I spent the weekend retracing the old steamer and sailing routes through the Kaipara Harbour, and it was mesmerizing!
I was blessed to receive the experience as a birthday gift this year. So, I spent the weekend retracing the old sailing routes through Helensville and upwards to Dargaville, in the North Island of New Zealand.
Our vessel for the cruise was the M.V. Kewpie Too, a historic vessel built in 1953, which used for a variety of purposes around the North Island including milk and mail delivery in the Bay of Islands.
‘Kewpie’ comes from the nickname of the original guide, Ted Kewbit, who in his own lifetime became one of New Zealand’s most famous guides.
The area has such a rich history and an abundance of natural wonders. It was hard to put my camera down, as every new bay and river we passed had a story to share:
- We passed by the site of the ‘Battle of Moremonui’, which was fought between Ngāti Whātua and Ngāpuhi, two Māori iwi.
- We saw the vast banks of mangroves that cover what once was a mighty Kauri forest.
- We were shown the various settlement sites of early Europeans, and the historic buildings and jetties that remain.
By the time we reached Dargaville, we had learnt about the various industries that once flourished here. All their products moved by boat, down to the Auckland markets.
It was a memorable cruise, one that I would encourage anyone with a love of nature and history to go on.
Great snacks, company, and stories, mixed with fresh views, make for a damn good time! ✌️☀️