Possessing an intense beauty mirrored in tranquil mountains and raging rivers, New Zealand is one of the most breathtakingly scenic yachting destinations in the southern hemisphere. Mesmerizing glaciers, bubbling mud pools and soft golden beaches are all there to be discovered alongside one of the world’s premier wine and food scenes.
The cruising grounds of New Zealand are split into the North and South Islands; varying in landscape and atmosphere but united in a pure sense of natural wonderment. The south is the most scenic and mountainous of the two, with a breathtaking range of jagged Alps running the length of the island. The north is somewhat of a quieter and more relaxed holiday destination with a strong yachting history.
The picturesque city of Auckland is famous for its exceptional international sailing connections, hosting a collection of first class regattas and superb marinas. The ‘City of Sails’ is the enchanting base for sailing the Hauraki Gulf and the Coromandel Peninsula, two equally captivating cruising grounds in their own right.
Hauraki Gulf and The Coromandel
The Hauraki Gulf is an island-sprinkled, smooth-water paradise boasting gorgeous landscapes swathed in scarlet flowers, glowing beaches, sprawling vineyards and seaside villages that are a delight to explore. The Coromandel is dotted with sublime beaches and hidden bays that make for perfect anchorage points.
The Bay of Islands
Further north, The Bay of Islands is traditionally New Zealand’s yachting centre, boasting an extraordinary protected bay and hundreds of secluded islands offering the perfect secluded escape. Characterised by unbelievably green hills rolling down onto silky soft sands, the cool waters are simply bursting with incredible marine life, where marlin, dolphins and seals can be seen right from the deck.
For a more peaceful and secluded twist, head to one of New Zealand’s most internationally renowned areas in Marlborough Sounds. An absolute yachting heaven, the exquisite waters of Marlborough are equally matched by their onshore delights, boasting sheltered bays, glistening beaches, hidden caves and exhilarating bushwalks. World-renowned for its exquisite wines, the region is the perfect place to sample some of the world’s best Sauvignon Blanc.
Words can not do justice to the natural wonder that awaits in the Fiordland on New Zealand’s remote south-west coast. Nothing short of spectacular, ethereal landscapes rise up majestically from the strikingly calm waters; a flowing combination of snow-capped mountains, rolling hills, tumbling waterfalls and fascinating wildlife.
Onshore, there are endless outdoor pursuits on offer, from cycling and canoeing to walking and four-wheel driving. Inland on the South Island is the famous adventure capital of Queenstown, offering a dizzying range of unique and off-beat activities to satisfy even the most hardened thrill-seeker.
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