Bay of Islands - Photos - Urupukapuka

Mike and Liz Downing
Mon 17 Jan 2011 09:47
For the 2 weeks after Christmas we went out into the islands to explore. Each day was a new anchorage or sometimes 2 new anchorages as we sometimes stopped for lunch and found somewhere more secure for the night, There are a lot of anchorages around each of the 6 or so main islands and an equal number along the mainland shore line. The islands create a corridor of protected water between them and the mainland where the sea is pretty flat most of the time. The corridor is sort of horseshoe shaped so regardless of the wind direction there is always somewhere safe to anchor. It's made even better by the fact that the water is not very deep at all - acres and acres of water between 15 and 25ft - with a bottom of thick, good holding mud. This makes it ideal to set the anchor, but not so good when cleaning it off afterwards - it gets everywhere! Water visibility is variable. In most of the mainland anchorages visibility is only a few feet at most. Around the islands it's a lot better; the best we've found being Moturua Island where we could see the bottom 20ft below. The water temperature is, for us softies from the tropics, cold!  I hope we will get used to it in time. A number of the islands have good walking tracks on them with a different view round every corner.
Urupukapuka is one of the larger islands, with some areas of woodland, but a lot of it being a bit like downland at home. The views from it are great as these photos show:
There is a camp site on one of the bays.
The Pohutukawa tree (above and below) , known as the New Zealand Christmas tree as it flowers at Christmas time