In Auckland’s Eastern Bays, Okahu Bay is one of our favourite standup paddleboarding locations because of it’s versatility. It offers shelter from many wind directions and is a great base for paddling in the bay or towards the Ports of Auckland, under the Tamaki Rd Bridge or St Heliers.
You'll find limited free parking at The Landing, 8-10 Tamaki Dr, or roadside parking on Tamaki Dr beside the Okahu Reserve and beach.
From the pontoons at the public boat ramps (The Landing) or from the beach. SUPWell Classes meet at The Landing (orange star). In summer, the public boat ramps are very busy, so for self organised paddles it’s often better to launch from the beach (green star).
There are toilets at ‘The Landing’ and toilets and showers at the Reserve. You'll soon be able to become a member of the Hyundai Marine Sports Centre and have access to their changing and showering facilities.
Hyundai Marine Sports Centre will soon be open at Okahu Bay otherwise a short drive away is Orakei Bay Village and Mission Bay.
Sheltered from most wind directions other than a northerly, Okahu Bay is a lovely paddling spot for views towards Devonport, Rangitoto and the city. You can also paddle here at high and low tide, although you’ll need to cross reference tide and wind direction information to understand which routes are best on a given day.
High Tide: This is when the bay is most versatile as that's when there's shelter from westerly, southerly and easterly winds. If it is windy and you want to find shelter and flat water, stay close to land. The more the water is exposed to wind, the more it gets 'whipped up' and becomes choppy or bumpy. And it's less exposed to wind when land forms create shelter.
South or south westerly wind directions: the western side of the bay is protected from Fergs on the Water up to the Hyundai Marine Sports Centre.
South easterly, easterly and north easterly wind directions: the eastern corner and side of Okahu Bay is quite sheltered. That's along the sea wall running from Hammerheads to Kelly Tarltons.
Unlike other Eastern Bays beaches in Auckland, Okahu Bay is more forgiving on windy days. Because it’s a more enclosed (u-shaped) bay, there is less risk of being blown off shore (into the harbour) without realising and you’re also more visible to pedestrians and other water users when you’re on the water.
Northerly and north easterly wind directions: This is when waves and bumpy water are most likely (especially when combined with an incoming tide). This is good news for those wanting to grow their experience in different water and wind conditions because you can take steps, little by little, towards getting used to these more challenging conditions.
If you’re looking to sharpen up your skills in catching bumps and ‘surfing’ the bumpy water, Okahu Bay is great with a 12 knot plus north easterly breeze blowing. Paddle out into the wind and catch the bumps back in. Great practice while keeping close to shore.
Strong southerly or south westerly: while Okahu is more sheltered be mindful that in strong winds of 15 knots plus it will still be very challenging to paddle against the wind.
To check weather, wind direction and tides download the Coastguard app or head to Metservice. The real time wind readings from Bean Rock (Coastguard app) will give you a good sense of what's happening in Okahu Bay. If you want added safety when on the water you can log your trips on the Coastguard app.
While we've aimed to point out the key features of this location, our guide is not intended to be exhaustive. Please be mindful of any risks you identify when paddling and if in doubt, be cautious.