Yacht charter in New Zealand

Sailing holidays in the Bay of Islands

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Fairwind Yacht Charters New Zealand

Fairwind New Zealand Yacht Charters. Main Wharf, Opua, Bay of Islands. Tel: +64 9 4027821 Mob: +64 274 789994

Come sailing in New Zealand with Fairwind Charters and discover the Bay of Islands - New Zealand's best cruising area.

Below is a brief description of the area - click on the pictures for larger images. For specific information on how to get to us, go to our Info Page.

Seasons for sailing in New ZealandMimiwhangata anchorage - click for larger image

It's possible to sail in New Zealand at any time of the year. Summer is the most popular time,and stretches from late November to the end of March, with day time temperatures around 23 degrees Celsius, and water temperatures between 19 and 23 degrees. However, fair weather prevails from October to the end of May. The shoulder seasons can be charming with fine weather and few other boats about. Winter nights are cold, but days often bring a stunning clarity of air and water.

Poor Knights fish - click for larger imageThe Bay is famed for its dolphins and you will likely be visited by a friendly pod. The fishing is good; snapper being the favoured catch. Shellfish for the taking include scallops, mussels, and the native pipi.

Divers would want to sail to the world renowned marine reserve of the Poor Knights’ Islands (left) south of the Bay, or dive on the wreck of the Rainbow Warrior – destroyed by sabotage in 1985.

The Bay and waters beyond are known for game fish. Game fishing charters can be arranged with local boat operators.Waitangi Treaty Grounds - click for larger picture

There are historic sites to visit ashore. Waitangi (right) is the site the signing of the nations founding document. The tranquil Assassination Cove is remembered as the site of a bloody confrontation between European explorers and the local Maori. A lonely cross at now deserted Oihi commemorates the first Christian service in New Zealand.

Cruising the Northland coast

Whangaroa Harbour - click for larger imageGreat Barrier anchorage - click for larger imageFor those who wish to head further afield, the spectacular Whangaroa Harbour (left) is an easy days sail north of the Bay and is a ‘must’ visit. Heading South there are numerous harbours and bays scattered along the 100 miles of coast between the Bay and Auckland, "The City of Sails" (below). Those who wish to stretch the boat’s legs can experience the 50 mile open water sail to the rugged mountains of Great Barrier Island (right). One way voyages between the Bay of Islands and Auckland can be arranged. Visitors from the Northern Hemisphere are often surprised at the unexploited nature of the cruising area. There are just two marinas between the Bay of Islands and Auckland and cruisers should provision accordingly.

Sailing in New Zealand (Click here to view coastal map)
The most popular sailing area in New Zealand is the 170 miles of the East coast north from the main city of Auckland, with the Bay of Islands being approximately in the centre of this region. While this section of coast is exposed to weather from the North and East, safe all weather harbours are seldom more than a few hours sail. This area includes Whangaroa Harbour, Poor Knights Islands, the Hauraki Gulf, and the western side of Great Barrier Island. This is New Zealand’s premier cruising ground, dotted with safe harbours and sheltered coves and our yachts are licensed to sail throughout this area.
The coast of New Zealand south of Auckland offers few opportunities for shelter.

Cruising in the Bay of Islands (Click here to view Bay of Islands map) (Use this link to see customised Google map)

  Opua - click for larger imageThe Bay of Islands is a compact body of water. It's just seven miles from our base in Opua (left) to the nearest island anchorage and 9 miles more to Cape Brett at the southern extremity of the Bay. In this area are four main islands and numerous smaller ones. It is the most popular holiday sailing destination in New Zealand. Safe waters and variety make the Bay of Islands a sailing destination known world wide.

Waewaetoria Passage - click for larger imageThere will always be choice of sheltered anchorages: the four main islands offer many small coves with clean sandy beaches and the opportunity for a forest or grassland hike ashore (right). The area is rich in both European and Maori history: Cook anchored here and named the bay, the first white missionaries chose the Bay of Islands as their base. It is much more than a place to sail.

Russell Wharf, click for larger imageThe quaint village of Russell (left) and the resort town of Paihia (right) have world class restaurants and cafes aplenty if your catch of the day doesn’t quite make it aboard.

And if you want to leave society behind you can have an island to yourself. A bareboat sailing charter gives you the opportunity to choose your own destination.Paihia Wharf - click for larger image

For those who want to venture beyond the flat waters of the Bay there is Northland’s coastline, indented with safe havens. The bareboat sailing charter licence for our yachts stretches over 170 miles of the country.

Click here to view our suggested 7-day itinerary...

Or click here to view our suggested 14-day itinerary...

Google Map

See a customised Google map showing anchorages and information on our cruising area.

Auckland harbour - click for larger image
In this section Seven day itinerary Fourteen day itinerary Crusing area map Picture gallery