Sailing the Coast to the Bay of Islands

The reason many sailors heading up the coast to the Bay of Islands don't reach there is that they get distracted by the beauty along the way!

Leaving Kawau, and an hour or so later leaving Cape Rodney behind, your mark your 40nM progress across Bream Bay by the white sandhills of Mangawhai to port then the soaring pillar of Sail Rock abeam. By now the horned summit of Whangarei Heads dominates the view ahead. Do you go in to rest beneath it, or into the anchorages inside the Heads, (perhaps to venture, with the tide, into the boat friendly Whangarei Town Basin) or go on to Tutukaka?

When you do reach Tutukaka do you stay an extra day and take a dive trip out to the world-renown Poor Knights Islands, 15nM off the coast?  We think that Dive Tutukaka do a fantastic job and recommend you do just that!

Or do you sail the few miles onwards to anchor in exquisite Matapouri or Woolleys Bay? And then a couple of hours on is magical Mimiwhangata cove at the mouth of the very explorable Whangaruru Harbour, Oakura and so on? Not enough days for Whangaruru? But would you really miss one night in the scenic, almost circular Bland Bay on the northern head? What a shame to have to sail past!

But you won't want to miss historic Whangamumu Harbour even though Cape Brett looms only 7 miles ahead. Sail into its outer harbour, almost unremarkeable on this rugged coast of coves, clear water and cliffs. Then find what the whalers found two centuries ago - the land-locked inner harbour - where they built a whaling station surrounded by kauri wooded hills with fresh water streams to bathe in (even today). Or you could fish or snorkel about or just sit and watch the sea-birds or walk out along the headland, or...

In two hours you'll be around Cape Brett's sheer stone heights and depths, past Piercy Rock with its famous Hole in the Rock (not tall enough to accommodate your mast, we mention!).

Another two hours will see you into Albert Passage, if Deep Water Cove hasn't diverted you.

Auckland to Kawau 25 nm
Kawau to Tutukaka 60 nm
Tutukaka to Whangamumu 20 nm
Whangamumu to the Bay of Islands 10 nm

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