Oozing natural beauty and enchanting national parks, New Zealand is one of the southern hemisphere’s most captivating yachting destinations.
New Zealand is primed for superyacht exploration, boasting a diverse land which includes active volcanoes, island sanctuaries, glorious secluded beaches and sprawling farmlands. With so much to see and do throughout these sensational cruising grounds, a charter in New Zealand is all about thrills. New Zealand’s cruising grounds are divided into the North and South Islands, each offering their own unique experiences and sublime scenery. As you journey through New Zealand’s natural delights, you will be treated to exquisite luxuries onboard your superyacht and indulge in the country’s renowned fine wines and dining.
The south, where you will find Queenstown and Marlborough Sounds, is a yachting haven in which you sail against the breath-taking backdrop of the jagged Alps, which run along the length of the island. The North Island is perfect for more secluded sailing getaways, and the city of Auckland has a strong yachting history. Auckland, often referred to as the ‘City of Sails’, is centred around two large harbours which make it a thriving hub of yachting activity. Viaduct Harbour is lined with superyachts which use Auckland as a base to discover the cruising grounds of the Hauraki Gulf and Coromandel Peninsula, while also enjoying proximity to a lively city. The Hauraki Gulf and The Coromandel Peninsula are the pearls of the North Island cruising grounds. The Hauraki Gulf covers over a million hectares of scintillating blue waters, filled with an array of islands to explore in between. The Hauraki Gulf Marine Park provides superyachts with incredible opportunities and adventures through gorgeous landscapes and glowing beaches, with charming villages and vineyards to delve into on land. Continuing your escapades in the North Island, the Coromandel Peninsula is dotted with idyllic anchorages which place you in secluded bays to enjoy the exclusivity of your superyacht.
The Bay of Islands is New Zealand’s traditional yachting epicentre. This protected bay is brimming with secluded island retreats where guests can unwind on soft sands and green hills. The Bay of Islands is also one of New Zealand’s premier diving hotspots, filled with thrilling caves, arches, tunnels and even wrecks to explore. There is an abundant sea life that you will become acquainted with, and with so many ways to discover these natural wonders it is perfect for all superyacht charters. Whether diving, snorkelling, kayaking or simply cruising, the Bay of Islands is a magical experience. Marlborough Sounds is a truly unique yachting experience, where superyachts can voyage through a collection of ancient sunken valleys to reach phenomenal hidden treasures. This is one of New Zealand’s most famous cruising grounds and provides plenty of thrills for visiting yachts and charter guests. If enjoying the bliss of sailing through these pristine waters is not enough, then there is so much adventure to immerse yourself in by stepping ashore. Sheltered bays lead onto glistening beaches and hidden caves.
The South Island also boasts one of the most fascinating natural delights that can be found in New Zealand, that of the remote Fiordland. A region in the south-western corner of New Zealand, Fiordland attracts adventurous explorers seeking a unique and awe-inspiring experience. Here, you will sail along calm waters to find an imposing landscape characterised by snow-capped mountains, majestic waterfalls and dramatic hills. This is known as the sightseeing and walking capital of the world, and there are exhilarating treks to be made around Mitre Peak and the lakeside towns of Te Anau and Manapouri. For visiting yachts, this is an invigorating destination which adds something different to your superyacht charter from the beaches and bays found in the North. The sheer diversity of natural experiences in New Zealand makes it such an exciting destination for a superyacht charter. More and more yachts are discovering the untamed beauty of this region and the fascinating culture and history. This is certainly an unforgettable adventure for those looking to enjoy the luxury and exclusivity of a superyacht in one of the world’s most spectacular areas.
VIEW 9 NIGHTs | 10 DAYs SUPERYACHT CHARTER ITINERARY
OOZING NATURAL BEAUTY & MAMMOTH NATIONAL PARKS
Active volcanoes, island sanctuaries, magnificent beaches, sprawling farmlands and geothermal wonders, we think New Zealand must already be on top of your bucket list. It’s time to get off the beaten track and be richly and pleasantly rewarded.
From exploring the inner volcano on White Island to nibbling on kiwi fruit in the bay of plenty, to fishing on Lake Taupo or sampling wine at Hawkes Bay, a private luxury yacht charter around New Zealand’s North Island can be customized to suit any style or taste. Delight in the unspoiled scenery while taking in the region’s captivating history and indulging in the local wine and cuisine. It sure will be a vacation to remember.
The temperature in the North Island of New Zealand is varied due to the country’s diverse and unique landscape. The annual temperature sits around 16 degrees Celsius (61f), with the coldest month being in July and the warmest in January or February. The average summer temperature consists of 23 degrees Celsius (74.7f) – the perfect superyacht charter weather!
Know as the “New Zealand has a rich and diverse fauna of marine mammals. Almost half the world’s cetaceans (whales, porpoises and dolphins) have been reported in these waters. For example, endemic Hector’s dolphins (found nowhere else), rare beaked whales, New Zealand sea lions (found only in these southern waters), and the widely distributed New Zealand fur seals (kekeno).
New Zealand (Maori: Aotearoa) has a very unique and dynamic culture, built by its indigenous Māori people: it is reflected in the language, the arts, and even the accents of all New Zealanders. The islands’ location in the South Pacific, the common love of the outdoors and connection to nature, sport, and the arts (including skin art called Moko, the name for Māori tattoo and the rituals that surround it), make New Zealanders and their lifestyle unique in the world. Like other Pacific customs, Māori society was centred on kinship links and connection with the land but, unlike them, it was adapted to a cool, temperate environment rather than a warm, tropical one.
The history of New Zealand dates back approximately 700 years to when it was discovered and settled by Polynesians, who developed a distinct Māori civilization. Current understanding is that the first arrivals came from East Polynesia in the late 13th century, but it was not until 1642 that Europeans became aware the country existed. The original Polynesian settlers discovered the country on deliberate voyages of exploration, navigating by making use of prevailing winds and ocean currents, and observing the stars. The navigator credited in some traditions with discovering New Zealand is Kupe. Some time later the first small groups arrived from Polynesia. Now known as Māori, these tribes did not identify themselves by a collective name until the arrival of Europeans when, to mark their distinctiveness the name Māori, meaning ‘ordinary’, came into use.
DAY ONE – WHANGAROA HARBOUR > PEKAPEKA BAY
For a spectacular introduction to New Zealand, we offer that guests join the yacht in Whangaroa Harbour, just 30 minutes by road from the local airport in New Zealand Kerikeri. Be immersed in rugged cliffs and spectacular scenery – a stunning arrival indeed. You might choose to spend a couple of nights, in advance of the charter, in the nearby Kauri Cliffs Luxury Lodge, unwinding in its spa or getting in a few rounds of golf.
You have several options in Whangaroa – cover some distance on Ninety Mile Beach (which is actually only 55 miles long) or trek into Waipoua Kauri Forest to marvel at the 13-metre girth of Tane Mahuta (Lord of the Forest), the largest known Kauri Tree in the world, and spectacularly ancient too at an estimated 2,000 years. Or, take to the air in a helicopter and follow the coastline up to Cape Reinga which is the very top of North Island, where the Pacific meets the Tasman at Columbia Bank and waves can be over 10 metres high. Back on board, cruise to Pekapeka Bay, where the yacht will anchor overnight.
DAY TWO – PEKAPEKA BAY > ROBERTON ISLAND
Head to the Bay of Islands via the protected Cavalli Islands, which are rich with birdlife.
Here, too, you can take a dive down to the Rainbow Warrior, Greenpeace’s ﬂagship, which having been sunk by saboteurs in Auckland Harbour in 1985 was relocated here as refuge for the marine life she was trying to protect. Then continue on to the Bay of Islands, one of New Zealand’s best maritime parks. Take your pick from the 144 islands in the area, some of which are relatively unexplored, and have cameras at the ready to capture some of the abundant wildlife from blue penguins and gannets to manta rays and killer whales. For divers there are over 100 sites – rated by Jacques Cousteau as some of the best scuba dives in the world – with corals, rocky coastlines and wrecks to explore. For sportﬁshermen, it doesn’t get much better than this – time to meet your match in waters teeming with marlin, kingﬁsh, snapper and more. Anchor off the south side of Roberton Island – a simply stunning bay to spend the night with a local dolphin side show if you are lucky.
DAY THREE – ROBERTON ISLAND > CAPE BRETT
Take some time to enjoy the Bay of Islands, starting with a visit to Russell, the first capital of New Zealand, and in its time a lawless and bawdy whaling port known as the Hellhole of the Pacific. It is a far cry from the quaint, charming town you’ll find today with a relaxed pace and pleasant atmosphere. Spend some time in the day spa at the luxurious Flagstaff Lodge, housed in one of the town’s historic buildings. Then hop in the tender to explore Waitangi, the site of the signing of the country’s founding document, the Treaty of Waitangi, in 1840. Alternatively spend the day exploring the area by sea, with a multitude of anchorages to choose from. Head to Cape Brett and back the yacht right up to the Hole in the Rock on the southern side of Piercy Island. This should only be attempted in flat, calm conditions but makes for some great photo opportunities when possible!
DAY FOUR – POOR KNIGHTS ISLANDS
A day for divers to discover why Jacques Cousteau declared this one of the 10 best dive sites in the world. Head for the Poor Knights Marine Reserve, 35 miles south-east of Cape Brett, which encompasses an ocean of diving compressed into a relatively small area with caves, arches, tunnels and sheer cliffs, sponge gardens and gorgonian fields inhabited by a myriad of ﬁsh, shellfish, urchins and anemones, and black coral in deeper waters.
For non-divers there are some fantastic walks and bike rides ashore along the Tutukaka coast or you can explore the coastline by kayak. Whale Bay is a stunning overnight anchorage.
DAY FIVE – POOR KNIGHTS ISLAND > GREAT BARRIER ISLAND
The coastline here provides a diversity of habitats for aquatic plants and animals from whales and pelagic fish to manta rays and turtles. Tramp through lush native forests, kayak around the coastline or hire a mountain bike to do some exploration on the designated tracks.
You could also fish (either on board or from the rocks), surf on the beaches, dive the two nearby wrecks, snorkel, swim or horse ride, and there are walking trails for every level of fitness. Pause for refreshments in one of the island’s cafés or restaurants where you will invariably see art by local artists on display, or visit one of the many galleries or studios that show off the creative side of this artistic community.
DAY SIX – GREAT BARRIER ISLAND > MERCURY ISLANDS
Head towards the Coromandel Peninsula, passing by Cuvier Islands on the way. Keen divers might wish to stop here for an experience on the wild side – foraging for World War II hardware that was dumped in the area. Then make way for the Mercury Islands just off the coast of the Coromandel for some scallop diving or spearfishing for kingfish. Great Mercury Island is privately owned but with its owners’ permission we will accompany you ashore to enjoy some stunning local walks.
DAY SEVEN – MERCURY ISLANDS > COROMANDEL PENINSULA
Renowned for its natural beauty with misty rainforests and pristine golden beaches, the Coromandel Peninsula is blessed with hundreds of natural hideaways. Explore the Coromandel Forest Park, take a trip to Cathedral Cove to enjoy the superb weathered rock formations, or simply cruise through the islands. Arrive at Hahei, a popular destination which is home to Hot Water Beach. Dig a hole in the sand and relax in the thermal water coming out of the earth, while enjoying canapés and champagne. Time permitting, wander around to Whitianga, Coromandel’s shopping centre with boutiques and quaint cafés, venture into Coromandel town or head to Pauanui for a round of golf.
DAY EIGHT – COROMANDEL PENINSULA > WAIHEKE ISLAND
A leisurely start will have you anchoring up for brunch on board in Squadron Bay in the Firth of Thames, a favourite area of many superyachts. Then you could head out to Rangipukea Island (at the entrance to Squadron Bay) for an hour or two on the gorgeous beach there, or make the short hike up the hill to take in the fantastic views over Hauraki Gulf. Up anchor and head to Waiheke Island, the Martha’s Vineyard of New Zealand: the area is one of the best wine regions to visit by superyacht.
DAY NINE AND TEN – WAIHEKE ISLAND > AUCKLAND
Make an early start to explore more of the Hauraki Gulf with its many protected islands which are renowned for their spectacular wildlife and trekking. Take the track to the summit of Rangitoto, an 800-year-old volcanic island, or anchor off Motutapu. Make a note to spend a few days post-cruise at Hurakia Lodge on Rakino Island, an exclusive private use villa accessible only by helicopter or boat with spectacular sea views, pool and spa, personal chef and attentive host. Then cruise to Kawua Island, anchor in the pleasant Mansion House Bay and take the tender ashore to see the resident peacocks.
Later that day head to Auckland, a vibrant, multi-cultural city inhabited by nearly a third of New Zealand’s population. Berth right in the city, either in Viaduct Harbour or the new Silo Park Marina. The next morning enjoy your last breakfast on board before disembarking for the ﬂight home, or moving ashore to explore the city more thoroughly.