Hauraki Gulf

After our disappointing overnight cruise in Doubtful Sound I was tempted to cancel the overnight cruise in Hauraki Gulf. However, given the boat’s departure 10 minutes from home and stellar TripAdvisor reviews I decided to give it a chance. I’m so glad I did!

Cruising out of Waitemata Harbour we sailed to Motuihe Island. We were not permitted to swim from Ipipiri to shore and it took awhile to shuttle everyone to the island. I completed my triathlon training swim along the beach. As soon as I finished one of the crew told me there was calmer water just on the other side of the sand dune. I scrambled to the other side and took a dip in the lagoon-like water. It was idyllic. Once onboard I was treated to a hot shower in the privacy of our stateroom. Quite different from our experience in Doubtful Sound.

For dinner all guests dine in a common room simultaneously. By chance Allen and I ended up at a table by ourselves. The server asked if we wanted to move outside and enjoy dinner privately on the deck. We were anchored in calm water off the coast of Waiheke Island. Over the three course meal we saw the sky change color as the sun set. Other guests rushed outside to take pictures as the sun dipped below the horizon, but we got to see the whole show.

After a restful night we rose and had breakfast just in time to pull into port around 9am Saturday morning.  What a great start to the weekend!

Date: 24-25 February 2017
Travel with: Allen
Weather: 70’s and mostly clear
Accommodation: private stateroom onboard Ipipiri, the flagship vessel of Hauraki Blue Cruises

  • swimming off both sides of Motuihe Island
  • watching the sun set over Waiheke Island
  • reading on the sun deck

Food & Drink:

  • afternoon tea of cheese and crackers was served late Friday afternoon
  • happy hour
  • 3-course dinner
  • buffet-style breakfast

Transportation: Ipipiri