Cruising the Bay of Islands

Oke Bay, bay of islands, new zealand
Oke Bay was in fine form with the bue sea and white sand constrasting with the scarlet of the Pohutukawa flowers.

We spent 11 days during Dec / Jan cruising in the Bay of Islands on New Zealand’s north-eastern coast. It was not our first cruise in the area but was our most enjoyable.

The weather is always a big factor and this year it blessed us wIth favourable conditions of generally fine with wind coming from no particular dominant quarter.

We were able to spend a couple of nights anchored in one of our favourite spots Oke Bay which is usually a little too exposed for overnight stays.

While it is accessible from the road, it is on an isolated peninsula in the outer Bay of Islands and well hidden from other than those who know about it.

Oke bay is surrounded by steep bush clad hills on its eastern flank and lower hills backing a beautiful sandy beach. The water is crystal clear and overall it is an idyllic anchorage.

OkeBay, Bay of Islands, New Zealand
Oke Bay looking east

We spent hours walking up the Cape Brett track which was extremely wet after recent heavy rain over Christmas. Despite the slippery track, the heat and humidity which made it feel more like the tropics, this all helped to undo some of those Christmas excesses. The view from the summit is stunning giving you a great appreciation of the area know as Ipiripiri.

Bay of islands, new zealand
Ipiripiri, the eastern Bay of Islands


Bay of islands, new zealand
Looking down into Oke Bay from the Cape Brett Track

Ipiripiri is the group of Islands in the eastern Bay of Islands which is now the subject of a restoration effort called Project Island Song which aims to stop the decline in the bio diversity of the Islands and, restore the habitat to a level that will attract back the native birds.

We walked the tracks available on several of the Islands and noticed the changes since our last visit, especially on Moturua Island with birds being far more in evidence.

However, it was disappointing to see so many boaties flouting the restrictions on taking dogs onto the Islands with some even letting their pets roam free. While nature will do so much, it sometimes needs a helping hand to speed things along and many people invest a lot of time and physical effort into achieving this. I am sure they would be angry to thing that their efforts could so easily be undone by a thoughtless few.

Roaming dogs are a danger to birds, particularly the young. The dogs only do what comes naturally, you can’t blame them but I do struggle to understand the mentality or arrogance of their owners.

Maybe it is time to start dobbing the offenders into DOC by send pics to them.

Bay of islands, new zealand
Looking west from Urupukapuka Island in the Bay of Islands

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