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 Whangarei - Profile

Location

Whangarei harbour is about 80nm north of Auckland and a similar distance from the Bay of Islands. The wide range of repair facilities available here make it a popular port of call.

Position 35°51.78'S, 174°31.35'E (channel entrance).

Clearance

Marsden Cove marina is the official Port of Entry.

See Noonsite/New Zealand/Formalities page for full details.

Fax or e-mail advance notice before leaving your last port.

At least 48 hours before arrival you must contact NZ Customs with your estimated time and place of arrival through one of these methods:

  • call Taupo Maritime Radio (ZLM) on SSB 4125, 6215, 8291 or 12290 Kbz
  • call Russell Radio on VHF Ch. 63
  • e-mail [email protected]

On arrival, contact Harbour Control on VHF channel 16. Proceed to Marsden Cove marina.

Must dock at the designated "Q" Pier on pontoon 'B'. NO ONE IS ALLOWED off ship or out of the Customs controlled area until they have been cleared by Customs and biosecurity.

Note: Protection against Fanworm.
All boats entering any Northlands harbour must have been anti-fouled within the last 6 months AND have had a bottom wash in the last month. This applies to all boats coming from south of Tutukaka.

Last updated December 2017.

Customs
Whangarei , New Zealand
Tel: Freephone 0800 428 786 - mob (0)29 250 9305
You can download the appropriate form from the Customs website.
MPI Quarantine
Tel:+64(0)9 430 7848 Fax:+64(0)9 430 7849

Docking

Whangarei's main marina facility is located in the Town Basin in the centre of town.

All Marinas and the opening bridge operate on VHF Channel 18.

Marsden Cove Marina
48 Rauiri Drive , Whangarei 0151 , New Zealand
Tel:+ 64 9 4327740 ,VHF Channel 18
A modern marina at the entrance to Whangarei harbour. Easily entered at night.
All facilities, fuel, laundry, WiFi, pump-out facility, bar and cafe, general store, bakery, security.
Official Port of Entry. Staff very helpful.
Boatyard with haulout facility (max 80 tons, width 12m), shore storage.
Riverside Drive Marina
52 Riverside Drive , Whangarei 0112 , New Zealand
Tel:+64 (0)9 438 2248 Fax:+64 (0)9 438 2261 ,VHF Channel 18
Opening hours: office 0930-1430 5 days a week
Quiet marina 20 min walk from town centre on the Hatea River.
All facilities, laundry, WiFi, pump-out facility, chandlery, motel. Mail services. Live-aboards allowed.
Boatyard with hardstanding and repairs.
Tutukaka Marina
RD 3 , Whangarei 0173 , New Zealand
Tel:+64 (0)9 434 3441 / Mob +64 52 879 807 Fax:+64 (0)9 434 3811 ,VHF Channel 18
Opening hours: 08:00-18:00 7 days a week
Situated 20nm north of the entrance to Whangarei harbour.
All facilities, fuel, pump-out facility, laundry, restaurants, general store. Dive tank re-fills. Shuttle bus to town. Some repairs.
Whangarei Marina (Town Basin Marina)
37 Quayside , Whangarei , New Zealand
Tel:+64 (0)9 438 2033 Fax:+64 (0)9 438 2036 ,VHF Channel 18
Opening hours: Office 08.30-16.30 Mon-Fri, 10:00-12:00 Sat
Situated in the heart of the town. Contact prior to entry for bridge opening.
Pontoon berths and pile berths. All facilities, laundry, WiFi, TV lounge, book swap. Marine services are close by, also supermarkets and medical centre. Cafes and restaurants adjacent to the marina. Multihull berths. Free pump-out close by. Security.

Klaus Hohberg
Klaus Hohberg says:
May 24, 2018 05:28 AM

Refit in Whangarei: Bad experiences with Port Whangarei Marine Center / Oceania Marine

From November 2017 to April 2018 I stayed in Whangarei for the refit of my Jongert 20S in Port Whangarei Marine Center/Oceania Marine Refit Services Ltd.

I have had very bad experiences with these companies and I can absolutely not recommend to go there for a refit. Almost all the jobs that I had commissioned there were done so inadequately that they had to be renewed two or three times on guarantee basis. These warranty services were only done after I had engaged a lawyer and was seriously searching for a surveyor. Previously I was threatened that the ship would be relocated to the longtime hardstand without power supply, until I would pay the outstanding bills completely! I received invoices that were clearly excessive and I was openly lied to by the assigned project manager.

Below I will describe some details to give you an impression of my experiences:

The refit included
1. Repairment and repaint of some scratches on the hull (about 8 areas, all together about 1m²) and appliance of two layers of clear coat (AWLGrip varnish) on the complete hull above the waterline
-> after the first paint job as well after the second paint job (warranty service) there were lots of runners, overspray, orange peel, visible inclusions of dust and insects in the paint; after the third paint job (warranty service) there were still sweat drops on the paint as well as visible scratches from the sanding

2. Appliance of two layers of antifouling
-> rusty areas under the keel were just painted over, thus after a few days the paint peeled of; now we are about one month back in the water and already the antifouling starts to peel of just under the water line!

3. Some parts of the main mast and the booms had shown damages due to oxidation around the screws; these parts had to be repaired, 30% of the mast and the whole booms had to be repainted
-> lots of runners on the booms, they were polished although according to AWLGrip this is not allowed because it destroys the UV-protection

4. Varnishing of the outer pilot house (max. 3m²) and 3 wooden panels
-> the work was done in an unbelievable slow tempo (which means lots of hours on my bill!) and was done very badly (lots of runners, overspray and orange peel). After the second warranty service I was so fed up from the slow procedure and the bad quality of the work that I did the sanding and varnishing by myself. Generously I was reimbursed for the material used, but not even one of the working hours that I have saved them.

5. Small repairments on the teak wood - this was the only work that was done to my satisfaction.

Before I came to New Zealand I had contacted Oceania Marine Refit Services Ltd. and we made a contract for the refit. However, when I arrived in Whangarei the yacht was hauled out at Port Whangarei Marine Center - a kind of subcontractor - and the whole refit work was done there. I should have read the small print carefully then I would have been aware of that – however, I did not and so I was caught by surprise. The ship was not painted in the shiny shed advertised on the website of Oceania Marine – instead the ship was lifted into a shed at Port Whangarei Marine Center that was absolutely not suitable to paint a superyacht. The floor was so dirty that if I dropped a screw it was difficult to find it back in the dust and rubbish piles. The shed had not even a sewage system, so if the hull or the floor were washed the water had to be swept outside manually. Not to speak of the non-existent exhaust air system or the insufficient lighting… Nevertheless, 500NZ$ per day were charged for that shed during the paint job!

I was forced to pay for a fixed scaffolding for the paint job which alone cost me about 8.000 NZ$. The scaffold was made from rusty iron and was very dirty, it was used on a construction site before. I asked several times for a mobile scaffold from aluminium (which would have cost me much less!), but the project manager told me that a fixed scaffolding would be mandatory for such a work due to work safety regulations in New Zealand. Later I found out that this was an obvious lie! When the paint job had to be redone as warranty service it was suddenly no problem at all to use mobile scaffolding. This lie had cost me around 6.000 NZ$ extra.

In general, the work on the ship proceeded very slow (thus lots of hours were billed…), the work was done in complicated ways (e.g. unnecessary masking and unmasking of the hull) and materials were wasted (e.g. I was billed for 600 pairs of gloves used by 3 workers who were painting the hull, more than 2500 m of tape for masking, 21 plastic buckets for whatever and so on). On everything that was used they added a hefty commission, e.g. for the AWLGrip paint they charged more than 50% on top of the price the shipyard had paid for it - very greedy!!!

Just to give another example of the extraordinary greediness of this company: I was offered “help” with a money transfer. On the next invoice they charged more than 10% of the transferred sum for the “assistance” – more than 70 NZ$ for the work of a few minutes!

Almost all the invoices that I received weekly contained billing errors. E.g. working hours of other boats were billed on me, I was billed the price of tools that I had just borrowed and given back; working hours for warranty services were billed on me and so on. After I have checked all the invoices and work sheets I detected more than 3.200 NZ$ that I was obvious billed wrongly. At least this money was paid back to me. I really wonder how many billing mistakes I was not able to detect so easily… Besides I was billed all breakfast breaks of the workers (1/2 hour every day) as well as all the meetings they have had, including health and safety meetings.

A project manager was assigned to my refit project who behaved very unprofessional. On many of my emails, I received no answer. He refused to inspect faulty work that I wanted to complain about and he was not willing to discuss the problems that I have mentioned above (and many other problems that occurred) with me. Imagine, he even wrote me in an email that he would meet me only if my partner would not be present at the meeting (maybe he was afraid that my partner - who is a Doctor of Psychology - will detect immediately when he was lying again…).

All in all it was a very unpleasant, unsatisfactory, disappointing and very expensive experience - I wish no one to experience it.

Klaus Hohberg
S/Y Lapita

For more details feel free to contact me: [email protected]

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
May 13, 2017 02:59 PM

This comment was posted on the main Auckland page and has been moved.
vaughncooper says:
May 12, 2017 06:20 AM

Re. HAULOUT: We had an excellent experience at NORSAND boat yard in Whangerai.

Although their slipway is tidal and they can only haul or splash a few boats a day, they yard is professionally run, there was no pressure to hurry with haul and lanuch and the team were very helpful throughout our two week stay. It's the first yard we've visited where we didn't encounter any barriers to getting work done and where the staff were more than willing to give tips and advice so you could complete a job yourself! I particularly appreciated that!

They have excellent on-site services which you must use if needed (i.e. boat builder, rigger etc), otherwise you can bring services in from outside (i.e. if they dont offer them in the yard - such as an engineer).

There is a small store on-site that carries almost all necessities for yacht maintenance and if you're organised, Holger (the very friendly German guy who runs the shop) can order pretty much anything you need.

Everything is close-by, although a car was very helpful to run into the centre of Whangarei to get paint etc. You can rent a bike from Dave at the slipway for a very reasonable price (we even took this option for a day because we couldnt be bothered getting our own bikes out).

A very good experience and highly recommended to other cruisers!
Website: norsand.co.nz

Sharron Beck
Sharron Beck says:
Dec 01, 2016 01:02 AM

Note the Marinas and opening bridge in Whangarei have changed VHF to Channel 18.

Japmcnamara
Japmcnamara says:
Nov 17, 2016 11:05 PM

Yacht refit management in Whangarei - at the end of March 2016, we hauled Lady, a Catalina 470 at Riverside Drive Marina. RDM did a fine job taking care of Lady while we were out of country for six months. We engaged Bruce Bird [email protected] to wax the hull, bottom job and supervise the other tradesmen. We contracted with UK sails for a new dodger and Bimini, Steve Green for re-upholstering the interior, Dave Berg for interior varnish and C Spar Ltd for rigging work. I can recommend all of these tradesmen without hesitation. All work was completed on time and for a fair price. There are numerous boat yards in Whangarei with skilled tradesmen. Anyone needing a refit should seriously consider Whangerei

peterjones
peterjones says:
Dec 03, 2015 03:27 PM

International Shipping - We finished our trip in Whangarei and needed to ship some personal effects and boat items to Ireland. We struggled to find someone who would deal with the small volume but eventually found a great company called Overseas Moving run by Ian Colton - http://www.overseasmoving.co.nz/ He supplied us with packaging and we were continually updated throughout the process, I'd recommend him for anyone needing anything shipped to or from NZ.

Val Ellis
Val Ellis says:
Sep 21, 2014 11:13 AM

From Anthony Swanston of S/V Wild Fox
Friends of mine had work done on their windlass by Ray Roberts Marine based at Riverside Drive Marina, Whangarei. It does not matter how good a contractor is, mistakes do happen; and a mistake happened here. When they got to Indonesia the windlass stopped working due to water ingress caused by a failed seal. Obviously not wanting to send the unit back to New Zealand they had repairs done in Bali. Ray Roberts Marine covered not only the cost of the repair but also the cost or two nights of marina fees and even the cost of extra diesel fuel to get to the marina.

Now, that is the sort of business I would want to do business with.

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