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Bay of Islands Sailing

Listed under Sailing in North Island, New Zealand.

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At New Zealand’s north, the Bay of Islands is sheltered and sandy and sunny and the water is warm. There are plenty of anchorages to choose from and because most of the boats here are out for day trips, in my experience, they weren’t at all crowded. You can pull in almost anywhere and stretch your legs over wonderful New Zealand country. What you can’t do is stop for food, it’s got a very National Park feel with not that many amenities, you need to do your shopping first. You also need to book ahead. And if you’re a diver bring or hire some gear, the Rainbow Warrior is underneath you.

If you have kids or are young at heart you’ll want to swim with the bottlenose dolphins who cruise these warm, sunny waters with you. The locals say they’re a pretty friendly bunch and will approach you for a bit of watery play if they like the look of you. So practice those dolphin smiles. As well as dolphins you may see a penguin.

These calm waters are really good for my-first-sailing-trip and shorter charter breaks, three to four days of perfection is probably enough and any longer starts to tempt the weather which can turn on you unexpectedly. Lots of operators offer single day trips out but it’s worth doing properly, yes it’s gentle and calm but it’s really really beautiful most importantly.

New Zealand has the highest number of boats per capita in the world, and it’s the view which inspires people to get out there into their boats. The don’t just have the Bay of Islands they also have the Marlborough Sound and Auckland’s own harbour – nicknamed the city of sails.

Written by  Cal Harper.

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