The spiritual tip of New Zealand and the great Kauri forests

Cape Reinga

The northern tip of New Zealand

Where the Tasman Sea meets the South Pacific Ocean

Where in Maori Spirituality the spirits of the dead go to leave this earth

Descending the cliffs

The trees

back to the sea


Cape Reinga and the Tasman Sea meeting the Pacific Ocean
Cape Rienga and the sandy dunes that span the west cost of northern New Zealand

Sandy beaches and huge dunes spread south along the west coast on Northland

The 90 mile sandy beach ending a Ahipara

A small fishing village at the southern end of the 90 Mile Beach

Low Tide on the 90 Mile Beach at Ahipara
Fishing Boat beaching for retrieval

Retrieving the beached fishing boat

South of Ahipara are the ancient giant Kauri forests

Trees thousands of years old

Te Matua Ngahere- Father of the Forest

Te Matua Ngahere is estimated to be over 3,000 years old and is still growing – an awe inspiring living organism.

These remnant giant trees are a wonder and thankfully have been preserved.

The trip then along the Hokianga Estuary

To the Estuary’s mouth was a mixture of beautiful food and stories of both Maori and Pakeha history

Panoramic view of the Hokianga Estuary





Waitangi – The Place

At the South West corner of the Bay of Islands

there it is


the treaty ground

Waitangi – Waitangi day preparations

There was tension in the air

It was the eve of Waitangi day

The Trans Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP) had just been signed in New Zealand

The protests that had taken place in Auckland were moving to Waitangi

The Treaty Ground.

For Waitangi Day

Waitangi Treaty Monument

A major issue for the Maori is that the provisions of the TPP may over ride major aspects of the Treaty of Waitangi.


Waitangi Day – 6 February 2016

For the visiting sailor it was the calm anchorages of the Bay of Islands that called

Paradise Bay (Oneura Bay) behind Urupukapuka Island was calm and the water welcoming on this Waitangi Day

Looking across Paradise Bay

Then on to Okahu Passage to climb to the top Waewaetorea Island

The little chartered boat in Okahu Passage

And views across the Bay of Islands

Looking west along the Bay of Islands
Looking West along Te Rawhiti Passage

And back to Paradise Bay by sunset

Sunset behind Paradise Bay

Waitangi – The Boat

Classic Yacht – Waitangi

The Waitangi is one of the most beautiful classic boats I have seen and have been lucky enough to sail on

Waitangi has a rich history which included being restored by a group of sailors in Williamstown – my home port in Victoria, Australia.  As it turned out I was only a couple of degrees of separation from one of the syndicate that restored Waitangi and so had the joy of sailing on her.

She was a true restoration with no winches and only human strength to raise and trim the sails.  I remember hauling on the ropes – three of four of us to set the top sail.

And now here she lies in the New Zealand Maritime Museum just under the great big red boat Steinlager 2 which won the round the world race.

These are my three aspects of significance about Waitangi emerging from a recent trip to New Zealand.