the Zine page for current issue of news and articles concerning New Zealand life and culture in 1996 NZine became New Zealands first interactive online magazine showing NZ to the world warts and all New Zealand Regional Information and Links to New Zealand Resources contact the publishers and editorship of NZine
clickable listings of previously issued NZine articles - over 1000 still of interest Add your comment to the NZine guestbook - also join and use forums for more interaction
Search Articles  

           Home >  Regions  > Northland  :

Ipipiri Draws Tourists to the Bay of Islands Bringing Benefits to the Area

Karly McKinney - 06/01/10

Bookings aboard Ipipiri, Fullers GreatSights new overnight cruise ship, are tracking ahead of expectations for its first summer cruising the waters of the Bay of Islands.

Overnight cruise ship Ipipiri
Overnight cruise ship Ipipiri
Click here to view a larger version

"We are delighted with bookings and with the high level of interest from domestic tourists we've received many who haven't been to the Bay of Islands for years. While Ipipiri has been the main draw-card, many guests are choosing to stay longer which is good for the region as a whole," said Malcolm Johns, CEO at InterCity Group (NZ) Limited.

Fullers GreatSights guest survey shows that more than 50 per cent of passengers came to the Far North for the Ipipiri cruise. The survey also showed that on average, for every one night spent aboard Ipipiri, guests spent 3.8 additional nights in local accommodation in the Bay of Islands or in other areas around Northland.

"We recently hosted a group of 56 Kiwis from the Bay of Plenty. While most travel overseas regularly, most hadn't been to Northland for years. In fact, four had never even been to Northland before and they were in their 60's! While Ipipiri was the main reason for their visit, they also stayed in the Bay for two nights and then went on to places like Kaitaia, Hokianga, Dargaville and Tutukaka with this group averaging about seven nights in local accommodation for their one night aboard Ipipiri," he said. "The flow-on benefits to local food outlets, activity operators and communities is nothing but positive."

Bookings from international tourists are also growing in the lead up to the busy summer season.

"We have good demand developing for the upcoming summer season and we're also taking a lot of advanced booking for next Summer which is fantastic, as it can take up to two years for new tourism products to get into international markets," said Malcolm.

"In general what we are noticing offshore is a very definite change in sentiment, our international partners are starting to become more bullish about 2010 saying local consumer sentiment in their country is starting show signs of moving into positive territory which is welcome after the last 12 months."

"We're also receiving interest from new international markets, such as China, which is a market with huge future potential for us. Currently, only 18 per cent of Chinese tourists visit regions outside of the main centres, but we're looking to change that," said Malcolm.

In addition to the positive local impact, love has been in the air aboard Ipipiri with a wedding and two marriage proposals in the first six weeks of operation!

"The natural surroundings on the Ipipiri cruise are simply breathtaking and really quite magical so we are not surprised that some guests have chosen it as the ideal moment to pop the big question," said Malcolm. "We have also been inundated with enquiries from people who are interested in hosting their weddings aboard, so the crew is beginning to feel a bit like they are aboard the Love Boat!"

For more information, please visit or

About Ipipiri:
Construction began in early 2008 and was completed in August 2009. The boat is powered by two V12 twin turbo MTU engines, each producing 788KW (1,000 horse power).

The name Ipipiri is first known to be recorded in 1824 as part of Louis Isidore Duperrey's expedition to the Pacific. Here, the cartographer documented the Maori name Ipipiri to describe a cluster of islands within the region that Captain James Cook had earlier named the 'Bay of Islands'. The name Ipipiri is defined as meaning 'many places' and was chosen by Fullers GreatSights after it was suggested by local iwi (tribe) during consultation over suitable names.

As the ultimate floating venue charter itineraries can be customised to suit timeframe, budget and group size. For more information please visit:

About Fullers GreatSights Bay of Islands

Fullers GreatSights Bay of Islands offers an extensive range of tourism offerings which can be enjoyed while in the Bay of Islands These include:
Dolphin and Whale Watching Cruise to the Hole in the Rock
One of the most popular cruises in the Bay of Islands. Specifically designed for the nature lovers, this cruise maximises the time spent out on the water in search of dolphin and whales. This cruise takes in the inner islands, the Hole in the Rock and the Cathedral Caves. Cruises operate all year round both morning and afternoon.

Cream Trip Day Cruise with Dolphin Swim (Day in the Bay)
The most famous of the all cruises in the Bay of Islands, this cruise re traces the original "Cream Trip" route when cream was collected from the inner islands. This modern day cruise continues the tradition of delivering mail to local residents as well as all major attractions including boom netting, swimming with dolphins, the Hole in the Rock, Grand Cathedral Cave and the Black Rocks. Wet suits and snorkel equipment supplied.

Cape Reinga Day Tour
Journey along the magnificent 90 Mile Beach in one of our purpose-built modern "Waverider" coaches and see Cape Reinga where the Pacific Ocean collides with the Tasman sea and where, according to legend, Maori spirits depart into the afterlife. Highlights include the Cape Reinga Lighthouse, Te Paki Sand Dunes and the Puketi Kauri Forest for a 20 minute boardwalk and stroll amongst 1000 year old kauri trees.

Excitor Ultimate Fast Boat Adventure
Feel the adrenalin rush as you zoom through the islands on your way to Cape Brett and the famous Hole in the Rock. With 1600hp, the engines ensure the trip is fast and a complete blast!

Half Day Dolphin Eco Encounter
Experience the magic of swimming with dolphins in their natural environment. This Dolphin Adventure lets you interact with these magnificent animals, and observe their unique nature and personality.

Discover Hokianga and Tane Mahuta
Hokianga harbour is widely regarded as the home of Kupe, the very first voyager and Maori to discover New Zealand over 1,000 years ago. Learn from local Maori guides the legends and history of local Maori and enter the spiritual environment of the Waipoua Forest - home to massive ancient kauri trees, regarded as guardians of the forest. Visit Wairere Boulder Valley and enjoy a lunch stop at Opononi.

Home       NZ Map       Contact       Recent Articles       Your Views      

Copyright 1996 - 2005 NZine - A Quality Service from Plain Communications LTD