This was our first Surfari since New Zealand came out of lockdown, and there was certainly an appetite to get away and play!
So what is a Water Nomads Surfari? Ultimately it is a weekend away which is hosted in a premium water sport location. Water Nomads arrange everything: food, accommodation and give you an idea where the best spots are to play, and more importantly, when! The ethos behind it is keep it real, keep it local: We offer amazing healthy whole-food meals, catered for by local chefs (that’s the lunches and dinners, breakfast is on us). The accommodation is aimed at a comfortable group level of no more that 10 total (which includes the two of us). And we involve as much of the locals with their knowledge as we can. It’s all about meeting new people, making new friends, and discovering new places.
Being in the middle of winter, with the shortest day just gone, the ‘winterless North’ offered itself for our Winter-Solstice Trip. The limited spaces had sold out quickly. Due to the stunning waterfront accommodation right on Coopers Beach, we also had some partners keen to join in. There was as much anticipation from us as there was from our guests as it was also our first Water Nomads Surfari to this stunning part of the country,
Approaching the weekend, the forecast started to look better by the day: An Easterly flow on Friday for the drive up, with some opportunity hit the water either around Auckland, or for those making it up really early, in Tokerau Beach. For Saturday and Sunday, the forecast was for Northwest, swinging further to the South as the weekend get on. Excellent, we should get some of everything! 🙂
How long does it take to drive up there from Auckland? Isn’t that a bit far just for a weekend? Well, it depends…… If you get through alright, no stopping for windsurfing, it’s 4-5 hours, about the same time as it takes down to Taranaki. If you get horrendous rain on the way because you had a fantastic session around Auckland, it might take a bit longer….. And if you do loose your roof rack on the way, it seems, you might as well turn around and go home again. Unless someone can repair the boards over night…..
Exactly that happened to Jill and Richard. Due to a pressure wave of a passing truck, the rack with everything went flying. Bugger. Fortunately no-one else was involved and no-one was injured. Some quick organising ensured, that we would be able to patch up Jills damaged board so she could use it on the weekend. Richards board needed a bit more than what could have been organised over night, so he did get to use some of our gear. Local windsurfer Grant from Windsurfing Northland was our hero. He did a stellar job on Friday night and Saturday morning, fixing Jills board.
Awakening to a clear Saturday morning, with bottomless coffee flowing the desire to hit the water was apparent. The wind was still light, but the direction just perfect to launch directly in front of the house. Brian made the first move on his freeride windsurfing gear, closely followed by Paul and Heidi who decided to go winging. Patrick and local windfoiler Brett went out windfoiling, while Chris set up his slalom gear and gave it a go. Apart from the windfoilers, it was more wishful thinking and getting wet than actually having enough wind. So lunch was a good excuse, before we decided to head over to Rangiputa for the afternoon.
Stopping on the way to have a quick look at Tokerau Beach, and the launching spot at the Reef Lodge in Rangiuta. This confirmed, that the best place would be the point in Rangiputa. It was way windier than what we had in the morning in Coopers Beach. The smaller sails were soon rigged and everyone was out having a blast until late in the afternoon.
Locals Grant and Brett joined us not just on the water, but also later for pre-dinner drinks at our place. The fire was going, and everyone was recapping the events of the day and making plans for Sunday. Lasagna for dinner and cheese cake as dessert left nobody hungry.
Sunday saw us leaving the house in the morning and making our way over to Rangiputa again. It wasn’t quite as windy as the day before, and the tide was still coming in (it was wind against tide on Saturday). Foilboards and freeride gear came out to get a few more hours in. Late afternoon we unfortunately had to say goodbye and make our way back to Auckland.
We are looking forward to another Surfari to this stunning spot in September. Hopefully then for 3 nights, to have more time in paradise.