R. Tucker Thompson


New Zealand is a beautiful place to visit ! We had a two week vacation with my wife’s 2 adult children here a few years ago when we were still living in Brisbane, Australia. My wife planned every detail of our holiday which started in Queenstown near the bottom of the South Island and continued all the way up to Russell near the top of the North Island with many stopovers in-between. We enjoyed a very scenic long drive here from Auckland in our rental car stopping along the way for lunch.

We rented a fabulous A Frame holiday house to stay at in Russell which had an incredible view of the bay. My wife had booked a day excursion on a schooner named the R. Tucker Thompson which sounded like a typical fun thing to do. I’ve never been on a sailing boat in my life but I was up for it. We boarded the impressive looking vessel at the Russell Pier with a bunch of other tourists. The schooner didn’t travel very fast but it didn’t matter because the scenery was breathtaking.

Different members of the crew demonstrated particular sailing disciplines and we were able to tour virtually the whole ship. At one point the boat anchored in a shallow bay and a crew member paddled the four of us in an inflatable dinghy onto the beach of a small island. We goofed around the shoreline for a while and then headed back to the schooner. Lunch was an enjoyable and festive event. The sumptuous meals were all laid out beautifully on a long table and we basically just helped ourselves.

My wife’s son and I also enjoyed lovely ice cold beers. The schooner’s crew were very kind and generous to everyone on the ship and I didn’t see anyone not having a fun time. The ocean was quite calm and gentle for the duration of our sea adventure so there were never any risky moments. We even saw a few dolphins skipping through the water. The schooner is in remarkable condition and has obviously been meticulously maintained. We all had a really wonderful time and wouldn’t hesitate to do it again !

Restaurant Details


69 Marsden Rd. Maritime Building Paihia 2020 New Zealand


+64 9 402 8430

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About the Author

Picture of Michael Burke

Michael Burke

I'm an expat Aussie ( now a naturalized American citizen ) who moved to Southern California in 2006 with my American born wife Sherri. I like to write reviews about the most memorable restaurants, coffee shops, cafes, brew pubs and anything new that we find in our travels. I particularly look for excellent food & beverage consistency, good value for money plus friendly service.

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