Saturday, January 21, 2012

Cruising on the Kaipara Harbour---New Zealand's forgotten harbour

Saturday the 22nd of January was a bit sad and also very happy. I missed the Tangaroa Foundation Reunion. I regret that, especially after viewing all the stuff on Facebook. I won’t miss the next one. It’s amazing how all the students from that time have kept in touch and hearing ABOUT ALL OF THE THINGS THEY ARE UP TO. Gosh--- some of them are grandparents now and they live everywhere.
I took my sister on a harbour cruise on the Kaipara Harbour--- wow what a buzz. I knew it was big, but barley being able to see the northern point from the boat while we were just off Shelly Beach tells you something. The cruise also meanders up one of the rivers—almost to Taupaki. To think how the early settlers (and of course the much longer history of exploration of the Maoris) used this vast array of waterways for transport and economic activity is really incredible. They did however turn the harbour from a pristine, clean domain into the silted up and often brown mess it is today. In spite of this, it still retains a charm and beauty in its backwaters that everyone should visit.
Take a trip on the quaint steamer  ( and you will enjoy what I did today. The host and captain knows his stuff and his commentary is not intrusive. He even slows the boat every time he talks. Take your own food but even the instant coffee seemed to taste better--- must have been the sea air!
I have decided to take some of their other trips: the cruise from Westhaven to Riverhead sounds great. Not expensive either ($20 for the 3 plus hours trip I went on, $35 for the Riverhead one).  I want to try the 8 hour trip to Dargaville too soon. (I think you come back on the bus to Shelly beach.)
So, while I missed out on seeing all the folks from TC, I gained a wonderful new wish to cruise our wonderful harbours. I must check out some other options around NZ—any suggestions?