Opua is a marina in northern New Zealand. It has the port of entry that is closest to the tropics, and a comprehensive collection of businesses serving the marine industry. Opua has more and better marine service than anywhere we were in the tropics.

Scream and Ferns

The marina is large and inexpensive. Notably, there is also plenty of anchorage, something which is entirely absent at many New Zealand ports of entry. The anchorage isn't great: there is over a mile of fetch in three directions and two tidal streams. But there is a conveniently located dinghy dock at the Opua cruising club. The cruising club also has good food and beer at reasonable prices.

Leaping Bottlenose Dolphin

There is also a village nearby the marina by the same name. The fish and chips shop is good, but the prices at the marina cafe scared us off. There is a small grocery in Opua, but there is a better grocery in Pahia. The shuttle to Pahia only runs three times a week, and costs NZ$7 per person return.   


Scream spent almost three weeks in Opua. We had our transmission removed from the vessel for eight days to repair a leak.

Opua is located in the beautiful, calm, and well sheltered Bay of Islands, which is delightful cruising. But unless one needs the marine industry, the anchorages at Pahia or Russell probably make better bases of operation in this area, as both have better grocery stores.

5 thoughts on “Opua

  1. Karen says:

    Amazing photos, guys!
    That jellyfish is extraordinary.

  2. dad ensslen says:

    thanks for the update, will use it as a reference when i cruise through in my 16 foot yacht, or 22 footer if my lady should accompany me.

    how big is the jellyfish?

    any more comments on that transmission job?

    how is the ham reception?

    out the second time today to move snow at -12 C.

    bon voyage

  3. katherine e says:

    love the dolphin photo-- emily who is visiting thinks it might be photoshopped!

    you guys are great! love you!

  4. Darusha says:

    If it were photoshopped, it would be more centred and less blurry.

    There were a pod of very energetic dolphins at Roberton Island in the Bay of Islands. They let a bunch of us chase them around in our dinghies while they did flips and stuff for us. Amazing!

  5. Joan Morrison says:

    How are you ? Where are you ? When are you sailing south? I look forward to meeting with you. Joan Morrison.

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