It All Started With a Dream

We are Barefoot Sailing Adventures, North Island locals with a lifelong passion for sailing and deep appreciation for the beautiful landscape and native wildlife of New Zealand’s Bay of Islands. We’ve always loved sailing and had a dream of owning our own charter yacht one day to host tours and share our love for the Bay of Islands and the sea. After spending many years working in the sailing charter industry in Australia and New Zealand, in 2013 we decided to set about making our dream a reality.
First, we had to find the right boat – opportunities came and went until one came up that was too good to pass up. We had finally found the boat to make our dreams come true – a 33ft Tennant Turissimo sailing catamaran, Kopiko.

All along the way, we knew we had our work cut out for us, but nothing beats a good challenge. Originally a racing sailing boat, she’s a proven performer. After a new paint job and total refit we gave her a new lease on life as a charter sailing boat, and by doing so we were able to start our Bay of Islands tours. With the Bay of Islands in our sights, a world renowned sailing destination, those beautiful sea breezes and sheltered waters made for the perfect match.

In 2016 we achieved our dream by launching Barefoot Sailing Adventures and we are still going strong today, incorporating a real focus on sustainability and regeneration so that locals and visitors alike can enjoy this unique part of the world for generations to come. Visit our Sustainability page(opens in a new tab) for more information.

Our efforts in providing unforgettable experiences to our guests from all over the world proved popular, we had created such an incredible day out on the water that our tours were booked out over and over. We needed another boat to share our sailing tours with. But not just any boat will do…

We enjoyed the intimacy of the small groups as much as our guests, getting to know people along the sailing journey, and really showing off what a great sailing boat can do so we were looking to keep the same style of catamaran, and of course they aren’t easy to come by.

We had longingly admired a beautiful catamaran Moonwalker which was moored just across from us at Paihia, on. A great friendship began with the owners of Moonwalker, after all we had great taste in boats, and eventually they decided that Moonwalker would be ours!

So after a big winter in the boatyard refitting Moonwalker to meet stringent Maritime New Zealand standards, we had her ready for commercial charter just in time for the sailing season.

Sept 2023 Moonwalker joined the fleet, and here we are ready to bring more great sailing adventures to the world from our slice of paradise, the Bay of Islands!


Meet Barefoot Sailing Adventures

Meet the Boat – Kopiko

Kopiko is our scheduled day & evening charter vessel. Her unique design lends her well to anchoring in shallow water, a feature that is enjoyed by all as we anchor at Paihia beach ready for guests to join our sailing adventures, a great way to start the day. This sporty designed catamaran exceeds expectations regularly. Her open deck design offers a great viewing platform for guests to enjoy the day and feel part of the action.

Meet the Boat – Moonwalker

Moonwalker is our dedicated private charter vessel. She has sailed extensively worldwide before joining the Barefoot Sailing Adventures fleet. As third generation owners of Moonwalker, all living in the Bay of Islands we are very proud to bring this vessel into the commercial maritime sector for many more people to enjoy the pleasures of sailing in this beautiful part of the world. Enjoy a private charter aboard this exceptional vessel.


Meet the Crew

Captain Luke sailing the boat

Meet Captain Luke

“I have always been passionate about sailing and I hope my love for the sea and adventure shines through on every tour I skipper. Join us for a day of laughter, intriguing tales, and an unforgettable sailing experience!”

Luke is an experienced sailor, who learnt the ropes on the South Sea Vagabond 60ft power cat in Tauranga. He went on to serve as First Mate on the Willy in Broome Western Australia, an 80ft gaff-rigged schooner. After that he landed his first job as Captain aboard Barbary, a 38ft cutter-rigged ketch sailing on the beautiful Lake Taupo, which further honed his sailing skills, before making his way to the Bay of Islands. It was here in the Bay of Islands that his love of sailing catamarans began when he skippered Straycat, a 35ft Woods Ocean Spirit.

Captain Rachael looking happy on the boat

Meet Rachael

“As co-owner, I wear many hats – manager, crew, captain and adventurer. At a young age I fell in love with the sea and it has remained my passion ever since. Sailing was part of my childhood in the seaside town of Whangarei, and I was lucky enough to have the Bay of Islands as my own big backyard. It had been a dream of mine for a long time to share this unique and beautiful part of the world with visitors. After years of dreaming that dream, I finally packed up to pursue an exciting new career in sailing charters. Join us for a day of adventure, laughter and smiles!”

Having joined many boats as a crew member to gain experience in the charter industry, Rachael is an experienced and passionate adventurer who also holds a skipper licence. She landed her first job as skipper aboard Fearless, a 36ft cutter-rigged ketch, sailing on the great Lake Taupo.

These days Rachael is at the business end of all things sailing with Barefoot Sailing Adventures, keeping the lines tidy behind the scenes and ensuring the crew are in the best shape ever to deliver world-class experiences. She gets as much joy from business development as crewing the boat, but she is still always keen to get out on the water to share a day with our guests!

Rachael has a background in conservation, and this value leads to an intrinsic drive to bring better outcomes for our natural environment, ensuring our presence as tourism operators has a positive impact, contributing to our local environmental programmes and making sure we are positively involved in the community. Be sure to visit the Sustainability page for more information.

Contact Us

Get in touch with us today, we can’t wait to chat with you!