Kenepuru Sound – Portage & St. Omer

As you approach Havelock off to port is Kenepuru Sound. Some 16 Nm long it’s eastern end runs close to the Queen Charlotte Sound with a narrow ridge between them.



A convenient bay in Queen Charlotte is just on the other side of the ridge. Catch a boat to Torea Bay and then walk over the hill to the Kenepuru. The place on that side being known as Portage.

The day after we arrived in Havelock we took some of the family to Portage and had lunch at the hotel. Kapowai alongside a somewhat run-down marina.


The hotel where we had a pleasant lunch. They have a bus that runs over and picks people up on the Queen Charlotte side. No hard work on this portage anymore.


Some early roads and easy access by water made this area a summer holiday area.

After lunch we headed back toward Havelock and stopped off at St. Omer for a swim. This used to a beautiful lodge run by a family but they sold a few years ago and the new owners couldn’t make it work.


Looking the other way.


Off to one side in the bay is a wreck, I had to enlarge.


This is the Amokura which was towed here in 1953 as a storage hulk and jetty. Prior to that she had been a coaling hulk in Wellington. However she had a much more exciting start as HMS Sparrow, a 3 masted barque, she saw active service in the Persian Gulf and around Africa suppressing the slave trade. She then ended up in NZ as a training ship for young boys prior to them going to sea. This proved too expensive so she was sold.




Our home for the next two months is going to be Havelock, a port at the head of the Pelorus Sound where the Pelorus River meets the sea.

Kapowai moored in Havelock Marina at sunset.


Looking down on Havelock with a good view of the Pelorus Sound.


Havelock is the centre of the ‘greenshell’ mussel industry with over 60,000 tonnes of mussels passing over the wharf each year.  A lot of logs also come in by barge as well.

The port is interesting with a narrow channel winding through the mud flats. First time we came in an hour before high water and made note of the depths. The next time we came in an hour after low water and touched bottom a couple of times and then ran aground on the last leg into Havelock – a common grounding point especially if you take the turn too tight round the last point (above and to the left of the blue roof).

The next time we came in right on low water and made it all the way without problem.