We don’t generally start charters from the Bay, but we do offer a one-way hire to Opua, Bay of Islands, on charters over 10 days for a relocation fee equivalent to two additional days’ charter (which is for us to retrieve the boat!).
It has to be said that it’s a lot easier to start in Auckland from a logistics point of view, and returning by road afterwards is easily arranged… although I’d recommend a few days there shoreside at the end of your cruise to explore!
Occasionally there are Charterlink vessels which are available from Opua because of a charter that has ended there
As a sailor, you know that the journey is more important than the destination, and the coastal passage from Auckland to the Bay of Islands is a great sail! It’s only 130 miles Bayswater to Opua, and it is is in my view one of the world’s great short voyages
There’s a taste of open water in the deep blue Pacific, but there are ports and harbours all along the way, including Kawau, perhaps a side trip to Great Barrier Island and Port Fitzroy, Marsden Cove Marina, and Tutukaka. The picturesque Hen and Chicken Islands and Sail Rock are worth a close pass, and a “must visit” is the marine reserve at the Poor Knights Islands, LINK, where you will also find the Rikoriko Cave…the world’s largest sea cave! LINK , Following in the footsteps of James Cook, then you pass Hole in the Wall at Piercy Island, round Cape Brett and have the Bay of Islands to explore.
NZ Marine Mammals http://www.doc.govt.nz/nature/native-animals/marine-mammals/
The Bay of Islands itself is a beautiful cruising ground. With 144 islands there's no shortage of secluded bays to drop anchor in. Fishing, diving, walks, history and scenery. I highly recommend it. In a few days there, after your sail up the coast, you could not stop in every anchorage or point of interest, but it would give you a taste of the inner islands and leave you wishing for more.