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  Services » Regional Services » Maritime services » Rules and safety information » Bar crossings

Bar crossings

Bar crossing videos

Bar crossings are a high risk activity for even the most experienced boatie. Waikato Regional Council has paired up with Bay of Plenty Regional Council with funding from ACC and Maritime NZ to produce five bar crossing film videos. These will walk you through the key safety steps to undertake, to ensure you make a safer bar crossing.

To watch them, see the clips at the bottom of this page.

Coastguard bar crossing education days

Bar crossing education courses are run in the below areas, these courses include an in-classroom session and a trip across the bar.

Kawhia -  register your interest with Coastguard(external link)

Raglan -   email to register your interest

Tairua / Pauanui - email to register your interest 

Bar Cameras

Raglan: click here(external link) to view real-time images on NIWA's website.

Tairua: click here(external link) to view real-time images on NIWA's website.

Important safety guidelines to follow

  • Check the weather - do this within 12 hours of your boating trip.
  • Check the tide - always avoid low tide.
  • Talk to a local about the bar conditions.
  • Tie down any loose objects such as anchor, and ropes.
  • Everyone must wear a lifejacket.
  • Contact Coastguard (on VHF) immediately prior to crossing and confirm successful crossing after.
  • Avoid ebb tide (The period between high tide and low tide during which water flows away from the shore, also called falling tide).
  • Always go out with an experienced skipper prior to attempting crossing yourself.

If in doubt - don't go out!

Tairua bar crossing advisory on Coastguard radio

Bar crossings are one of the highest risk activities boaties in the Waikato will come across. To keep boaties more informed of bar conditions Waikato Regional Council harbourmasters in conjunction with Coastguard have an advisory service. 

The advisory is broadcast over the Coastguard radio in their station notices. The advisory indicates whether the bar is:

Level 1: normal – free navigation
Level 2: marginal – navigate with caution
Level 3: not recommended – navigation is likely to be hazardous.

Harbourmasters will also advise users of bar status by placing public signs at the harbourmaster’s office, appropriate boat ramps and/or wharves.

Bar crossing videos

PLEASE NOTE: The Now Casting VHF channels mentioned in the Bar Crossing films have changed. To see current Now Casting VHF channels, please click here(external link).

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