Getting to the Bay of Islands:
Our base is located at the village of Opua, some three and a half hours drive north of Auckland city and four from the international airport. Take State Highway 1 north to Kawakawa, then SH 10 and follow signs to Opua. Paihia, the main tourist town for the area, is 6km ($23 taxi) north of Opua.
A limited amount of off street car parking is available from Opua Store ($8 per day, booking not required). On street parking is free.
Air New Zealand
between Auckland and the nearest airport at Kerikeri. A shuttle service meets each flight and makes the half hour journey to Opua. Cost: $85 per trip (up to six passengers) by Paihia Taxi's or Kerikeri Taxis and Shuttle
. Drivers will stop at the Waitangi supermarket for provisioning if requested.
Daily bus services
between Auckland and Opua or Paihia are operated by Intercity
. Cost is around $50 depending on service and advance booking. Opua Hill is the closest stop to our base. Contact us if you are traveling by bus so that we can arrange to pick you up from the stop which is on the main road 800m from the village.
A rental car is a good way to make the journey from Auckland and combine with sight seeing along the way. However, there is currently no rental company that offers one way hire with an Opua drop off. Hertz and Avis do one with a drop off at Kerikeri Airport, but charge a one-way fee of $380, so if sailing for a week it is cheaper to hire a car for the whole time and leave it parked at Opua.
Paihia, a 5 minute drive from our base in Opua, is the accommodation centre for the Bay of Islands. Go to Bay-of-Islands.co
for a directory of local acommodation. Opua has small motels and B&B's. We can recommend the Opua Motel
Shopping and provisioning:
Opua General Store has a selection of basic provisioning (including bread baked daily) but limited fresh produce.
The closest supermarket is Waitangi Countdown, about 7 minutes drive from Opua.
is very easy. For instore pickup choose ‘Pick up' from 'Countdown Waitangi' in the menu options. For small additional fee delivery to our base is also possible, but if using this option you must choose a delivery time that is later than the charter start time and be on hand to receive the order as we have no food storage facilities at our office. Our address is Fairwind Charters, 1 Beechy St, Opua.
If you are driving to us from Auckland you can provision at Whangarei supermarkets on the way here.
Fairwind can also do your provisioning for you, although we charge for this service. Ask for our Provisioning List.
Russell is a good place to top up on fresh supplies during your charter from one of the town’s two well stocked stores.
You should aim to provision for the entire cruise as reprovisioning options are limited to Russell or Paihia.
website has local forecasts (the Bay of Islands is in sea area Brett), weather maps, and satellite images. Get the Recreational Marine Forecast
for the Bay of Islands for the latest weather update.
When cruising there is a VHF radio weather service provided by the NZ Coastguard that gives forecasts, actual wind readings and tide times on a continuous basis.
Tide tables are provided on board. The tidal range in the Bay of Islands is never more than 2m and tidal streams are negligible, but try this link for the official tide tables
Along with chart plotters, there are all paper charts for the area on board our boats . The Land Information New Zealand
web site provides free high quality charts for download.
Choose chart numbers 5125 and 5124 for the Bay of islands, or 512 for the coastal area. High resolution tiff images range between 3-10 MB to download. Note: when searching the LINZ catalogue, be sure to check the ‘Paper Chart’ option in the search filters (you are downloading a scanned version of a paper chart).
A license is not required for salt water fishing in New Zealand, but size limits and bag limits apply to most fish and shellfish. Information about this will be provided on board your boat but for on-line information for the Bay of Islands area visit the Ministry of Fisheries
If you find a blind link or have one that you think should be included please email us.