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Coastal Cruising Around New Zealand

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Read about just a few of our favourite cruising destinations around the Hauraki Gulf in New Zealand!


Peachgrove Bay, Great Mercury Island

Peachgrove Bay can be found on the south side of Great Mercury Island, one of seven Mercury Islands, owned by Michael Fay and David Richwhite. The stunning bay is filled with pohutukawa trees that line the white sandy beach.

The water is an incredible blue, so clear that the bottom is still visible in over 4 metres of water. There’s a hidden gem too – the freshwater river running along one end of the beach leads to a freshwater waterfall and swimming hole, only a short walk from the beach.

If you ever find yourself cruising around Great Mercury Island, Peachgrove Bay is a must-visit!

Peachgrove Bay at Great Mercury Island

Woody Bay, Rakino Island

Woody Bay can be found on the small island of Rakino, which has a permanent population of around 20 people. With no shops or services, it is an ideal escape from city life.

Woody Bay is sheltered from winds blowing from the north through to the southwest and it's proximity to marinas such as Westhaven and Gulf Harbour make it a great spot to visit on the weekend. With its golden sand, warm water and quiet isolation, this is a popular destination among boaties.

Woody Bay at Rakino Island

Coppermine Engine House, Kawau Island

The historic Coppermine Engine House can be found on the south-western coast of Kawau Island. The 157-year-old Coppermine is one of the oldest industrial buildings in New Zealand.

Accessible by boat or the walking track from Mansion House Bay, the Coppermine Engine House is a fascinating place to visit. Next to the engine house the main mine shaft, which is covered in copper sulfate, can be viewed from behind a safety barrier. Surrounding the engine house are various tunnels to be explored. This historic site is a must-visit on Kawau Island.

Coppermine Engine House at Kawau Island

Photo: Phillip Capper / CC BY 2.0

Smokehouse Bay, Great Barrier Island

Smokehouse Bay is a fun, quirky place to stop by on Great Barrier Island. Accessible only by boat, the bay has a clothes washing facility, a bath and smokehouse.

The washing facilities and bath have an interesting twist – the “washing machine” is an old washtub with a wringer, and the bath is heated using driftwood and an old stove, with the water supplied from a stream further up in the bush. Smokehouse Bay is a great resource for boaties who want a bath or to do some washing, while also offering a unique experience.

Smokehouse Bay at Great Barrier Island

Photo: © Andrew Cain / Wanderlust V

Port Fitzroy, Great Barrier Island

Located on the west coast of Great Barrier Island, Port Fitzroy is a favourite destination for boaties, offering shelter from almost all weather conditions.

Fitzroy features a wharf with water and fuel, and a short walk up the road is a general store, selling everything from fresh fruits and vegetables, canned food, and toiletries. Across from the general store starts a 45-minute bush walk, leading you to a stunning waterfall and swimming hole. Enter with caution though, the water is freezing!

Port Fitzroy at Great Barrier Island

What are some of your favourite cruising destinations? Tell us what we missed!


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    • Hauraki Gulf, New Zealand