Lord of The Snappers...
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a remote archipelago through Pacific Ocean hugeness.
A Wild land, home for, once where great warriors, Maori, New Zealand natives population that, still today, uses to call his land with the ancient name of
"Aotearoa". An onomatopoeic noun that immediately recalls to our thoughts a far away world, fantastic and epic stories of sorcerers and knights as the famous movie "The Lord of the Ring" that was shot in that unique land.
New Zealand is a beautiful country, a huge island where nature reigns over. A remote archipelago 1250 Miles (2000 Kim) far from Australia, The Tasmanian Sea between the 2 countries, last lands layering in front of Ocean Pacific hugeness, a geographical isolation that has generated and it's still today protecting an unique fauna and flora biodiversity.
I titled this section as "Lord of the Snappers" obviously referring to the above mentioned famous movie because this is definitely a spear fishing charter specifically organized with a main and unique achievement in mind, hunt the Australian Snapper.
A beautiful animal that belongs to "Sparidae" Family, to the "Pagrus" Genus, "P. Auratus" Species that lives exclusively Australia and New Zealand waters. Therefore a species that belongs uniquely to that untamed Pacific Ocean area, the only place on planet heart where we can encounter this elusive and unique hunter.
With the experience built up over years, a lot of skillful Spear Fishing divers have grown a particular and unique predilection to that very and unique species, the "magic fish" to world wide travel searching for.
For this reason we are definitely talking about a Spear Fishing charter with a main prerogative, a fishing trip intended for "Australian Snapper lovers", an adventure organized with a main subject in mind, hunt the elusive Australian Snapper. During the charter we are going to encounter other species of curse however this remains a fishing trip specifically intended to those divers that grew up a special predilection to that unique species, The Australian Snapper
New Zealand Visa:
To Passports that belong to American (USA) and European Union and every passport that match certain characteristics, check the "New Zealand Immigration Office Visa-Waiver List"
for detailed explanations, for a 3 months maximum time, (usually our Spear Fishing charters take just a few days, weeks) NO Visa is required.
For the above mentioned passports on arrival in New Zealand, they will be asked to provide:
- Travel tickets or evidence of onward travel arrangements
- Found of Maintenance evidence (for more details see NZ Immigration Office "Operational Manual")
- A Passport with at list 3 months validity
New Zealand Dollar (NZD): 1.528 NZD X 1 EUR, 1 NZD X 1 USD
A trip to New Zealand takes about 11.000 Miles (19.000 Kim) from Europe, 7.000 Miles (12.000 Kim) From USA East Coast, a journey that by airplane is going to take 40 hours about.
The two main New Zealand cities are:
Wellington in the South of the country and Auckland in the North.
The main reference airport for our trip will be Auckland, once landed there we will be traveling further North to
Hauraki Gulf, to Great Barrier Island, our fishing ground, the final destination of our amazing trip.
Main airlines companies cover the international route,
a journey that is going to take
30 to 40 hours about, it depends where we are flying from, Europe or America and the chosen Airline, how many stop over are included in its route.
From Europe direct fly to New Zealand obviously don't exist, a stop over is always needed.
Airplanes as the 777-200LR can fly straightly for 17000 Kim about however a stop over is always required because safety reasons, refuelling must be made at every precise tank limit. For a journey from Europe the most common stop over are done in South East Asia, often in Bangkok or Singapore.
By an internet research you can easily find the best solution for your situation, the most comfortable route with cheaper prices; ask the chosen airline company for details about.
Therefore for a journey from Europe, because there are not any direct fly for the reason explained above, the route takes at list a couple of stop over: Bangkok or Singapore to Sydney than finally to Auckland. From there we will fly to Great Barrier Island the main fishing ground, the final destination of our adventure.
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+12 GTM hours from Greenwich, then + 11 hours from Europe (Italy-Rome), 19 Hours difference between New Zealand and USA (East Coast).
Please note that New Zealand settles in the Southern Hemisphere then Europe and USA that settles in the Northern Hemisphere. New Zealand Daylight Saving Time commences on the last Sunday of September at 02.00 am (2.00 am becomes 3.00am) ending up the first Sunday of
April at 03.00 am (3.00 am becomes 2.00am).
New Zealand life style has high level as ours, the standard life quality is the same as Westerner countries, no vaccinations are required as well particular safety care regarding drinking water, ice, etc.
Health care national service has a good reputation with its high standard levels in Metropolitan areas, unfortunately in the urban areas as Great Barrier Island such service is not considered so efficient mainly because the system miss specialized workers, mainly nurses.
Generally speaking access to diagnosis and treatment for foreigners is particularly onerous, only the health assistance offered as a result of accidents are covered by a public compensation fund.
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Our main and final destination chosen for this fishing adventure is the beautiful Great Barrier Island located in the Hauraki Gulf, a remote island at the far top North side of the country.
truly paradise where only 600 people still settles in,
a place where lush nature grows up untamed reigning supreme. A really nice place where we can spend days in a complete relax surrounded by nature most deep blue and green colors.
After a long journey we will finally land to Auckland International Airport then,
by a taxi or mini bus, it depends to the fishing charter participants numbers, we will arrive to the small North Shore Airport, one hour about, where we will catch a small propeller aircraft.
The fly from North Shore Airport to Great Barrier Island takes 20 Minutes about, the route is cover by daily fly.
We can choose services of privates Airline companies or those of the local "Great Barrier Airlines"
that ensure daily fly by its fleet of small aircraft as Britten Norman Trislander, Piper Chieftain and other models.
By an Internet search we can book fly tickets and find out best prices, what is suit best our particular situation.
Geography, Weather, When:
The land of the "Kiwi", a nickname used internationally
to name people from New Zealand .
country geographically comprises two main landmasses, that of the North and South Islands , and numerous smaller islands.
Geographically speaking New Zealand territory has a narrow elongate shape: in both main islands West to East Coast takes 200 Kim about, Cook Tight, 26 Km Wide, divides the 2 main Islands.
New Zealand is situated some 900 Miles (1,500 Km) East of Australia across the Tasman
Sea and roughly 600Miles (1,000 kilometers)
South of the Pacific Island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji,
and Because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans.
Only 4 million of people live this unique country: Wellington is the main city, the political capital, Auckland the most populated one.
New Zealand has a modern, prosperous and developed market economy, a well developed country that always ranks through first positions in statistics such Human Development and The Heritage Foundation's Index of Economic Freedom.
The South Island is the largest land mass of New Zealand, and is divided along its length by the Southern Alps characterized b high mountains, 18 of them over 3.000 Mt high with the highest one called Aoraki / Mount Cook, that reach 3700 Mt.
The North Island is less mountainous but is marked by volcanism , New Zealand in fact is characterized by many active volcanos. The country straddles between the Pacific and Indo-Australian Plates, a highly seismic ground so called "Ring of Fire" or "circum-Pacific seismic belt", the most unstable geographic are on planet heart characterized by continuous volcanic eruptions and earthquakes.
New Zealand stand in the same latitude as Italy, my country, however the region is located in the Southern Hemisphere: when in Italy is winter, in New Zealand will be summer and vice versa. New Zealand has a mild and temperate maritime climate with mean annual temperatures ranging from 10 °C (50 °F) in the South to 16 °C (61 °F) in the North. Average Temperatures never fall down to 0°C and never excide +30°C because the sea influence that mitigate a very nice weather through all year round.
Our destination is the North Island, its far most North side.
Once landed to Auckland International Airport we must travel North to the Hauraki Gulf, to the beautiful untamed nature that characterize Great Barrier Island, our final destination and main fishing ground.
The North Island is characterized by a mild weather, much more temperate then South Island where the proximity to the South Pole influences with colder temperatures.
January is summer time with temperature not over "27º C" (8.06º F), July is the coldest month of the year with average temperatures between "15º C" (59º F) to "10º C" (50º F).
Therefore New Zealand Summer time (Genuary to April), with a mild weather and temperature not over "26º C" (78.8º F), is considered the best time of the year to organize a Spear fishing charter to the region.
The Organization at Land:
My main point of reference to New Zealand as well Australia, is my friend Emanuel Bova and his business "DownUnder SpearfishingCharters",
one of the most experienced and talented Spear Fishing guide that I have the pleasure to know.
I take the opportunity to really thank Emanuel for all the suggestions that he uses to give to me, in particular for all the informations about this specific Spear Fishing charter, thank again My Friend!
Emanuel is Italian, born in Genoa as myself, he settled down in Australia, Sydney while he was teenager living the Ozzy land since than. I can call Emanuel as a truly Spear fishing lover, definitely a Spear fishing mad!
A dedicated athlete for Spear Fishing competitions too,
Emanuel in fact competes for Spear Fishing competitions, nationally and internationally, since many years.
Without doubts Emanuel is
a really experienced guide with a deep and wide knowledge of sea and all its life forms, an experience built up by living the sea everyday.
Emanuel is a very talented guide, since many years he uses to organize Spear fishing charters all around the world, Great Barrier Island is one of those places, he knows the areas analyzed in this section very well, without doubts we can call him as "the man for the job!"
As I am going to explain organizing a Spear Fishing charter to Great Barrier Island means book in advance the trip as well board and lodging, a boat, etc. We must have a point of reference, a friend that knows the situation locally, someone that we can count in, possibly a professional able to properly organize all the details, then arrive to Great Barrier Island with all the details already settled without loosing precious time.
I don' suggest to fly there then look for all the necessary logistic, touristic industry is not well developed, you will end up loosing precious days probably finding unsuitable solutions.
Better to be sure, count in a Spear Fishing charter properly organized, that means book the services of professional, of experience Spear Fishing guide that know New Zealand and Great Barrier Island too.
Emanuel is definitely the perfectly guide suitable for this job; you may like to choose him as your favorite guide. Please feel free to contact him directly through his main web site
"Down Under Spearfishing Charters".
Great Barrier Island is definitely a beautiful place where nature reigns untamed.
A population made by only
600 people, that mainly makes a living by fishing, Great Barrier Island is well know by its Giant Lobsters, and tourism, a industry that still today is Not well developed.
Because Great Barrier Island characteristics, we are talking about an expensive fishing charters however don't be concern about, find a right number of participants will be the answer.
Divide the entire cost between a right number of friends will be the right answer in order to end up with a fare price for every single participant.
Such Spear Fishing charter is going to take 8 to 12 days about including the international route, 2 to 3 days of fly going and back; we can decide how long it is going to take and the exact dates while planning all the details.
Rent a big house as the one that you can see in photo, its huge garden with an amazing view, will be the best choice also because the Island touristic structures are not well developed, impossible to find other solutions suitable for Spear fishing charters.
Rent a private house means that we have to cook our food, that because the Island don't offer proper restaurants too.
Alongside the main accommodation we will rent a minibus too (that depends on the charter participants number), "four wheels" in fact means completely freedom. We can drive the bus to the harbour where our boat is waiting for us for the fishing day trip, we will drive every day for the local store for main supply and fresh food and driving around having sightseeing for those friends interested in.
Games landed will be obviously our delicious supper main ingredient. Great Barrier Island, as already told, is worldwide well know for its unique lobsters and the economy that has built up fishing this crustacean, a giant species that arrives to weight 5 Kg, a single lobster has enough meet to feed 2 to 3 people.
The island is also known for its unique molluscs: delicious oysters and mussels big as a human hand!
We will have pleasure enjoying in both fishing giant lobsters, oysters and mussels and taste the unique and delicious meet!
New Zealand Law:
New Zealand is a Constitutional Monarchy with a Parliamentary Democracy, it is a British Commonwealth member therefore the British King is recognized as the Head of State.
New Zealand Monarchy is an establishment born from the British Crown because the country was a former United Kingdom Colony, over time it evolved standing out from its progenitor.
New Zealand is identified as one of the world's most stable and well-governed nations.
No Spear Fishing license is required, no particular restrictions are implemented
therefore any Spear Fishing valuable species can be hunted however there are specific rules for........................
As implemented by New Zealand Law, while at sea a diver must always carry a floating signal with the proper flag, go fishing without the float is dangerous as every body know why.
A float with the proper flag signaling a diver at sea IMPONE to every vessel to keep a distance of 100 mt within the float.
Usually the international flag that signal divers in the water is "red with white stripe", it is the most common flag required by law worldwide.
In a few counties as New Zealand, Australia and South Africa the flag is "blue with white stripe".
Indeed for Spear Fishing in New Zealand we must provide our float with the proper blue and white flag, do not use the "red and white" flag because it isn't recognized, it does not match New Zealand law.
Moreover regulations about proper spear Fishing flag are often confusing, the blue and white flag in the nautical code has a precise meaning, it is called "Hal pa Flag" and must be showed by every vessel meaning that some of its crew member is at sea doing some task:
diving, fishing, or what ever action they are involve to, therefore the boat can not freely maneuver; some countries as New Zealand, Australia and South Africa implement the "blue and white flag" to signal a Spear Fishing activities too.
Pneumatic as rubber guns are the only allowed systems, every other way of propulsion are forbidden, in New Zealand Spear Fishing with scuba tank is forbidden too.
Some laws are implemented for a maximum number of pieces for every given species and a precise minimum weight. A local guide or Emanuel can help us, explaining in details all the regulations that we must to know.
in New Zealand probably
we will never come in a Cost Guard check, it doesn't happen often.
That doesn't mean Cost Guard is lazy, not present, it simply means, as everybody recognize to New Zealand, that "Kiwis" have a great respect to environment, to their big blue brother ocean.
Their environmental awareness
is the greatest and best way to preserve nature and elements that we can not simply do without.
Understanding the importance of that is a great deal, unfortunately those become boring subjects to the majority of us and what i just told about New Zealand, "Kiwis" and their amazing environmental awareness, unfortunately i stands just for very a few other countries in the world....
New Zealand waters are incredibly rich, fully of a majestic variety of many life forms. Great Barrier Island is well know world wide for its Giant Lobster, we can take a maximum of 5 pieces daily however we are talking about a really huge crustaceans species that can arrive to weight 5 Kg, a single piece will be enough to feed 2 to 3 people therefore it won't be necessary to take more pieces than those we can enjoy in our suppers.
Only 600 people are living the Island, Kiwis are living in complete harmony with their great territory mainly do living by fishing activities. In the Island structures generally speaking are not well developed so we can enjoy as main ingredient of our suppers games landed during the day remembering when is time to call the day off also because it won't be easy to find structures to donate fish meet that we can not consume.
Just follow your felling once more it will be our common sense to dictate the rules, the truly respect that characterized most of Spear Fishing divers as our self, those are the first unwritten roles that we always use carry with us!
About Games Landed:
As already told this is a unique and unusual Spear Fishing charter, it has thought and intended to hunt mainly a single species, the Australian Snapper.
Obviously Great Barrier Island
waters are populated by many species, the 4 main valuable species that we will encounter are:
The Australian Snapper, the adventure main target,
the Yellow Tail King Fish, The Australian salmon and The Giant Boarfish.
Alongside the above mentioned we will enjoy fishing and tasting delicate and delicious meet of Giant Lobsters, Oysters and mussels too. Great Barrier Island in fact is world wide known because its Giant Lobster, its delicious crustaceans and molluscs and the fishing industry that has grown up around this business.
Great Barrier Island main economic activities are the lobsters fishing industry as told and tourism that however is an industry NOT well developed.
So the best solution to organize this unique adventure is to rent a private big house and find a right number of participants to equally share the costs with.
Rent a private house means that we must look after our suppers, taking turns we must cook our food; games landed will be obviously our supper main ingredient. After a few days our refrigerators will begun to be filled up with many Kg of raw meet. Therefore the fish meet that we can't consume will be given to the local church taking in consideration that the church is the unique establishment, the Island in fact doesn't offer any choice, impossible to find organizations that are operating in the social where to give the meet as present.
Once more we will follow our common sense, understanding when is time to call for the day because we have plenty of fish already, etc. Again, I underline the subject because Great Barrier Island is inhabited by a few people, structures are not well developed, it means we don't find a wide choice of places where to donate raw meet of all the games that we are going to land daily; our moral value and environmental awareness as always will drive us to always make right choices.
Sea- Geography and Fauna:
East Pacific Ocean has his own rules that is better to know:
very strong currents, the water visibility that could unpredictably change and the so called "Ground Swell" the long bottom waves typical of certain areas in the Pacific Ocean, find games and their behavior mainly depend on these subjects.
Water visibility could be a problem, it could suddenly change and gets unpredictable, it mainly depends on the currents, the season and the weather conditions. As it happens often in Ocean, we are Spear Fishing an area with very low visibility, just sail a few miles and find perfect or better conditions.
I strongly suggest to look for a guide that know well that specific water, find a local or count on services of an experienced diver as Emanuel, definitely a must in order to maximize our chances without loosing precious time that we can't count on. Under care of such experienced diver we can be confident leaving it to his judgments, a skillful guide who knows these waters well, able to read the signals that sea is giving in order to find fish and the best conditions where try Spear Fishing actions; again an experienced guide and his judgments is essential to increase as much as possible chances of an unforgettable adventure.
Best time of the year to organize a Spear Fishing charter to Great Barrier Island is between January and April, summer time season in the Southern Hemisphere with mild temperatures that in New Zealand North region don't exceed "27 º C" (80.6º F),
water temperature between "
18º C" (64.4º F) - "21º C" (69.8º F).
New Zealand summer time is the best season where organize our charters, wheatear conditions and temperatures will be excellent with an underwater visibility between 15 Mt in the costal line to 20 Mt about of Pinnacles at open sea.
Great Barrier Island is characterized by an awesome and supreme nature, a lush vegetation that, from the center island hills, runs untamed through the valleys, ending up all around at costal line level within the island many bays. Areal paradise on planet heart, it really seams a lost world where sand of time runs in slow motion.
This unique Spear Fishing charter is especially intended to hunt a specific species, the elusive Australian Snapper:
Australian Snapper -
Family: Sparidae, Genus: Pagrus, Species: P. Auratus
An unique marauder
in its own species that is uniquely living New Zealand and Australian waters, the only place on heart where we can encounter this amazing fish.
Great Barrier Island waters are well know for their unique Australian Snapper population with huge specimen for the species that can weight 13 Kg.
We will find Australian Snappers in a depth between 3 to 10 mt about, however don't think please as a very easy to land species, take it on a rich is in fact a hard to achieve task.
Games in New Zealand, Great Barrier Island waters don't know the danger that a Spear fisherman represents because just a few diver do Spear Fishing
however land an Australian Snapper won't be easy at all.
Australian Snapper main characteristics are very close to those of a closed related specimen, the Mediterranean Dentex, both species belong to the same family.
Land an Australian Snapper is a really reward catch, its innate distrust makes it a really "hard to shoot" game.
Without a proper experience of the species behavior and most important, a deep knowledge of Spear Fishing technique called "agachon", make the Australian Snapper approach close by , in reach of our gun range won't be easy at all! The "agachon" technique remains in fact the only way to land this elusive and how some fish.
We will encounter the Yellow Tail King Fish:
Yellow Tail King Fish-
Family: Carangidae, Genus: Seriola, Species: S. Lalandi
A very nice pelagic with its unique livery; we can hunt the species between 10 to 20 mt about.
King Fish belongs to "Carangidae" family, another how some catch. Enjoy a fight with a Yellow Tail is an unique experience, smaller specimen, 10 Kg of weight about, own already an extreme power, with its bursts is definitely putting to the final test our skills and gears.
We will encounter King Fish at 10 Mt of depth about while we are hunting for Australian Snappers, more easily while Spear Fishing pinnacles at open sea and most often there, where the costal line falls down steeply plunging fast to a depth button.
The best technique to land this how some pelagic is the so called "Blue Water Hunting".
Another native species that live uniquely Pacific Ocean waters, (New Zealand and Australia), is The Giant Boarfish:
Family: Pentacerotidae, Genus: Paristiopterus, Species: P. Lalbiosus
Definitely one of the most delicious and tasty meet that we can enjoy.
In adulthood specimen can weight 8 Kg about, the most common technique is the so called "agachon".
Then we can spot huge school of Australian Salmon:
Family: Arripidae, Genus: Arripis, Species: Georgianus, Trutta, Truttaceus, Xylabion
In New Zealand is called "Kahawai", another native species that live uniquely New Zealand and Australia-waters. Do not to be confused with the common Salmon that usually we use to refer, those species are living sea salt water they do not migrate to rivers.
We can find the species in a depth of 20 mt about, the specimen don't exide 6 Kg of weight in adulthood, however it remains another unique game because it use to live in huge school of fish, thousand of fish, an unique nature show the beauty of so many animals living a big school as it should be one.
In the bottom sea that characterized Great Barrier Island Costal Line we can enjoy hunt minor species as the Seabream; species well renowned for their delicious and tasty meet.
As already told we will enjoy fishing and tasting delicious meet of crustaceans and molluscs such the Giant Red Lobster:
Pacific Giat Red Lobster-
Family: Palinuridaedae, Genus: Jasus, Species: J. Edwardsii
Also Known as Spiny Rock Lobster or Crayfish, it is probably the biggest lobster that sea can give as present with specimen that in adulthood can weight until 5 Kg; a single piece is enough to feed 2 to 3 person! Lobsters lives into sea button caves, easy to spot them for their unique "antennas" that stick out from the caves.
To Great Barrier Island it is possible to find this huge crustacean from 5 Mt of water .
Surprises as blessed gifts from that great sea are not over jet, we could enjoy unique variety of molluscs as:
Ostrea, Pacific Oyster-
Family: Ostreidae, Genus: Crassostrea, Species: C. Gigas
Green Lipped Mussel-
Family: Mytilidae, Genus: Perna, Species: P. Canalicula
Enjoy fishing the above mentioned crustacean and molluscs big as an human hand tasting the unique flavour, delicious meet will be another
how some experience.
We can rent our boat directly from Great Barrier Island, usually rent a private house includes rent a boat too; most common are inflated as dingy and fiber glass boat.
If we plan to go Spear fishing mostly at open see we can rent bigger one, a Motor Boat 15 Mt in length about with a keel made in kevlar-carbon fiber, those solutions also implement for speed competitions, excellent for travel long distance at open see riding the unique oceanic "Ground Swell". All those boats are provided with 100 - 200 cv engines.
We will choose which kind of boat rent and how many depending to the group participants numbers, usually every crew is made by 4 fishermen, and fishing ground chosen, if we prefer do Spear Fishing along side costal line or mainly go out fishing to pinnacles at open see.
The Organization at Sea:
Every areas around the Island are excellent fishing grounds where we can find the above mentioned species; usually we leave at morning time after breakfast, coming back during early afternoon hours. As told every area around the Island costal line are perfect fishing grounds, we don't have to sail many miles to find "magic spots", usually move from a chosen area to another don't take more than 20 minutes.
Every boat rented will always come with a Boatman, a local who knows well the Island, he will drive the boat assisting us during our Spear Fishing drifts.
Therefore we can choose the above mentioned boatman as our guide; please remember that most of those locals are experienced sailor however they don't know any thing about Spear Fishing.
Choosing "Down Under Spearfishing Charters" services,
alongside the above mentioned boatman , we will count on an experienced guide as Emanuel too, his job will be mainly in find games and assisting us generally speaking.
For specific details please refer to Extreme "Gear" section.
A Spear Fishing gun for "agachon" technique is the right tool for hunt the Australian Snapper
a double rubber 120 cm in length will be the right choice.
We can use the same gun for hunt King Fish or may a more powerful gun; my choice generally speaking is the roller gun, a technology that in my personal situation works as best.
We will visit Great Barrier Island in Sumer Time, between January and April, a mild season with maximum temperatures of 27º C (8.06º F), water temperatures will be between 18º C (64.4º F) - 21º C (69.8º F),a 5 mm wet-suit is the right choice.
Great Barrier Island unfortunately doesn't offer any Spear Fishing shop or diving clubs, solutions where we can rent weights belt and floats, those bulky and heavy gears while traveling by an airplane so we must provide by ourself bringing with us all the necessary.
If you have any specific question please fell free to contact me "Contacts", I will be happy to answer to all your questions.