You, Me & Northland “Favourite Places”  *** Urupukapuka Island Escape ***

Wow! A secluded island getaway – in our own back yard! At 12 noon we boarded our small yellow explore ferry, capable of taking 45 passengers at a time. It was an ideal day to sail on the Bay of Islands. Beautiful blue skies dotted with a few fluffy white clouds. No wind, so the sea was calm and still with the sun sparkling on the tiny ripples on the blue water.

We edged out off the Paihia marina, and into the more open water where we picked up speed and motored out across to Russell. Here we picked up another handful of passengers, then set out on the 35 minute motor across to Urupukapuka Island.

Coming in at Otahei Bay, I felt like we were arriving into Castaway Island in Fiji. It really felt like a South Pacific getaway. As we disembarked the ferry onto the island we were told “Café and Bar area to the left, freedom picnickers to the right”. We had bought Fish n chips over from the mainland, so found a nice spot on the right in the shade and relaxed overlooking the water.

Soon after lunch we set off on one of the seven walks around the 550 acre island. We didn’t have much time, so chose the short but very scenic 1 hour Urupukapuka Bay Loop, which climbed through coastal Bush tracks then up onto a hill with sweeping views over the bay.

Coming back to the pier, it was time for a well earned beer. The beach outside the cafe and bar was humming with people eating, drinking, swimming, playing, and sun bathing – everything you would do on a South Pacific Holiday!

It was a great day out. When I do it again… I will:

– catch the 8.30am or 10am ferry out to get more time on the island (book these well in advance though)

– bring over a bottle of water to have with lunch

– still have an ice cold beer at the cafe after I finish my island walks, because it was a neat vibe at the cafe.

Oh my gosh, we all had a fantastic day out. Thank you so much. I really didn’t expect to like all those weird and wonderful snacks during the "Curious Food Train" activity, and didn’t think they would all participate. The staff all keep thanking us for such a great day. Looking forward to next years event!