Sailing To “The Hole In The Rock” and A Secluded Anchorage in Whangamumu Harbour
I thought this was supposed to be cloudy! Yet here I am, rubbing sunscreen on my bare calves. No, I am not so bold as to bare much else. We aren’t in the Caribbean. It is only in the 60s here. Yet the weather is perfect as we motor from Motuarohia Island, around Cape Brett, and out to Motu Kōkako (aka Piercy Island) and “The Hole In The Rock”.
“The Hole In The Rock”
This dramatic rock out cropping is the product of centuries of exposure to the open ocean. It is the northernmost tip of Rakaumangamanga (Cape Brett). This dramatic position and formation has made it notable to many people throughout history.
To the Māori, this rock in the middle of the sea is Motu Kōkako and representative of a person standing against adversity. Captain Cook named this feature Piercy Island, after one of the Lords of the Admiralty. Modern visitors tend to refer to it by the descriptive name “The Hole In The Rock.”
While the island rises sharply from the sea, the top is host to 99 different types of flora and two types of petrels and lizards. It is considered the most pristine of the islands in the Bay of Islands, with no evidence of invasive species. In every way, it is a remarkable and must visit destination.
We round “The Hole In The Rock” to travel down a coast line of near sheer cliff faces into the unimaginable calm of Whangamumu Harbour’s inner bay. While two other ships share the bay with us, it is nearly silent but for the sea birds that dive for fish near our boat.
We take a break on land to make a short hike to a water fall and a fresh water pond. A little rock climbing later and we discover the falls are a prolonged and varying decent through lush forest canopy. We snap a few photos and return to the boat.
The evening is spent admiring the view, the wine, and excellent company.