Passenger ferries in the Bay of Islands have resumed sailing as the storm which battered Northland overnight recedes.

On Thursday evening the Paihia-Russell passenger ferry had been scheduled to run until 1am due to a concert in Russell by The Feelers and The Eastern, but late sailings were cancelled when strong winds meant the skipper was unable to bring the vessel in to Paihia.

Fuller GreatSights general manager Charles Parker said the Bay Belle's skipper made a call that, due to deteriorating conditions, the 9pm run back to Paihia would be the last.

Russell venues were notified and the ferry left at 9.15pm but was forced to turn back before Paihia, instead travelling with the wind and swells to Opua. There passengers were picked up by bus and transported to Paihia.


The Opua car ferry continued operating on Thursday evening but with a reduced service between 8.30 and 10pm due to severe wind gusts. The car ferry is running as normal today.

Passenger ferries were also cancelled this morning with passengers transported by bus and the Opua car ferry instead. Normal sailings resume about 12.30pm, Mr Parker said.

Meanwhile, Far North District Council spokesman Richard Edmondson said the Hokianga ferry was running as normal today but the operator was monitoring weather conditions closely.