The best place to be during winter in New Zealand? Well, if you ask us, it surely must be Northland. With its stunning beaches, crystal clear water and mild temperatures, you wouldn’t even know it’s winter!
After having traveled all over the South Island during summer, we made our way up North at the beginning of June. A few days in Wellington and a short stint in Taranaki on the way did bring some wild winter sailing. We didn’t linger and carried on.
North of Auckland, we decided to travel up the West Coast. Following State Highway 16 out of Auckland, we spent a few relaxing days on the shores of the Kaipara Harbour – one of the places we always wanted to explore but never felt we had time for. It was beautiful, but unfortunately no wind for us. We took our time driving north along State Highway 12. The ancient Kauri forests and the Hokianga Harbour are definitely worth a visit. And with the New Zealand boarders still closed, we had most of those places for ourselves.
However, we were keen to get up to Rangiputa on the Karikari Peninsula for some windsurfing and winging. And to welcome our guests during our Surfari Trips.
We knew the area from previous visits, though never spent more than a couple of weeks at a time there. This year, we didn’t need to go anywhere and were looking forward to make the most it. Stocked up to the brim, we were determined not to leave the peninsula too soon, just to get new supplies. And sure enough, in the end we managed to stay more or less put for up to two weeks at a time without stocking up. Catching the odd Snapper possibly helped with that!
The Karikari Peninsula didn’t disappoint. Although it was a fairly wet winter, we had a lot of fun. As long as you follow the old rule “When you go to war take all your weapons” there is always something to do.
We had some fantastic days windsurfing in Tokerau and Rangiputa, using mainly our smaller sails (5.3-3.7). When it wasn’t quiet windy enough for our small wave gear, I took the wingboard out. The learning conditions were great and I felt I really made progress. It possibly helped that I swapped the trusty Starboard beginners board for a nice small and nimble Axis board. Suddenly everything started to make sense.
We also had a few glassy days where we explored the stunning coastline around Maitai Bay by kayak. The water was so clear, and there were so many fish! It would be amazing to go snorkeling there.
During those two months we also hosted two Water Nomads Surfaris in Coopers Beach. We really enjoyed having company on the water and the good banter over dinner.
Highlights? It surely must be winging in Maitai Bay and sharing our piece of paradise with our guests 🙂
It wasn’t easy to leave Northland, but some commitments had us go back to Auckland. Now we are looking forward to our next adventure on the Coromandel Peninsula!
Check out our Surfari Trips to Northland