New Zealand late June, early July 2016

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New Zealand late June, early July 2016

Postby BobM » May 8th, 2016, 1:39 pm

We're taking a family vacation to New Zealand starting at the end of June and I'd like to get some freediving / spearfishing in with my 17 yr old son if the weather cooperates. I have a few questions and could use some help:

  • Any recommendations for lodging at Bay of Islands? My wife found a place in Paihia Bay called Koru Cottage. Any other suggestions would be appreciated for a family of 4. It looks like we'll be there for about 3 days.
  • Are there any dive shops that rent freedive suits or other equipment rental in or not too far from Bay of Islands? We're trying to figure out what to pack and what we can rent/hire. Dive Centre in north Auckland looks like it rents scuba suits, etc., so maybe pick up dive weights there.
  • We're up for shore, kayak or boat dives. If there are any recommended areas to hunt / explore (without giving up secret spots) it would be very helpful. PM me if you don't want a location posted here, I won't post it anywhere. We're traveling around quite a bit, so if there are other recommended areas, other than at Bay of Islands, those would be great too.
  • My son and I use 7mm freedive suits year round for northern California diving. Any recommendations for late June (winter) NZ north island freediving? Would a 5mm be warm enough or stick with the 7mm? Ocean temp looks like it averages around 60-64F (16-17.5 C) at that time, warmer than northern CA.
We'd like to experience what local winter diving is like and bring in some seafood for the family. I've read through the NZ spearingforum posts, very helpful, thanks to those who shared info.
Thanks, Bob.
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Re: New Zealand late June, early July 2016

Postby cbass » May 8th, 2016, 4:36 pm

Hi Bob,

Nz have world class diving with endless opportunities.
Russell is a nice location in the Bay of Islands Air B&B for $100/day with ocean views...
Regarding gear everything will be very $$$ in Bay of Islands get there prepared with a car full of supplies:)
Also about your car you can buy a jap import for $1000 i got a CRV Honda in great shape for $1700 kiwi or long term rentals with Apex
Bring a 5 mm suit and buy weights on trademe.com in my opinion always try to avoid local dive stores they just want your tourist money...
7mm is way overkill it s not that cold down there.
Also bring floats for boat traffic and sharks bronze whalers are a pain here they took a moki and my float last week:(
Pm me if you want more info

Cheers mate
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Re: New Zealand late June, early July 2016

Postby BobM » May 8th, 2016, 10:10 pm

Thanks for the info and other suggestions cbass.
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Re: New Zealand late June, early July 2016

Postby Ikan Hunter » May 12th, 2016, 1:52 am

I live in Paihia which is a good place to base yourself for diving the Bay of Islands and nearby Cavallis Islands...Russell which is straight across the water from Paihia is also a nice place to stay and is closer to some good shore dive spots which are very weather dependant though..but you need to go to Russell via the car ferry(it runs every 10 to 15 minutes).
At the moment water temp is still 20C which is pretty warm for May and will probably be still around 17 to 18 in June so a 5mm suit will be fine.Best you bring your own suit,fins,mask etc and gun.a 1.2 gun is plenty.
There's a dive shop in Paihia for weights and other gear,but I've got spare weights,floatlines,floats your welcome to use.
Get in touch closer to when your coming and will try and get you out for a dive,better to try and time your stay over a weekend.
Coromandel peninsula area ,a couple of hours south of Auckland,also has a lot of good diving.
Plenty of good spearfishing through June,you just need the weather to play ball..
Cheers
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Re: New Zealand late June, early July 2016

Postby coreyf » May 12th, 2016, 8:08 am

Hey Bob

I went back in 2011 on my honeymoon. Our first stop was up in the Bay of Islands. Make contact with Ikan Hunter ..... Andy is a great guy and a super diver. He's Indonesia approved and knows where the kingy's are.

As far as places to stay, we stayed at two places in Paihia.

http://www.baycabinz.co.nz/

We really liked this place. Its not fancy, but was perfect for us. The individual cabins are set on the slope of a hillside. The owner is a cool dude and knows Andy as well. I gave him a slab of yellowtail after my successful hunt with Andy. He was stoked. Oh, the 2nd place we stayed at is a blur as we literally checked in, sat on the bed, decided we were gonna wing it and drive 8 hours to the next town on our list.

As far as gear, you might wanna contact Ocean Hunter in Auckland. They have a pretty well stocked shop. I brought a weight belt and bought lead when we arrived. I left it behind when I was done with it. 5mm should do it. 120cm gun with a flopper. Don;t forget to check out shippy's for fish n chips.
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Re: New Zealand late June, early July 2016

Postby BobM » May 12th, 2016, 8:56 pm

Thanks Andy, that is very generous. We'll look at the weekends and check back with you.

Coreyf, thanks for the info and suggestions.

This is great guys, thanks again.
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Re: New Zealand late June, early July 2016

Postby Ikan Hunter » May 20th, 2016, 12:06 am

No problem Bob ,just let me know when your dates are sorted and will work on getting you and your son wet.

Thanks for the vote of confidence Corey but my last few trips have been anything but super diver material
Took a guy from SanDiego out,was rough and busting our way out to the cape his brand new RA 130 gun bounced out the back of the boat and disappeared in 200ft of water...oops ! Oh and we got 0 fish
Next guy from Cali was Sebastian ,might be Cbass on the forum?, mint day there should be plenty of fish out today mate I told him
Ended up with a just legal kingy and a few crays and a bit more egg on my face!
To cap it off I put a shaft into a 300lb plus striped Marlin while diving solo..dragged me and the boat around for 20 minutes then the shaft pulled..yet another muppet moment :mad:
Don't worry Bob things can only improve....
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Re: New Zealand late June, early July 2016

Postby dam » May 20th, 2016, 10:01 am

Ikan Hunter wrote:No problem Bob ,just let me know when your dates are sorted and will work on getting you and your son wet.

Thanks for the vote of confidence Corey but my last few trips have been anything but super diver material
Took a guy from SanDiego out,was rough and busting our way out to the cape his brand new RA 130 gun bounced out the back of the boat and disappeared in 200ft of water...oops ! Oh and we got 0 fish
Next guy from Cali was Sebastian ,might be Cbass on the forum?, mint day there should be plenty of fish out today mate I told him
Ended up with a just legal kingy and a few crays and a bit more egg on my face!
To cap it off I put a shaft into a 300lb plus striped Marlin while diving solo..dragged me and the boat around for 20 minutes then the shaft pulled..yet another muppet moment :mad:
Don't worry Bob things can only improve....

:bowrofl: There's nowhere else to go but up once you hit rock bottom, right? I wanna dive with you one day, Andy!
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Re: New Zealand late June, early July 2016

Postby Ikan Hunter » May 20th, 2016, 9:16 pm

Not at the moment you wouldn't....;)

Anytime Dam..be great to meet up
Will be in Indo from mid September for a month..catch up for a bintang? :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: New Zealand late June, early July 2016

Postby BobM » June 1st, 2016, 10:37 pm

300 lb marlin and solo? That sounds like an interesting story.

"Don't worry Bob things can only improve...."
Spearfishing is still fishing and some days you load your gun then just unload it at the end with no shots taken. Just part of the experience, all too familiar lately.

Good news, my son and I just participated in a freedive level 1 and 2 course on the Sand Dollar with Seamus Callaghan in southern California. It was excellent. My son got the level one completed and level 2 for me. It was an great experience. I really wanted him (and me) to get more formal safety training before our trip to NZ and this worked out perfectly. Also, I'll send you a PM you with some trip info.
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Re: New Zealand late June, early July 2016

Postby Ikan Hunter » June 4th, 2016, 5:49 pm

Have sent you a message Bob
Went out yesterday ,was a nice fine day but the water has cooled down a lot as it was still 19C three weeks ago and has now dropped to 15C.
Picked up a limit of crayfish and a couple of small kingys up to 28lb plus a couple of mother in law fish ;)
Bumped into a mate out there and he'd slugged a couple of nice kings to 35lb
Bring your 5mm suit..
Will tell you about the Marlin when we catch up ..I will be out of counselling by then and should be able to talk about it :eusa-violin:
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