In the heart of the South Pacific Ocean lies New Zealand or Aotearoa. This island nation has two main landmasses, the North and South Island, with numerous smaller islands, most notably Stewart Island and the Chatham Islands.
During the Pacific’s southern summer cyclone season, New Zealand is out of harm’s way, and with 18,000km of pristine coastline, sheltered bays, stunning fjords and abundant marine life it certainly offers something for everyone.
This was followed about 800 years later by extensive European migration. The influence of Pacific Island and Asian immigrants during the 20th century has helped shape New Zealand, with a current population of around 4.4 million, into an even more vibrant and diverse multicultural society.
There is a vast amount to see and do in New Zealand; in fact the most common complaint from visitors is simply that they didn’t spend enough time there. Whilst there are many cruising grounds to choose from the most popular are the Bay of Islands and the Hauraki Gulf, close to the city of Auckland.
Located at the northern tip of North Island, this area enjoys the best weather in NZ, and it’s little wonder that Auckland is the sailing capital of the country. With almost of a third of the population, it is also the most vibrant and cosmopolitan of the islands’ towns.
The North Island offers mild weather, geothermal hot-spots and some great diving. More adventurous types will like to head for the quieter South Island, a sparsely-populated wild landscape of fjords, and in winter, ski resorts.
Awesome on-shore activities
Marlborough Sounds: This is great cruising territory, with lovely, deserted, tortuous shorelines forming thousands of sheltered coves, with walks through the cool green forests, fishing, diving, great seafood restaurants and more – and onshore the delights continue – this is perhaps New Zealand’s best and most famous wine growing region – so a winery tour is a must.
Poor Knights: Often referred to as the best place to dive in New Zealand because there is greater diversity of underwater habitats and wildlife than elsewhere due to a combination of adjacent deep water, near vertical underwater cliffs, shallow sheltered bays, arches, caves and tunnels bathed by the warm East Auckland current.
Off The Beaten Track
Hauraki Gulf: Waiheke island offers an abundance of superb beaches and visitor-friendly award-winning wineries and olive groves, often with excellent restaurants. Fitzroy Harbour and Port Abecrombie offer great natural anchorages.
South Island: Stunning fjords, plentiful whales and dolphins make this a popular destination for those who like their nature wild…
South Island, Marlborough Sounds: The bird life is wonderful, trees full of melodious calls and wild birds so tame they’ll take bread from your hand.
Between D’Urville and Rangitoto Islands: No sooner does your line hit the water than you’re pulli