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. Fullers is great for getting a sense of Auckland. See the Auckland Skyline (and get a sense of the size of Sky Tower) on the 1½-hour Auckland Harbor cruise (NZ$36). Commentary runs while taking passengers past 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. The Pride of Auckland Company keeps customers well-fed and active as they take in the sights of Waitemata Harbour. Kermadec Restaurant & Bar provides New Zealand style food on trips timed for lunch (NZ$85), dinner (NZ$115), and snack time (NZ$75). Don't get too relaxed; working alongside the crew is encouraged. 09/359–5987. www.prideofauckland.com.
Ferg's Kayaks. Instead of taking the ferry to Rangitoto, you could 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 aboutsix hours—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 weather dependent. 12 Tamaki Dr., Auckland, 1071. 09/529–2230. www.fergskayaks.co.nz.
Ross Adventures. Ross Adventures proves there's more to Waiheke Island than relaxed beaches and wineries. Half-day (NZ$75, appropriate for beginners), full-day (NZ$145), and overnight kayaking trips take paddlers past coastal cliffs and inlets. Explore caves, beaches, and Maori pa 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$155) participate in sailing with a racing crew (or relax while they do the work). For more thrills participate in the America's Cup Match Racing (NZ$199) trip. This three-hour experience 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.
The Soren Larsen. The Soren Larsen offers five-hour day trips (NZ$120) that hug the inner Hauraki Gulf and Waitemata Harbour on Sunday during summer. But for real adventure, book one of the 4 or 5 night trips through the Bay of Islands or the Hauraki Gulf. Passengers on any trip are allowed to steer the vessel, raise the sail, or climb aloft and scan the seas for whales and dolphins. 06/817–8799. www.sorenlarsen.co.nz.
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