BAY OF ISLANDS ANCHORAGES – Here’s our top five
Oke Bay is our favourite bay to drop anchor. There is a sandy beach and the bay has a good depth of water with a sandy bottom, good holding and there’s usually lots of room. Good meeting place on a hot summer day.
There is good shelter in most conditions, but there can be a bit of a roll if there is a swell outside. Oke Bay is also great for snorkelling for the kids or walking onshore with great walking tracks leading out to the Peninsula. Be careful when going ashore as the waves hitting the beach can be quite strong and we have experienced a very embarrassing exit from our dinghy and an unplanned swim!
PIPI BAY (Awaawaroa)
Awaawaroa Bay is known as Pipi Bay. It has great anchorage with a reasonable depth of water and good holding in a muddy sandy bottom. It provides good shelter from most wind directions. It is very popular during the summer holidays so it can become quite overcrowded. The cicadas are deafening in the summer time and Tui’s will wake you in the mornings.
Beautiful Pohutukawas line the bay
Omakiwi is a great and very popular anchorage, sheltered from North East to South East and provides good holding and plenty of room. There is a good beach with a pine forest above it with interesting walks and is close to the road for picking up extra crew.
ARMY BAY (Waiwhapuku)
Waiwhapuku is commonly know as Army Bay because during the Second World War there was a defence base there. There are still concrete remains of the hut floors and also the gun emplacements from where you can get magnificent view of the Bay of Islands. It has good protection from Westerly winds. Anchoring can be marginal on a hard bottom – not recommended for overnight in a blow, however winds from the west often drop off at night.
Army Bay gives access to great walking tracks on Motorua Island, but remember no animals are allowed onshore.
Assassination is one of the most popular anchorages as it provides excellent protection in gales. It can become quite crowded during peak holiday times. There is good deep water right up to several bays which all have good holding. Opunga Cove has a lovely sandy beach and Orokawa is great for a stroll past the baches.
During the spring when the Kowhai Trees are flowering, the Tui’s become intoxicated on the nectar and become very rowdy.