Scream spent a wonderful week in Whangaroa. Most of New Zealand looks more like Canada than the South Pacific, but there is no mistaking the volcanic origin of Whangaroa. The harbour is beautiful and very well protected.
We anchored in four different locations inside Whangaroa’s large harbour. First we waited out an easterly blow in Pararako Bay. The bottom here was described as M.cS.bkSh, which intimidated even us. Some time with the guide translated this as mud, coarse sand, and broken shells. That’s a lot of words to say that anchors hold well there.
The water in Whangaroa was quite clear when we arrived, with visibility of perhaps 5m, easily the best that we have had in New Zealand. We had the privilege of seeing a pod of Orca with some juveniles or new borns.
Next we anchored off the Whanagroa Marina. The facilities there are newer and nicer than we expected. Top marks for them, especially for letting have the run of the place for free. The Whangaroa Sport Fishing Club (formerly Whangaroa Big Gamefishing Club) is at the top of the marina docks. Their restaurant and bar are good and inexpensive, and the fish mounted on the walls are very impressive. I ‘m not sure that I would have believed that Marlins exceed 400 Kg if I hadn’t seen them. There isn’t much more to the village, other than the general store south of the marina. We got eggs, bread, and somewhat fresh vegetables there.
We moved on to Rere Bay, where we anchored in the cove on the south side of the peninsula to the north. It’s a bit of a tight fit, but very pretty. The wind shelter there is excellent, though what wind that arrives when a north easterly is blowing comes from all directions. We swung quite lazily.
We rounded out our trip in Waitepipi, reputedly the best anchorage in New Zealand. We had a great time, though I preferred Rere myself.
Somehow we had cell service throughout the harbour, even though there is little settlement.
Whangaroa is a great place to get away from the crowds and tour boats of the Bay of Islands. Whangaroa is about 30nm north west of the Bay of Islands, so you’ll want to wait for favourable weather before sailing between them.