Frequently Asked Questions
Whangaroa Houseboat Holidays is located at historic Totara North on the north western side of Whangaroa Harbour, 13 km north of Kaeo. Take the turn off from State Highway 10 (Twin Coast Discovery Highway) at the Kahoe Bridge and follow to the end of Totara North Road to wharf and boat ramp. From here you are transferred in our water taxi to the houseboat.
YES! The only prerequisites are that you are over 25 years of age. On the day of your departure, you will be given a full briefing on the operation and navigation of your Houseboat and then taken on a short cruise just to make sure you are confident before handing over the helm.
No, you do not need a licence to drive the Maple Leaf. To read more about rules on the water, visit Maritime New Zealand's website.
All you need to bring is your food, beverages, personal toiletries, sun protection, a torch, beach towels, mobile phone and fishing gear. We recommend that you bring an extra chilly bin for cold drinks etc. and to freeze as many other items beforehand.
The Maple Leaf comes fully equipped with BBQ, gas cooker, cutlery, crockery, glassware, saucepans, frying pans and other kitchen utensils. Sheets, pillows, 2 towels, duvets and toilet tissue are also provided. There are no laundry facilities on board so bring ample clothing.
The maximum number of people allowed to sleep on board Maple Leaf is 8. However, we don't suggest any more than 6 adults. One child's bunk is in the double cabin.
Pets, firearms and fireworks are not allowed on Maple Leaf.
A 25% deposit is required to confirm your booking. Means of payment for the deposit includes, cheque or bank transfer. The outstanding balance is to be paid before or on commencement of charter. This can be paid in cash or credit card.
No, however we accept cash, or credit card. Cheques are only accepted 10 working days before departure.
If you cancel more than 1 month before your booking we will charge a $100 administration fee and refund the balance of your deposit. If you cancel less than one month before the departure date you will forfeit your deposit..
Mostly we communicate from the owner to the customers by Text. Although you are unlikely to require assistance, The Maple Leaf is fitted with a VHF marine radio, so you can contact Whangaroa Coast Guard on Channel 64. It is also advisable to take your mobile phone as an additional means of contact. The main way we keep in contact is by Texting.
The Maple Leaf is insured providing you have met our conditions of charter and follow our instructions. Wilful or negligent damage is not covered, and you are responsible for damage caused by you or members of your group to other peoples' property. Check out the legal stuff here.
The Maple Leaf is fitted with 12 volt D.C supply from a solar panel which supplies lighting. As well, a low watt inverter supplies 240 volt current for laptops and mobile phones. 130Watt maximum.
The houseboat is fitted with a hot shower and hand basin, heated by gas califont, and an eco-friendly Lectrasan marine toilet. Instructions are given on the simple management of this system.
There are no TV's or DVD players on board. The Maple Leaf is equipped with an AM/FM radio. The radio has an Aux input.
It is patchy. In the centre of the harbour is Ok but in the bays with the big cliffs coverage may be limited. Phones may not work everywhere, but will work somewhere. Texting is the most reliable form of communication on the harbour.
The houseboat is available from 10am. If you cannot make this time please advise us of your expected arrival time. Sometimes the charter party may arrive or leave in groups at different times. We can accommodate this (as long as its not at night). We will arrange to meet the second group at the wharf at the specified time then take them to the Houseboat in our Harbour Taxi. There is a charge of $50 for this transfer. We cannot put people on the boat after dark as Maple Leaf cannot be driven at night and must be secure on anchor or a mooring one hour before darkness. (Maritime NZ terms). You can find out about our water taxi service from here .
Not currently. The town of Whangaroa offers the Whangaroa Big Gamefish Club and meals may be available there in evenings over the summer months. At Totara North the Gumstore Bar and Grill serves meals. It is a good idea to contact to check opening hours. For access to shore you will have to anchor the houseboat and use the dinghy available with the Maple Leaf.
The nearest convenience store is in Kaeo, a 10 minute car drive from the harbour. Bring everything you need with you. For additional charge we may be able to deliver goods to you if you run out of supplies.
The Maple Leaf is surveyed as a bare boat charter, within the limits of Whangaroa Harbour. There are spots which are shallow which are marked on the map that should be avoided. You will be given instructions on navigation in our safety briefing of the boat.
No. The Maple Leaf is only permitted to travel in daylight hours and must not move between dusk and dawn.
In New Zealand you do not need a license for saltwater fishing. Fishing regulations apply for the sizes and numbers of fish caught. These regulations are outlined on board the Maple Leaf.
Water tanks on board hold 400 litres of fresh water and will last for 3-5 days. You can fill up at the water buoy in the eastern arm. This is operated by the Whangaroa coastguard. In addition, the Maple Leaf will have fuel and spare tanks on board. Fuel is charged at $30 per motoring hour. You are only charged for the time the motors are running. Most people motor for an average of 3-4 hours a weekend. There is a meter on the boat that registers motoring hours so you can check how you are going at any time.
The houseboat is fitted with a gas LPG operated fridge. In addition there is a large insulated icebox. Block and crushed ice may be purchased in Kaeo or from the Gumstore at Totara North.
We have a take on/ take off policy. Everything the charter group takes on board, they must also remove at the end of the charter. This includes rubbish and organic food waste. Our policy is to reduce, recycle, reuse. Experience shows the amount of rubbish created can be greatly reduced by giving some thought as to what to bring, for example, cans are easier to recycle than bottles. We supply rubbish bags. There is a recycling station at Totara North that accepts recyclables free of charge.