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“What more could you want?”

Great Escape Yacht Charters and Sailing School
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
138 reviews
47 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
“What more could you want?”
Reviewed 28 March 2014

Returned for another 'hard to take' 3 days of sun, good breeze, safe waters and great hosts.
Once again Darren and crew not only put up with us, but were exceptional in providing a great boat (Noelex 25), instructions & all round help and hints, to make our stay absolutely fantastic.
If you have never sailed before, then these are the crew, and this is the place you want to learn. For the experienced, these boats offer the basics for an inexpensive real sailing experience in the Bay of Islands.
Recommend that you let them know exactly what sailing experience you and your party have, so they can best accommodate you.
Sorry Darren - WE WILL BE BACK!

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
Thank Travel-Sitreps
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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62 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Tauranga, New Zealand
2 reviews
“Fantastic holiday activity”
Reviewed 12 March 2014

We chartered 3 different yachts between 9- 2 of us had never sailed before and took the 3 day course lead by Ian- a great man! We found Darren and his staff extremely welcoming, informative and helpful. The yachts were all well maintained and made easy sailing.
Darren was very accommodating and flexible with our complex booking request for lots of people, arriving on different dates with differing abilities.
A great company with a very laid back and safe atmosphere!
Would recommend to anyone either with or without sailing experience- and of course the bay of Islands was stunning!!

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
Thank Clare M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
La Condamine, Monaco
Level Contributor
29 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Safe on hands learning sailing experience”
Reviewed 5 March 2014

Very safe and professional learning experience with this school. They have a choice of small yachts for the school; e.g. Noelex 25 and Rowen 31. Tuition is usually shared between 2 (sometimes more on the larger yachts), therefore to a large extent bespoke. Tremendous opportunity to brush up or get on top of any learning sailing blocs. For example, which way to pass another yacht, how to best turn a winch engaging your whole body, what to do when the sail "luffs" up, and experience on the "main" that will finally help it all make sense (at least it did for me). Another plus is their professional and friendly manner, easy to book, very fair prices, and lastly such a great venue. You sail from OPUA, and always have the shore or an Island in view, agreeable winds and scenery, not a lot not to like!

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Tourmaline42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
55 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Darren and Darrell are a great team.”
Reviewed 18 February 2014

We chartered Esprit, a Bruce Farr designed 29 ft Noelex for 5 days, 4 nights. Nothing was too much trouble and the boat was a treat to sail, even with a dodgy house battery. No problem, just go to sleep when it gets dark.
The Bay of Islands is a stunning area to sail in, plenty of safe anchorages, beautiful beaches, interesting passages and attractive islands. Water great for swimming and even unskilled fishing. Wish it was close enough to UK for us to return.

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
Thank AncientMariner24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GreatEscapeNorthland, Manager at Great Escape Yacht Charters and Sailing School, responded to this review, 24 March 2014
Thanks for taking the time to talk about your experience.. we hope to see you again. Daryl and I enjoy what we do! so it's easy.
Glad you appreciated this great area
Regards
Darren
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Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
278 reviews
103 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 123 helpful votes
“Learn to Sail in a Day”
Reviewed 10 February 2014

We Chartered the Kokoka over five days with 4 people and had a terrific time. I had minimal previous experience sailing along with the other guests so we hired Daryl for a day training. This is highly recommended and he is terrific. He taught us all the basics on how to run the boat, basic care for the motor, how to Navigate and read marine chart and most importantly how to sail. He then made us practice "man over board" scenarios and then let us go. We managed extremely well and had no major issues. The Bay of Islands are beautiful to sail around - we particularly enjoyed Oke Bay, Paradise Point and Pipi bays. We enjoyed collecting pipis for bait and dinner, eating oysters and mussels off the rocks and fishing - we caught heaps of fish and snorkelling. We also saw dolphins and penguins- a definite highlight! There are many walks to do on the islands also. We only had one rough day sailing (high winds so we motored instead) when we wished we had a plan B, however Terry and Darren were terrific and we got the impression we were a bit of a novice and should have sailed for the excitement. Definitely recommend as it was an experience we will remember. Only downside is we now want to buy a yacht! You need to take all your own food and you can leave a car parked at Opua.

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
Thank annetr48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GreatEscapeNorthland, Manager at Great Escape Yacht Charters and Sailing School, responded to this review, 14 February 2014
Hi Guys

So glad we could help you to enjoy the beauty of this amazing sailing area and very please we helped ignite your passion for sailing..

Oke Bay is stunning and my pick of the bays, the Dolphins seem to like it too.. Well done for organising your trip at such short notice..

Take care
Darren
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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