Image forAuckland - The New Darling of Destinations

With the Americas Cup in hand, New Zealand will once again be in the headlines as a must visit destination.  You don’t necessarily have to be a hardened yachting follower as the country has more to offer than just regattas.

New Zealand’s largest city Auckland is a mixture of vibrant enthusiasm for life and the laid back attitude of the Pacific. Built around a sheltered harbour scattered with islands full of vineyards, cafes and native sanctuaries ensuring the continuation of many of our endangered species, Auckland is a great beginning or end to an experience that will leave you wanting more.

With Auckland as your base, there are a wide variety of locations to head to from here. Just 15km from downtown Auckland lies Waiheke Island, home to boutique vineyards and restaurants, sandy beaches and is a great place to sit quietly and fish, kayak or paddle board around the many sheltered bays, or simply, taste the amazing wines.  

Set up around the 2000 Americas Cup, Downtown Auckland has become the base for a growing number of superyachts during the southern summer.  With 2 superyacht marinas and refit yards, Duthie Lidgard of Asia Pacific Superyachts NZ says “they’re probably two of the best located superyacht marinas anywhere in the world.  With the best of New Zealand’s restaurants within walking distance, it gives guests and crew easy access to the best of what New Zealand has to offer all the while the islands of the Hauraki Gulf are on your doorstep”.

Great Barrier situated a 6 hr steam northwest of Auckland, this island is a photographers dream. With the area being 70% Department Conservation land, there is stunning hiking and mountain bike trails and a coastline that offers fantastic fishing and diving, no matter what time of the year. Crayfish, scallops, mussels, snapper, kingfish, just to name a few, you will be eating like a king.

If you head north of Auckland, you will reach the beautiful Bay of Islands and Whangaroa Harbour, both of which offer you something special.  Lidgard comments “With Waitangi, the home to our founding document, the Maori culture is still very much alive. With the opportunity of a Maori Powhiri or blessing, be prepared to witness something truly magical, something that you would never experience anything else in the world. With both these areas being the home to fleets of game fishing boats that constantly catching record breaking Marlin or Tuna =. Although, if that’s not for you, Kauri Cliffs is an award winning golf course and spa that showcases the beauty of New Zealand’s scenery to a tee!”

Leading Charter Captain Andy Grocott adds “I’ll never forget one charter a few years ago.  We were just returning from a trip in the tender to our anchorage in the Bay of Islands with a few good sized snapper on board.  A pod of eight Orca were feeding on Ray in the shallow (68m) bay.  They stayed for an hour and the guests were mesmerised.  They swam within a few metres of the boat.   It was so amazing to see them up close.”

If you’re in New Zealand for a longer period, the South Island’s Marlborough Sounds, are iconic for Sauvignon Blanc wine, diving for Blue Cod or sunken wrecks whilst transiting through the Pelorus Sounds to Nelson Bays, a place which has more sunshine hours than any other place in New Zealand. Nelson is the home to many fine artists & gives you access to the beautiful Abel Tasman National Park.

After a couple of days exploring Marlborough Sounds, jump off the boat  whilst it transits to Milford Sound, and head down the Southern Alps to Queenstown, New Zealand’s adventure capital, home to the Bungy Jump, Lord of the Rings and famous brands of Pinot Noir wines. With 2 ski fields within a 15minute drive, during the summer they become hiking trails with the most amazing views. The Shotover Jet Boat will give you an exhilarating ride you won’t forget. Queenstown is a fantastic place – summer or winter.

Join the boat again in Milford Sound, spend the next few days exploring Fiordland, an almost prehistoric area, much of it untouched by man with towering waterfalls overflowing with sea life and nature. Kayak up inlets, or fly into a part of the many hiking trails that scatter the region. And just when you thought you’d done everything… arrive in Stewart Island, and shark dive with the Great White Sharks who live in the area thought to be the biggest anywhere in the world.

“There’s something for everyone in New Zealand.  Big game fishing, hikes and trails, active volcanoes, amazing glow worm caves, glaciers, fjords, great golf courses, along with the amazing anchorages, food and wine” says Captain Grocott.

For more information about coming to New Zealand, contact Duthie Lidgard at Asia Pacific Superyachts New Zealand at duthie@asia-pacific-superyachts.co.nz

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