Watch out for ships

Large ships need plenty of space and will be travelling at speed to manoeuvre, so they cannot stop easily. Some of our harbours are busy and require extra vigilance.

  • All boats must keep well clear of ships navigating within Northland harbours.
  • When fishing in the main shipping channel allow plenty of time to move away when a ship approaches.
  • Do not try to cross the bow of a manoeuvring ship – they accelerate quickly and may not see you.
  • Keep your speed to 5 knots within 50 metres of another vessel.
  • Always display lights when it is dark or visibility is poor.
  • The number of cruise ships entering and leaving the Bay of Islands is increasing every year. They take the same route through the Bay (refer to map below) – keep clear if a ship is moving through the Bay.
  • Check out this year's cruise ship schedule at

No anchoring in Waitangi sector light

Anchoring is legally prohibited in the Waitangi sector light zone (see map below) when big ships are moving in and out. For your own safety – and that of the ships – it is advisable not to anchor in this sector light zone at any time.

Waitangi sector lights map.