It’s an early start from Russell Pier, but we make it down the hill to the landing pier on time and jump on the Dolphin Discovery cruise for a four hour sail around the Bay of Islands. We sail cross the bay past Moturoa Island and the Black Rocks, a low island of flat cooled lava jutting up through the waterline. We sail further across the bay past the entrance to Kerikeri Inlet where a group of sail boats bob at anchorage in the distance and on to Whale Bay.
The bay is full of a number of small islands and rocks, many of the headlands have dream houses set on the hillside or cliffs overlooking secluded bays with views out over the waters to the distant form of the Hole in the Rock at the entrance to the bay. We crisscross the bay looking for the dolphins but today it is very quiet, even by calling around the boats that normally cross the bay, no one has sighted anything today.
Unfortunately we can’t find the dolphins today as a new arrival is probably the reason the dolphins have hidden away to protect their young. Certain parts of the bay are off limits to the cruises to protect the wildlife, giving the dolphins the choice to retreat away from the cameras and tourist hoping to swim with them.
Hole in the Rock
After crossing back over the bay and visiting Waewaetorea Island with its secluded beach we are offered an alternative chance to findings dolphins, so we sail out to the hole in the rock at the head of the Bay of Islands. Cape Brett has a lighthouse overlooking the small island of Motukokako Island, we slow down then slowly sail into the shadows and through the sea hole before circling back behind Cape Brett. The sun is out, it is a beautiful day but it’s time to head back at speed to Russell. With the wind is blowing in our faces, we race back to Russell at speed.
Check out : Dolphins Discovery Tours.
Where : Russell, Bay of Islands, New Zealand.
Travelling : Russell is reached by the Okiato Car ferry across the Bay or via the two hour twisty narrow Scenic Drive Road.
Camping : Top 10 Russell Holiday Park. A short walk down the hill into Russell shoreline. Very relaxed, beautiful village, less easy to reach as you have to take a ferry from the mainland.
Next Up : Cape Reinga
On the way back December 27 2017