New Zealand

On this page, you'll find links to our time living in New Zealand and traveling around on land and water. There's cruising notes on the Hauraki Gulf, walks we've enjoyed, posts from our sailing adventures and other bits and bobs.

Bits & Bobs

Cost of Cruising
If you're curious, we kept track of how much we spent while cruising in New Zealand.

Road Trip
After we sold our boat, we took a road trip around the North Island of New Zealand.

Speaking Ambriki
How to speak English if you live in New Zealand (and Scotland).

Sunrise, Sunset in New Zealand
Pictures of amazing sunrises and sunsets we've been lucky enough to experience.

Cruising in Aotearoa (New Zealand)
Learning Te Reo Maori

Great Anchorages in New Zealand
Some of our favorite places where we've dropped the hook

The Moa Preservation Society
Dedicated to making the world a better place for moas. And to keep them from being turned into beer.

8 Things I'll Miss about New Zealand
After five wonderful years in this great country, here are 8 things I'll miss including Whittaker's chocolate and blokes in shorts and gumboots.

Scenes from Auckland & More Scenes from Auckland
Random photos from our time living in Auckland

Hauraki Gulf Cruising Notes

Map of Hauraki Gulf via Department of Conservation (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 New Zealand License)
We've spent most of our time cruising in New Zealand in the beautiful Hauraki Gulf. The Hauraki Gulf in New Zealand is a Marine Park which covers more than 1.2 million hectares on the east coast of Auckland and includes the Waitemata Harbor, Firth of Thames and the eastern coastline of the Coromandel Peninsula. There are more than 50 islands and five marine reserves within the Hauraki Gulf. Many of the islands are public conservation land managed by the Department of Conservation and most of the islands are open to the public (some aren't for conservation reasons or require a permit). It has a reputation for being one of the best cruising grounds in the world.

We've put together a series of cruising notes to some of the islands in the Hauraki Gulf, New Zealand. You might want to check them out if you're planning to sail or explore the area (or if you just have some time to waste). You can find information about the local history and archaeology, native plants and animals, and anchorages, as well as an eccentric tangent or two.

Pakatoa Island
The original "island retreat for inebriates", all yours for NZ$32 million!

Rotoroa Island
Come see the transformation from "Alci-traz Island" into a conservation park

Be on the lookout for feral donkeys and brown kiwi birds
(Photo courtesy of Peter & Marion van Djik and the New Zealand Donkey & Mule Society)

The Noises
Keep an eye out for the swarming birds

Rakino Island
Former home of the "Great Ricardo" and his utopian dream


Brown's Island
An archaeological wonderland!

The Motokawao Islands
Populated with menacing evil rats with eyes that glow in the dark

Motuora Island
A great place to get involved in restoring native flora and fauna 

The Kaitu Kala Islands
Sibling rivalry over copper, a ship wreck and plenty of gulls. What more could you possibly want.
{Photo courtesy of Peter Tasker}

Motuihe Island
The adventures and great escape of Count Felix von Luckner

Motutapu Island
A lovely place to anchor up and go for a walk in pastoral landscapes and replanted bush

Going For A Walk In New Zealand Posts

And here are some "Going For A Walk" posts (which are mostly pictures) of some of our favorite walks in New Zealand.

Tamaki Drive in Auckland
{Or There Is More To Auckland Than The Sky Tower}

Mt Hobson, Great Barrier Island
{Or I Can't Believe I Made It To The Top}

Motutapu Walkway, Motutapu Island
{Or Please Cows, Just Get Out Of The Way}

Wynyard Quarter in Auckland
{Or Cute Stuff Everywhere}

Waitakeres Regional Park, Auckland
{Or I Don't Want To Get My Feet Wet}

Bethell's Beach, Auckland 
{Or What's That Plant Called?}

Coromandel Town
{Or Coro Pies Are The Best}

Coastal Track, Rangitoto Island
{Or Really, A Small Dog In Your Handbag?}

Coromandel Wharf
{Or No Words, Just Pictures This Time}

Mansion House Bay, Kawau Island
{Or Make Sure Your Dinghy Doesn't Get Stolen}

Man O'War Bay, Waiheke Island
{Or There Is More Than Wine Tasting Here}

Whangarei Town Centre
{Or A Cute Town Makes Up For Fanworm}

Browns Island
{Or Don't Worry, The Volcano Is Extinct}

Rotoroa Island
{Or Why Weren't We Invited To The Wedding?}

Whakanewha Park, Waiheke Island 
{Or Zombie Wallabies Attack}

The Tongariro Alpine Crossing
{Or Why Do My Legs Hurt?}

Cathedral Cove, Coromandel
{Or Beware Of The Falling Rock)

Auckland Botanic Gardens
{Or The Monkey Giggled, As Only A Monkey Can}

Waipiro Bay, Bay of Islands
{Or Going For The Worst Walk Ever}

Moturua Island, Bay of Islands
{Or We Need To Get Better At Labeling Our Pictures}


Urupukapuka Island, Bay of Islands
{Or The Metric System Is Way Too Complicated}

Hauraki Gulf Posts

Here are links to some posts we have about our sailing adventures in the Hauraki Gulf marine park.

Our Last Days Cruising In New Zealand
Get the tissues ready...our Kiwi adventures are coming to a close.


On Sausages, Chemical Packets & Generosity
These three things sum up our time on Waiheke Island perfectly.
The Dudes Of Coromandel & Other Nonsense
Killing time in Coromandel in the pub, drinking cheap beer and taking snaps of people walking by

A Tale Of Five Anchorages
Moving anchorages in the middle of the night isn't my idea of fun.

Cyclones Suck
How do you pass the time when you're stuck in Auckland because of a cyclone? Whatever you do, don't break the computer!

Can Wallabies Be Litter Box Trained?
We saw the cutest wallabies while we were on Kawau Island. I want one for our boat!

The Attack Of The Killer Kingfish
A gang of kingfish attacked our boat while we were in Port Fitzroy, Great Barrier Island.
The Good, Bad & The Ugly
The good - meeting a really interesting guy with great stories up in Whangaparapara, Great Barrier Island. The bad & ugly - anchoring!
Cruising To Herald Island, Waitemata Harbour
Just a hop, skip and a jump from Auckland is Herald Island.

Back In The Barrier {Or What A Difference No Wind Makes}
Exploring some of the bays on the western side of Great Barrier Island including Tryphena, Blind Bay and Whangaparapara.

Sweet As
A stranger giving you heaps of scallops up in Great Mercury Island - what could be better?

Back At Great Mercury {Or Some More Winds & Walks}
We had a great time exploring Great Mercury Island. And was that Fatty Goodlander we saw?

Cruising To Whitianga
After a not so great sail from Great Mercury Island, we were glad to be in Whitianga!

Cruising In The Great Mercury Islands {Or It Was A Swell Time}
What kind of idiots would anchor in the same place for a second night when there is a huge swell - that would be us!

Preparing For A Gale
Getting our boat ready for a gale in Auckland.

Cruising In Great Barrier Island {Or The French Lady Took a Pee}
What do you do when you're stuck on your boat due to the wind? You become a curtain twitcher and watch everyone else.

Cruising In Kawau Island {Or It's A Small, Small World}
We had a great time running into some folks we met last year, who also have a Raven 26 - it is a small world!
New Year's In Man O'War Bay {Or The Anchor Vortex}
Seriously, what was going on with our anchor? There was a serious anchor vortex going on at Waiheke Island. Or at least that's what we tell ourselves.
Cruising To Western Coromandel {Or The Toilet Seat Slid Out From Under Me}
Yep, it's true. The toilet seat broke while I was using it on our way to Coromandel. At the worst possible time.
Back On The Water
The cruising season for 2013/14 begins! We had a great time sailing around the Hauraki Gulf.

http://thecynicalsailor.blogspot.co.nz/2013/07/cruising-in-hauraki-gulf-summer-2013.htmlCruising In The Hauraki Gulf - Summer 2012/13
A recap of our first summer cruising in the Hauraki Gulf.

Bay of Islands & Other Northland Posts

Sourced from Land Information New Zealand. Crown Copyright reserved.
Our first charters in New Zealand were in the Bay of Islands and we had a chance to return and cruise up there during the summer of 2013/14, as well as visit some great spots in other parts of Northland. Here are links to some posts we have about our sailing adventures up north.

Experiment Number 1 - Bay of Islands
Our first charter in the Bay of Islands in 2011. Scott's brainwashing campaign to turn me into a full-time cruiser begins.


Experiment Number 2 - Bay of Island
Our second charter in the Bay of Islands in 2012. Scott's brainwashing campaign continues.
Do You Know The Way To Whangarei?
Sailing from Urquhart's Bay to Whangarei town center in pictures.

Have You Ever Felt Like A Social Pariah?
What it feels like to discover you have fantail on your boat and need to haul it out to be inspected.

Does Your Husband Ever Neglect To Mention Things To You?
Hitting a new speed record on our sail from Urquhart's Bay to Whangamumu.

Is It Dolphin Snot Or Dolphin Spit?
We had an amazing send-off from a group of playful dolphins when we left the Bay of Islands. But they sprayed something on us - was it dolphin snot or dolphin spit? Add a comment with your vote.

$6.50 For A Loaf Of Bread - I Think They Saw Us Coming
Exploring Whangaroa Harbour including the general store, which sells expensive bread.

Sailing In The Dark & Eating Lots of Cookies
My first proper night passage from Whangaroa to Kawau Island. I ate a lot of cookies. Cookies are a great way to calm your nerves.


Links to New Zealand Related Sites

Sourced from Land Information New Zealand. Crown Copyright reserved.
If you're interested in finding out more about cruising and traveling in New Zealand, here are some sites to check out.


  1. Great blog! We were just up in the Coromandel and Bay of Islands over Easter. Fantastic spot. Hope you can make it to the South Island for some cruising here. I look forward to following your adventures.

    1. Thanks Viki for the nice feedback! Unfortunately, we won't make it down to the South Island for a while. Although I wish we could - I've always wanted to go to Stewart Island and what better way than by boat! I love Coro and BOI - we had such great times in both places. Glad you guys made it there. I'm looking forward to following you as well! Cheers - Ellen

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