Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Wandered Down to Whangaruru ….. January 2018

12 – 14 Jan:  Tuparehua Bay, Whangaruru ~ 35 21S 174 20E

P1112480From Mumu to Ruru

After a couple of sunny days and peaceful nights anchored in Whangamumu we left in company with French Curve to move 16 miles further south.  Two sail boats – same length, going the same way, yep it was race on.  Conditions were glorious for a light air downwind run, nothing too strenuous today. 

Whangaruru is a large harbour with a choice of several anchorages offering shelter from most wind angles.  P1122483We nestled in close to the harbour side of Bland Bay a popular spot for Kiwis camping for their summer holidays as there is the protected harbour beach and on the other side of the sliver of an isthmus is the ocean.   Just perfect. 

14 years ago when we came this way in Balvenie conditions were perfect for anchoring in Bland Bay and we dinghied ashore and met up with friends camping there, now it was time to see it from the other side.

We had originally thought we would spend a few days here exploring but with a change of weather on the horizon we changed plans and just stayed 2 nights.

Worthwhile Walk ….. Whangaruru North Head Loop (about 8 kms, leisurely 3 hours from memory, shorter option down from top, elevation about 180 metres)


We took the dinghy ashore to the beach on the right of the little island - Sandy Bay?, there were private homes and some campers and we asked to walk through one property to join the gravel road behind.  P1122490Turn right and you can see the sealed where you go right again and after a short time there was a big DOC sign on the left (hidden behind long grasses and easy to miss).  It was a gradual climb initially through grasslands then up into native bush with a few spots for admiring the view.  More steeply uphill to the ridge with a sign on it showing a track directly downhill on the right for a shorter option.  We carried on, passing remote coves then the trail crosses back to the harbour side, through some farmland and past some buildings that are an Outdoors Camp.  P1122495Then we followed a dirt track that went inland and took us along to the bay in the adjacent photo, the sun came out, campers were in swimming, kayakers were paddling, a very Kiwi summer scene.  There is a camp ground there (toilets and water), walk through it and you will find another DOC track to the next beach north, then there was an unmarked but wide trail inland about 100m which joined the road.  Turn left and straight forward along here back to the dinghy, not very far.


Still More Whanga’s To Come

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Which Way are all the Whanga’s? ….. Jan 2018

10 – 12 Jan 2018:  Whangamumu ~ 35 15S  174 17E


Farewell to the Bay of Islands

IMG_20180110_141212When we arrived from the tropics to Opua late November 2016 never in our wildest dreams did we think it would be 14 months before we would start our journey south to Auckland.  But as we all know life has a way of throwing the unexpected when least expected, so here we were a year later than planned, finally homeward bound.  IMG_20180110_142347

We sailed out of the Kerikeri Inlet on another stunner of a summers day, a light breeze filled the sails and skipper pointed for Cape Brett.  The Bay was buzzing with life - yachts under full sail heading in all directions, fishing boats big and small hunting for the catch of the day and tour boats aplenty doing the Dolphin Spotting and Hole in the Rock cruises.  IMG_20180110_142622

You could not have asked for a more perfect day to slip across the head of bay, then “Shoot Piercy”, just one of those things all coastal sailors around these parts like to do when conditions allow.  Its the small and often very lively little gap between the Hole in the Rock and Cape Brett, today it was flat calm and we shot on through.


First of 3 “Whanga’s”

Sailing into Whangamumu was like discovering a hidden gem,P1102457 the outer harbour is an acceptable anchorage in its own right but as you continue a inner sanctum unfolds and what a top spot.  It looks quite small on the chart but by sunset we had very close to 50 vessels of all shapes and sizes and we had room for a few more.

We rendezvoused with our American friends on French Curve, and were thrilled to have quick catch ups with Savarna, we last saw Keith and Pam in the US Virgin Islands and also Paul now on his new yacht Matariki, we did the Auckland to Fiji Rally in 2004 with Paul and his family on his previous yacht Montego Bay and hadn’t seen them since.IMG_20180111_132857

The fabulous run of weather continued the following day and after a great cooked breakfast on Matariki we ventured ashore to explore the ruins of the old whaling station.  Back in the early 1900’s whalers would set nets out from the coastline to Net Rock to trap or slow down the humpback whales then go out in their boat to harpoon them.  They were then dragged into the harbour and processed.  According to records over 70 whales were trapped in 1927.

IMG_20180111_142435 IMG_20180111_131854_3

Worthwhile Walk …..  From Whaling Station to Waterfall/Scenic Lookout

Dinghy ashore to the little beach where you can see the ruined jetty and whaling station.  Its easy to find the track up to the waterfall, its about 10 mins each way and there are a couple of small pools that you can have a dip in.   IMG_20180111_150104 Return to the beach and head behind the ruins on the path and soon there is a sign indicating left inland to Rawhiti  or straight ahead up to Cape Brett.  We took the Cape Brett path, it was quite a steady steep climb on a well trodden path, mainly in the shade of native bush. It took about 30 mins to reach the lookout at the top, the photos above show the spectacular view.  We returned down to the sign post and took the path to Rawhiti, it follows the coastline to the head of the bay but appeared to be low tide access only.  It looked like you would need to take your dinghy to the beach at the head of bay to access the trail through the grass up the hill inland.  

What’s The Next Whanga?