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The heart of the Bay of Plenty

As New Zealand's maritime border finally opens, why not head to Vessel Works Tauranga, a unique superyacht refit specialist…

New Zealand’s refit infrastructure is expanding. One such area that should be on the superyacht map is Tauranga, the largest city in the tourist hotspot of the Bay of Plenty.  One of the fastest-growing population centres in the country and long a favourite holiday destination, Tauranga is home to a deep water port and commercial harbour making it a hub of marine industry infrastructure. Central to this is Vessel Works, one of New Zealand’s premier specialists for superyacht haul out and refit work.  

48m Christensen, No Comment 

In a further boost to the region, a government announcement on 11 May has stated that the next step in New Zealand’s border reopening is set, with sea and air borders effectively open for visitors and vessels from 1 August. Superyachts, their owners and crew, can now enter easily by land and sea, enjoying simple access to New Zealand’s safe shores, high-quality refit services and world-renowned scenery.

Foreign flagged yachts visiting New Zealand benefit from a superyacht-friendly framework that includes newly completed refit facilities, a 24-month Temporary Import Entry (TIE), and refit services and supplies which are exempt from New Zealand’s 15 per cent goods and services tax (GST).

34m Royal Huisman, Sassafras

Vessel Work's superyacht haul out capabilities can accommodate vessels from 15-55m. Situated a two-hour drive from Auckland international airport, Vessel Works is an approved Port of First Arrival and Transitional Facility, working closely with New Zealand Customs. The facility is purpose-built to lift commercial and recreational vessels up to 350 tonnes. Additionally, larger yachts have alongside berthing up to 55m, with construction starting soon to increase the water capacity via a refit wharf extension of 120m. 

36m Alloy Yachts, Miss Silver 

One of the key selling points for Tauranga, Dave Withington, Precinct Director at Vessel Work explains, is the city and surrounding region. Yachts choosing New Zealand for their refits have already made a great decision, the summer refit season is a welcome change from the traditional Mediterranean winter. Situated in the heart of the pristine Bay of Plenty, Tauranga is a premier destination for Kiwis and international visitors alike. 

Crew and guests based here are spoilt for choice. Te Moananui ā Toi (the coastal Bay of Plenty) has 125km of white sand beaches stretching in either direction along the coast from Tauranga. Superyachts based at Vessel Works are a short drive from the Rotorua lakes, with its famous cycling tracks, and in winter, the ski fields in the central North Island of New Zealand are easily accessible. There are not many refit destinations in the world that can offer kayaking across a lake to see the world-famous glow worms, or hiking through untouched rainforests right on its doorstep.

The view from atop Mt Maunganui, a 10-minute drive from Vessel Works. 

Vessel Works specialises in 30 to 50m superyacht haulouts on its hardstand. Drawing on the extensive world-class maritime contractor network in the region, the open yard allows a vessel conducting a refit the flexibility of unlimited contractor access to complete a project with contractors of your choosing. Tauranga’s extensive recreational and commercial maritime history is another key factor that supports successful refits at Vessel Works. A favourite destination of cruise ships, the regulatory framework in place is well placed for visiting superyachts also, making for seamless visitation.

As New Zealand approaches the opening of its maritime borders in a few short months, superyachts considering a refit in the South Pacific have a truly unique and world-class offering in Tauranga. After a restricted two years due to the pandemic, demand is already high for superyacht refits in the region. For those yachts looking for a specialised refit, with established contractors and an unbeatable location, Vessel Works Tauranga is the perfect destination refit. 

Main image: 36m Alloy Yachts, Miss Silver 

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