We're setting sail for the bay of islands...

We are heading to New Zealand’s Island paradise of golden, sandy beaches and charming historic towns including Paihia, Russell, Waitangi and Kerikeri. 

This is one of NZ’s most popular fishing and sailing tourist destinations and is internationally renowned for its big game fishing.

Location: Russell, Bay of Islands, NZ
Dates: Friday 8 September - Sunday 10 September



The closest airport is Kerikeri but the main airport is Whangarei. There are 3 flights a day to/from Whangarei. Please manage your own bookings. We will have available a coach to collect you from the airport and take you to the Paihia Wharf, where you will catch the passenger ferry to Russell. These will be scheduled as you confirm on your registration form.


Russell is located on an isolated peninsula. If driving, the fastest way to get to Russell is to get the car ferry just outside of Paihia. The vehicle ferry operates as a shuttle, departing approximately every 10 minutes during the day, and every 20 minutes early morning and late evening. Opua is about 7 minutes’ drive from Paihia and Okiato is about 10 minutes’ drive from Russell. SEE MORE HERE


Thursday 7 September

Suggested arrival date

Coach / buses to Paihia from WRE and KKE airport, then passenger ferry from Pahia to Russell.

6.00pm - OPTIONAL - Dinner / drinks 

Friday 8 September 2023 

10.00am - Industry Speakers
12.30pm Lunch
1.30pm Panel Session
2.30pm Group Activity
5.00pm Drinks & Tapas Evening
10.30pm End of day Return Hotel/s

Saturday 9 September 2023

10.00am Hole in the Rock Cruise 
12.00pm Followed by Gin tastings & platters
Return 4.30pm End of day Return Hotel/s

7.00am – 12.00pm (5hrs) Fishing Charter (Limit 50) 
OPTIONAL Join other FICA guests for Gin tastings & platters as above

6.00pm Dinner & Entertainment “PIRATE PARTY” - please dress up in the theme
11.00pm End of day Return Hotel/s

​Sunday 10 September 2023

Organised ferry crossing - Russell to Paihia
Buses to WRE and KKE airport from Paihia airport

With Russell being New Zealand’s first stop for European settlers, our theme for the conference is Pirates of the Bay of Islands!

So, bring your best Jack Sparrow outfits out of your dress up box.

A pirate should dress up the way they want to be known. If they are wanting to be a dashing and flashing pirate, bright clothes should do. If they want to be feared, darker colours should be worn.

Linen collarless shirts, waistcoats, bandanas, and neck scarves are all popular pirate attire.

Long hair is admired but baldness or mohawks give off a presence of toughness. Beards are good for intimidation as well and a simple moustache shows off a charming side to any rouge.

Leave swords, muskets and parrots at home.

Bring your eye patch and wooden legs!



The Duke of Marlborough

The conference is being held at The Duke of Marlborough. They have 26 rooms available for our conference. To make a booking please phone The Duke directly on 09 403 7829 or email info@theduke.co.nz then quote Forest Industry Contractors Association Conference to get the discounted rate. 

Please note you cannot book online through their website as we have blocked all of the rooms for your conference group. The room types at The Duke can be viewed online at www.theduke.co.nz 

Other Accommodation

Hananui Lodge is happy to hold the rooms they have available until the 7th of July. To book at Hananui then please contact them directly on  info@hananui.co.nz or (09) 403 7875 and quote the Forest Industry Contractors Association Conference. The room types can be viewed online at www.hananui.co.nz

Seaport Village available for bookings at 10 Chapel Street, Kororareka, Russell. Phone (09) 403 7833 to book and quote the Forest Industry Contractors Association Conference. The room types can be viewed online at www.seaportvillage.co.nz


The Bay of Islands is made of 144 islands, including New Zealand’s first capital city, Russell, initially developed as a shore station for shipping. The European population grew, with a mixture of deserting seamen, runaway convicts, and grog sellers, as well as settlers and traders. The township thus gained a reputation as a lawless and rowdy port and the unflattering nickname “Hell Hole of the Pacific”.

Also, Paihia, where missionaries were the first white people to settle in 1823. They built the first church in New Zealand, which was constructed in the traditional Maori way using raupo. The Bay of Islands is rich in culture and heritage. With the region steeped in Maori history.



This event is brought to you by FICA. Send your enquiries / questions to:

Prue Younger
Phone 021 2765484 or email office@fica.org.nz

Lydia Price
email admin@fica.org.nz

Top map image thanks to Archives New Zealand