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R Tucker Thompson in the Bay of Islands

Day sails have now started in the Bay of Islands aboard the R Tucker Thompson.

Imagine a light breeze, turquoise waters and vibrantly green islands. Now imagine you are on a tall ship, with all her sails raised, cutting through the watery landscape. This is the R. Tucker Thompson. And that’s the Bay of Islands. And you can make this scene a reality by coming aboard our good ship and allowing us to show you the art of old fashioned sailing in a beautiful environment.

The R. Tucker Thompson was built and launched in Northland. She is a local icon. Her story is a fine example of the Kiwi can-do attitude. A few passionate souls, led by Tod Thompson and Russell Harris, took it upon themselves to build this ship and introduce folks from all walks of life to come aboard and experience New Zealand’s coast from the water.

R Tucker Thompson Sailing Bay of Islands

Nine years ago, the ship was turned over to a Trust. And this Trust has worked hard to build a program for young adults in the Northland region. This winter, we offered 16 7-day youth development voyages to young adults aged 13 to 18. On these voyages, we challenge our young crews to practice leadership and teamwork. In return they leave the ship with memorable stories and lifelong friendships.

climbing the mast R Tucker Thompson

During the summer,  we offer visitors to New Zealand the opportunity to sail aboard the R. Tucker Thompson. The R. Tucker Thompson is a square top’sl schooner. When passengers come aboard, the crew encourages them to participate as much as they want. There are opportunities to help raise sails and take over the helm. The more adventurous souls can climb the rigging or go out onto the bowsprit under the watchful eye of the crew. Understandably, not everyone wants to participate in this way, and there is plenty of room to relax, enjoy the scenery, and even indulge in a glass of wine or a beer. (Cash bar is available for both day sails and late afternoon sails.)

R Tucker Thompson day sails

When passengers come aboard for a daysail, they are treated to a lovely sail around Tapeka Point, while underway, the crew serves up morning tea, with freshly baked scones from our galley. Around midday, the ship will anchor of an island and passengers are welcome to leap off the ship for a swim, or the crew can take people ashore who wish to go beachcombing or for a walk up the path to a viewpoint. After everyone has worked up an appetite, the crew will have prepared lunch for everyone – Barbecued chicken with salads and fresh bread. A cash bar is available for those who want to indulge. The day ends with a sail back to Russell.

Day Sail on the R Tucker Thompson

For those who just want a taste of sailing aboard, but are looking to relax. They can do just that. There’s plenty of room aboard to sit back, look at the scenery and enjoy a relaxing sail steeped in history. Come sail with us, you won’t be disappointed!

Call us at 0800 TUCKER (09 402 8430)

R Tucker Sailing BOI

Mangonui Harbour

A beautiful historic town to visit with a great vibe!


Doubtless Bay, in the Far North of New Zealand is home to the historic harbour and waterfront village of Mangonui.

It is a quiet tourist village now with a wonderful vibe, filled with quaint waterfront restaurants, coffee shops and bars. The historic buildings are all beautifully restored and the harbour is magical with clear waters heaving with fish ready for those who want to venture out and gather it.

This is one of the original and oldest towns in New Zealand for both Maori and European history.

Kupe, the original Polynesian navigator is known to have visited this area about 900 AD in the canoe Mamaru.

Mangonui was known as a safe harbour for whaling vessels by the late 1700s and in 1831 the first European settlers arrived.

Historic Mangonui

By the mid-1800s, Mangonui was a centre for whalers and traders; the sawmilling, flax and gum industries were flourishing. In the 1900s, these industries declined, roads replaced the sea as the main transport route and Mangonui became a much quieter place.

There is a well looked after Heritage Trail which provides a glimpse of the great wealth of Maori and European history associated with this area.

To watch a scenic video of the area:

Mangonui restored buildings


Mangonui Harbour

Mangonui new waterfront

Kayaking Adventure

Coastal Kayakers Nature Trip

Kayaking in New Zealand is something everyone can do as it is a country surrounded by sea and filled with rivers and lakes.

It’s a sport that can have a full range of easy to hard specs and can be enjoyed by families with children in safe calm environments and full-on excitement and extreme conditions for the thrill seeker.

As a tourist it a fabulous way to see the coastline in some areas around New Zealand where there are so many secluded bays and islands that are inaccessible by any method other than by boat and it is a way to enjoy nature without the noise of a petrol engine so that the birds and wildlife can be discovered in their natural environment.

One company Coastal Kayakers in Paihia is combining kayaking with nature walking offering a whole nature experience this winter.

Coastal Kayakers

Park your car by our beach base and walk the stunning Haruru Falls walking track. Along the beautiful Waitangi river to the unique horse shoe shaped waterfall.

Nature walking track

When you’ve reached the water fall we will deliver kayaks for you to make your way through amazing mangrove forests and stunning bird life.

Haruru Falls Kayaks

Haruru Falls

Paddle your way back down the Waitangi river to our beach base at the end of the river.

Kayaking through mangroves

mangroves waitangi

This is an amazing activity for everyone to enjoy and something fun to do on a weekend not too far from Auckland.

Kayak Bay of Islands

If you are interested call 0800 334661 or 09 4028105 | Coastal Kayakers – Bay of Islands.

She's a Lady Yacht Charters

Guest Blog by Glen Coulton, She's a Lady Yacht Charters, Bay of Islands

A Day Sailing trip on She’s A Lady in the Bay of Islands gives you a unique opportunity to explore and enjoy this amazing area.

The Bay of Islands and it’s Maritime park are world renown for it’s sheltered waters, great sailing conditions, plentiful marine life and beautiful islands. You’ll always find a calm bay, clear water and somewhere to go ashore and wander. Captain Cook enjoyed the area so much he spent 6 days anchoring up here to relax and restock his ship. Other’s to follow included the whalers and early settlers, attracted by the beauty and snug harbours.

She’s A Lady’s Island Sailing Adventure not only gives you the chance to sail, help out and learn the ropes but also experience a few other water based activities. We cater for all ages and attract friendly people that want to have a fun day. The day starts by sailing out to the main island group to find an anchorage in a sheltered bay. You’ll have heaps of shore time to kayak, swim, snorkel and take a walk to check out some amazing views. You won’t go hungry either as we provide a picnic style lunch to be enjoyed on the beach. During the day we often encounter dolphins, penguins and other marine life plus with a little luck you may hook a fish as we tow a lure behind while under sail.

On top of all this, your skipper/guide will not only fill you in on finer arts of sailing and the sea but explain a little about the history of the Bay and other points of interest. 


Glacier Country

Glacier Country - A magical and magnificent place.

We have just spent the most amazing time in the Glacier Country in the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand.

This area of New Zealand can truly be described as Magnificent. The beauty is something that can only be experienced by being there. It envelopes itself all around and through you and brings a feeling of wonder and calmness to the sole.

The Franz Joseph Glacier and Fox Glacier townships are also rocking little villages and hives of activity with so much to do. There are Glacier hikes, Glacier helicopter flights, amazing walks everywhere, stunning reflective lakes, hot pools, kiwi educational centres, great restaurants and café’s and really lovely people all having an amazing time.

The whole area is covered with dense beautiful rain forest – New Zealand native bush.  Just one step off the road anywhere and it looks like a totally landscaped garden covered in moss, ferns, beautiful canopy and filled with beautiful little inquisitive birds like the New Zealand Fantail. It is dense and would be easy to get lost though, so it’s a good idea to go on known tracks and not to go too many steps off the trails.

The wonderful thing about New Zealand bush is that there are no poisonous or dangerous animals like many other places in the world. It is a safe place to go to experience the wonder of nature without worrying about any nasty little or big surprises.

The glaciers themselves are amazing sights of nature at its grandest. There are ice faces over 100 feet tall and amazing turquoise blue perfectly clear ice melt ponds in summer. The helicopter flights are an amazing way to see them up close and the unique features like huge waterfalls that disappear under the ice.

Watch the video for Glacier Country to see a glimpse of what there is to see and do and start planning to go there to truly experience it for yourself. 

Franz Joseph Glacier large cracks

Lake Matheson bush walk Franz Joseph

Glacier Country bush hike Lake Matheson


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