A new fishing trawler designed to fish the cold-water scampi fields off New Zealand's deep south was built in Adelaide and is registered with Whangārei as its home port.

It is not the first commercial fishing trawler to work out of Whangārei but the 25 metre Karearea is the only one hunting scampi and possibly the only fishing boat registered in Whangārei to fish the southern seas.

There were many crossing of the Tasman Sea during the building and fitting of Karearea in Adelaide over the past two years, but only one was on the water.

That was this week when Whangārei man Derek Fortune, skipper Evan Barclay from Ngunguru, Industrial and Marine Rebuild engineers and others who helped build the boat brought Karearea home on its maiden voyage.


Also on that trip was young Jack Fortune, at 9-years-old already an experienced sea dog.

The six-man, one-boy crew arrived in Whangārei on Tuesday after a nine-day voyage.

It wasn't the calmest crossing due to bad weather in the Tasman, said the boy's father.

''We just tucked ourselves in under the cyclone and got blown home,'' Fortune said. ''But Jack was fine, he's been around boats all his life.''

Although the trawler was not built or fully fitted in Whangārei, all marine services are available locally, easily accessible and of a high standard, he said.

''That's why Whangārei is Karearea's registered port. This is where we'll be coming for everything we need and to come home.

''We've had a team of guys running backwards and forwards to Adelaide and now, two years later, we're back here but with the boat.''

The boat's hull will now be cleaned and some final fit-out work done.


When the quota is in place, Karearea will head off for the scampi fishing fields near the Auckland Islands.

Between 15-30 centimetres long, scampi looks like a big prawn and is from the same family as Norway lobster and Dublin Bay prawn.