Whether you’ve got your own boat and want to brave the tides, you take a ferry from downtown Auckland, and cruise the upper Waitemata harbour, past the Chelsea Sugar Factory, Kauri Point, Hobsonville Airbase, Herald Island, the Poremoremo inlet and Huapai Golf Course to the Riverhead Pub, or just drive, it’s a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
Meanwhile, I travelled in convoy from the Outboard Boating Club in Orakei on their family day out with my cousin and her family, and 166 more of us. Although some took their cars, which in hindsight was a great idea as the wind and swells really got up!
After about an hour and 3/4 we see the Riverhead jetty where we waited our turn to stop and clamber out while our skipper went off and anchored in the muddy water and waited for the tender to pick him up
Live music starts at 2pm on Sundays at the Riverhead Pub which is one of the coolest places to spend an afternoon. In 2010 new owners Stephen and Paula bought the pub which was in receivership and frequented by a rather shady clientele. They had been sailing the world for 9 years in a boat they had built themselves before becoming landlubbers. It’s been such a successful venture, they haven’t had time to look back!
The Riverhead is the 2nd pub in New Zealand to have applied for a liquor license and Stephen and Paula have done a ton of research and printed out century-old newspaper articles mentioning the pub and its sometimes dodgy past!
Quirky decor and historic documents as art adorn the walls providing an insight into this pub’s skulduggerous history
We set off just on high tide where the upper harbour was nice and calm. It was a different story heading into the wider harbour with an extreme wind warning in force, swells and gusts of up to 40 knots!
Next time we have visitors from out of town, we’ll be bringing them here for sure.