btn enquire


On the doorstep of Gracefarm rural lifestyle estate is the Sandspit harbour and departure wharfe to Kawau island.

Just 20 minutes south of Gracefarm  and through the township of Walkworth is the popular boating harbour of Sandspit. The owners and developers of Gracefarm, Ray and Pam, have enjoyed this place for many years where they moor their yacht. Recently they were preparing their boat for summer use.

Here we are in the sandspit Harbour 
Here are the men helping Dino and our son Mark
Here is the job down, motoring back to the mooring with son Mark and grandson Bryn

Sandspit Yacht Club has just celebrated it's 50th anniversary.Ray and Pam have been members of the club for over 30 years. Sandspit and the yacht club are an amazing facility on the door step of Gracefarm lifestyle estate.

The Sandspit Yacht Club is well advanced in their planning and application for a resource consent to build a marina. In the mean time all permanent moorings are swing or Pole


Welcome to Sandspit Yacht Club

Sandspit Yacht Club is located at Sandspit, Warkworth.

The club comprises of 4 divisions:

Centreboard Division, which base their training and racing from our facilities at Algies Bay. The division is involved in and hosts many national regattas.

Sailing Division has racing in a Friday night summer series, a Saturday summer series and a winter series. Any trailer sailer, multi hull or keeler are encouraged to join in these activities.

Power Boat Division is for members with launches and trailer powerboats.

Sport Fishing division is represented by the Warkworth Game Fish Club whom are affiliated to the New Zealand Sportfishing Council (formerly the NZBGFC).


 The yacht club facilities at Sandspit include:

  • Trailer boat ramp, which is available to the public for a nominal charge per use.
  • Club House, with bar and restaurant. The club house has outlooks across the Sandspit estuary. Generally open on Thursdays 4pm to 7pm (work clothes and snacks) and Fridays 5:30pm to 8:30pm (tidy casual dress and meals). Hours may vary during the summer holidays. Please check with the office by phoning 425 9008. 
  • Haulout – The club as a low angled ramp for hauling moored vessels out on the club-supplied trolleys. The members need to provide their own cradles. The haulout also has a wash down facility for marine growth removal
  • Hardstand for short to medium terms is available for boats that are actively been worked on.
  • Boat storage for tailer boats on long term basis.
  • Dinghy storage
  • Wharf with one work berth and several casual berths (max 1 hour). Drinking water is available at the wharf .

All the facilities are available for use by the boating public, based on availability and appropriate fee.





Historic Kawau Island

Kawau Island Historic Reserve was created to protect Mansion House, Sir George Grey’s former home, and the gardens and landscape he created, together with sites and relics from the historic copper industry. The reserve is a popular destination for visitors arriving by ferry or pleasure craft.

Today about 10 percent of the island is protected as publicly owned reserves managed by the Department of Conservation. The remainder of the island is privately owned with a small resident population. 

History of Kawau

Kawau is associated with the early  ancestor Toi te huatahi from whom comes the island’s traditional name ‘Te Kawau tumaro o Toi’. The island is reputed to have been settled by descendants of Toi and later by descendants of the crews of the Arawa and Tainui canoes.

For three centuries the island was occupied by the people known as Ngati Tai who were later defeated by the Te Kawerau iwi, specifically Ngati Manuhiri. 

During the 18th century there was continuing conflict between the resident Kawerau and the Marutuahu confederation of tribes from the Hauraki area over access to the shark fishing grounds.

Kawau was later abandoned after the musket war raids in the 1820s by Ngapuhi, and remained unoccupied until the 1830s. In this period the Ngati Manuhiri hapu of Te Kawerau  and Ngatiwai returned to the island and the adjoining coastline where they remain to this day.

After protracted debate over ownership Kawau was sold in the 1840s to W.T. Fairburn of the North British Australasian Loan and Investment Company


Historic copper industry

Copper was discovered by accident. The original mining operations were to extract  manganese. Copper was mined from 1844 until June 1852 when the mines were inundated.

There were up to 300 people living on the island during this period. Mining villages were located at Mansion House Bay, Two House Bay, Sunny Bay, Schoolhouse Bay, Dispute Cove and Miners Bay. 

The copper ore eventually became difficult to extract, because most of the mine workings were below sea level and had to be constantly pumped free of water. 

Problems were also encountered shipping the ore to the Northern Hemisphere. In 1849 a smelting works was built to partially process the ore on the island. A rival smelting operation was built on Motuketekete Island.

Eventually flooding and competition between two companies working the same ore body led to closure of the mine in 1852. There were further attempts to reopen the mine in 1854-55 and 1900-02, but it is likely that little copper ore remains.

Coppermine engine house and smelting house

The ruins of a sandstone building built to house the steam engine and pump which kept the mine free of water is one of the more visible relics of the copper industry. Built in 1854 during an attempt to de-water the mines, it is very similar to engine houses found in Cornwall, the home of many of the Kawau miners. The enginehouse is located beside the mine workings at Mine Point.

Another ruin which can be visited or viewed by boat is the old smelting house in the Smelting House Historic Reserve, on the north side of Bon Accord Harbour. A busy industrial complex and village which once stood on this site is now marked only by the sandstone walls of the smelting house building. 






Contact Us

Phone:  +64 9 4238707
Mobile: 0274939703

20 Mangawhai Road, RD 5
Wellsford, 0975

btn enquire2

or call on

027 4939703