If you are a kayaker then you will want to explore the Upper Waitemata.
If you are not a kayaker then you should pop it on your list of things to do.
The Upper Harbour is a great piece of water that is generally sheltered (enough) and with plenty of interesting areas to explore.
The Auckland Council have put together a simple guide that is quite a good resource with a list of access points, hazards and a couple of facts for the area. It is very brief but worth having a look at.
They have included six suggested trips from Greenhithe wharf, being from 5km to 20km.
Watch The Tides
There is quite a tidal flow especially up closer to Hobsonville Point and through to Herald Island, but if you time it right the tide can make the paddling easier. You just need to be heading up the harbour with an incoming tide, and return with the outgoing tide.
You can paddle up the creek from Greenhithe and go right up past the North Shore Golf Club, Massey University and nearly get to Albany. You definitely need to time the tides right for this trip as the water empties out quite quickly in the upper reaches and you can find yourself running out of water of the way back down.
It’s a great paddle to try.
Launching From Hobsonville Point
Of course at Hobsonville Point there is the Sea Plane Ramp where you can launch your kayaks.
It’s an old concrete ramp built in August 1928, but it was closed to vehicles in 2014 after being deemed unsafe.
At this stage kayakers and other small craft are still able to use the ramp for launching, but for how much longer we do not know.
The good news is we are about to see a new wharf constructed.
It’s been a project that we have been working with Kāinga Ora (formerly HLC) for a few years and is the first stage in the development of the Regional Marine Centre located near the bottom of Launch Road in Hobsonville Point.
The wharf is designed and will go out 65m to the deep water meaning that there is no issue getting access at low tide. It will be 4m wide to enable people to pass each other with small craft and the pontoon is designed to line up with the natural tidal flow too.
We’re looking forward to the day when we can launch from Hobsonville Point easily and at any tide.
It’s not going to be long now.