovely swimming spot and a unique bay where two beaches meet. Next, Waipao Bay on Moturua Island. This island also has some great beaches and spectacular views of the area. Urupukapuka Island is the largest island in the group, and at Otehei Bay there is a waterfront bar and cafe. On Urupukapuka there are the remains of an ancient Maori village, and an archeological walk leads you to the historic sites on the island. To reach the Cape Brett hiking track, sail northeast to Deep Water Cove. The 16km hiking trail is a Department of Conservation track through bush land from which spectacular views can be seen. On the way back to Paihia we suggest anchoring in Assassination Cove to relax on the sands before returning the boat. Sailing around the islands you will see gorgeous views and maybe even pods of dolphins swimming alongside the boat.
The best time to go sailing in New Zealand is between November and April. Sailing in the Bay of Islands is sheltered with winds that generally blow at 2-4 Beaufort. The area is suitable for relaxed cruising, and also experiences much more sunshine than other parts of New Zealand. However, always be sure to check the weather forecast before setting sail as conditions can change quickly. This route is perfect for a short family adventure or group charter to explore the area.
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