Cruise the Hauraki Gulf
The Hauraki Gulf is a marine park centred around Auckland covering almost 3500 nautical square miles with more than 50 islands. Sheltered anchorages abound. There are many scenic nature trails and plenty of activities including easily accessible restaurants and wineries.
Islands of the Gulf
Activity guide download here.
Rangitoto Island, a dormant volcano with regenerating vegetation is the closest Island to Auckland with a scenic view from its summit. It is joined to Mototapu Island a conservation farm park with sheltered picturesque beaches. Islington Bay is a good anchorage and starting point for the trails around the two islands.
Circumnavigate Waiheke Island with its vineyards, sandy beaches and sheltered coves.
Stop off in Man of War Bay for wine tasting and magical views over the entire Gulf from Stoney Batter an old WW2 site with tunnels and gun emplacements.
More on Waiheke
Close to Rangitoto and Waiheke Motuihe is a sanctuary island. There are sheltered anchorages to the east and west, lovely sandy beaches and walking tracks. Motuihe is home to kiwi, tuatara and other native species.
Titi Tiri Matangi
An island sanctuary for some of New Zealand's rarest birds with a delightful anchorage at Hobbs Beach. Take the walking trails and see native birds including the endangered flightless Takahe, New Zealand's native parrot the Kakapo, red crested parakeets, stitchbirds, North Island Robin and Saddleback.
Tiri Tiri trails
Just an hour and a half from Gulf Harbour this small island has anchorages to the south and west. A gravel road linking Woody Bay on the west with Sandy Bay to the south is a pleasant walk with spectacular views. Great stopping place for the beginning and end of a sailing trip.
One of the larger islands in the Gulf Kawau, like the other islands is only accessible by boat. Mansion House Bay features the one time residence of Sir George Grey an early Governor of New Zealand. Now a historical park with elegant gardens complete with peacocks and wallabies.
About Kawau Island
Great Barrier Island
Aproximately 5-6 hours sail from Kawau Island is Great Barrier with wonderful all weather sheltered anchorages on its west coast. Sail through the spectacular Man of War passage to Port Fitzroy. Then sail south to Explore Whangaparapara and Tryphena. Continue on to the Coromandel Coast.
A short sail from the east end of Waiheke is the Coromandel Coast and the harbours of Te Kouma and Coromandel. Off the coast visit Elephant Cove on Motukahaua Island.
Off the East coast of the Coromandel are the 7 islands of the Mercury Group. Six are part of the Hauraki Gulf Maritime Park and with no anchorages. The largest, the privately owned Great Mercury island has a good anchorage at Mercury Cove, and another to the South at Peach Grove Bay.