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Beccara

Great Barrier - First Time

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Hi All,

 

We are hoping that after our haulout next week we will have enough time to do our "first" big trip after kicking around Whangarei harbour and Tutukaka for the past year. We're aiming for GB and we're doing our research, Does anyone have any words of wisdom to impart or any gotcha's for newbies? We're looking at chilling out in Port Fitzroy for a weekend as it's a fairly straight line from Whangarei. We've got a fairly shallow draft of 2.5ft and a big bruce anchor onboard, Being new to the area I was also wondering if anyone here knows of someone to talk to on the island if we get stuck/into trouble?

 

 

Cheers

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Shouldn't have a problem with the locals, most are helpful, some perhaps a little excentric. Fitzroy good for all conditions, some find the holding at Smokehouse not to be as good as they would like, but it is a great yacht facility, thanks to the Webster family. there are several yachties that spend a lot of time out there. good for advice, Harry for one on "Bilbo Baggins". Take a good sharp hand saw to cut up firewood for the chip heater for the bath house hot water. Lots of wind fall Manuka around for firewood. There are some old saws there, but most are really blunt, and in need a good sharpen and set. Take some muslin cloth to strain  water through if taking on water. Water at the wharf and at Smokehouse comes from local creeks, if it has rained recently the water tends to be a little muddy.

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Yup indoor and outdoor baths, clothes lines and tubs for hand washing, a great smokehouse so you can smoke all Kahawai, Kingi's and Snapper you can catch. The seaward side of "Man O War" passage out to the "Grey Group" is great for catching Kahawai, but they are generally plentiful in Fitzroy as well. Go and have a look at the Manuka oil distillary around the corner from Smokehouse, very interesting. Shopping is expensive, so stock up before you go.

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Watch out for pagets rock in man o war passage sometimes the marker isn't there.

Take plenty of anchor rode as it gets deep quick.

I Haven't had any trouble with holding in smokehouse but have dragged a bit in Fitzroy and Forestry Bay.

Some great walks around the Island.

Take plenty of provisions as the store is expensive although has most things if you are stuck.

Go to the boat club for a beer.

Whangaparapara is worth a visit and a coffee stop at the Motel.

If you get down to Tryphena the Stonewall Store is a great stop also.

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Second that. 

Keep an eye out for pagets rock in man o war passage

Carry plenty of anchor rode

We have found a rock bottom in Kiwiriki Bay (two Island bay) just past the entrance that caused us to drag once.

The Kauri dam has been washed away now (along with our favorite bathing spot just before the DOC hut) but you can still walk up to the top of Mt Hobson from the other side if you are energetic

I haven't been into Wairahi Bay but I have always heard rumours of the locals not appreciating boats anchoring in that bay.  The RAYC handbook says residents strongly object to visitors and consider them to be trespassers.

Fresh water can be got from Smokehouse Bay (tide dependent) and Fitzroy.  Last time I was there the water station by the DOC hut by Quion Island was closed due to the washout.

 

The Royal Akarana Coastal Cruising handbook is a good one to have as it details most of the bays.

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We use Man O War only because it is closer coming from South and are typically heading to Smokehouse Bay.  There is also a good fishing spot by the mussel farm just before you go through the narrow passage.  A couple of other points I should have mentioned

 

There is a hygienic composting toilet at Smokehouse up the walkway.  This saves the holding tanks.

The beach at the Eastern end of Katherine Bay is a nice place to visit in anything other than a NW.

 

Enjoy.  It's a wonderful place to visit.

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The loo at smokehouse is full, of spider webs, most women shy away from it. I have anchored in Wairahi bay many times, when Cyclone Pam came through one of the Wairahi locals, firstly, asked if we were aware that Pam was coming (which we wern't, she was 3 days away ) and then offered us the use of his mooring. I have had only good experiences in there. Karaka Bay is OK, except in a S Westerly.

Abercromby entrance into Fitzroy is wider than "Man O War" You will probably use them both coming or going, and to go fishing. A bit more current in Man O War depending on the tide, as it is narrow it can be difficult to see if another boat (or ferry) is coming from the other side. Take your time all will be revealed.

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Yes. Great place. Lovely tramp to mt hobson. Hot springs in the creek from the track off whangaparapara road. Out the eastern side too Arid island great for fishing and diving with neat little bay safe in every quarter exc northerly.Have a round of golf too. Beautiful scenery on the 9 holes. Unique place! A gem!

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