Boating, Sailing, and Kayaking in Auckland
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Boating, Sailing, and Kayaking
If you're in Auckland in February, be sure to check out the Auckland Anniversary Regatta (www.regatta.org.nz). The Yachting New Zealand Web site has a calendar of events throughout the year (www.yachtingnz.org.nz).
Fullers. To get a sense of Auckland, the Auckland skyline, and the size of Sky Tower, take a 1½-hour Auckland Harbor cruise (NZ$36). Commentary runs while the boat passes the Harbour Bridge, Devonport's naval base, and Bean Rock Lighthouse. There's a brief stopover on Rangitoto Island in the Harauki Gulf. Various day tours of Waiheke Island are also available. 09/367–9111. www.fullers.co.nz.
Pride of Auckland Company. Customers are kept well-fed and active while taking in the sights of Waitemata Harbour on trips timed for lunch (NZ$90), dinner (NZ$120), and snack time (NZ$75). Kermadec Restaurant & Bar provides the New Zealand–style food. Don't get too relaxed; working alongside the crew on the purpose-built yachts is encouraged. This outfit also offers sails on a fast racing yacht used by New Zealand to contest the America's Cup (NZ$160). 09/359–5987. www.explorenz.co.nz.
Ferg's Kayaks. Instead of taking the ferry to Rangitoto, why not paddle? Ferg's Kayaks, run by four-time Olympic gold medal winner Ian Ferguson, takes guided trips (NZ$120) to the island twice daily, leaving at 9 and 4. The round-trip takes about six hours, including two to paddle each way and one to climb the volcano. On the later trip you paddle back in the dark toward the city lights. Booking is essential, and trips are dependent on weather and numbers. 12 Tamaki Dr., Auckland, 1071. 09/529–2230. www.fergskayaks.co.nz.
Ross Adventures. There's more to Waiheke Island than relaxed beaches and wineries. Half-day (NZ$85, appropriate for beginners), full-day (NZ$145), and overnight kayaking trips take paddlers past coastal cliffs and inlets. Explore caves, beaches, and Māori pā sites, depending on the day's route. Full-day trips include swimming and snorkeling, and you may spot blue penguins or dolphins as you kayak. 09/372–5550. www.kayakwaiheke.co.nz.
Sail NZ. No experience is necessary to sail on America's Cup yachts NZL 40 and NZL 41 with Sail NZ. With the America's Cup Sailing Experience (NZ$160), you can help sail with a racing crew or relax while they do the work. For more thrills, participate in the America's Cup Match Racing (NZ$195) trip, a three-hour experience that includes practice drills followed by a race against other yachts with a race crew. Viaduct Harbour, Auckland, 1010. 09/359–5987. www.sailnz.co.nz.
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