IN RECENT YEARS, New Zealand has become a must-do destination for superyachts – more and more yachts are making their way to the Pacific to experience the countless attractions of this country and its spectacularly diverse waters.
Superyacht visitors are richly rewarded upon arriving in NZ with a varied experience that is often described as seeing the best of the whole world in one country. As the former owner of a 34-metre yacht explained, “New Zealand is the best-kept secret in the world, believe me.
“Of course, there are snippets of great places everywhere in the world, but there really is no place like New Zealand.”
With plenty of satisfied reports flooding in from recent visitors, it is the diversity on offer that appeals most to yacht owners.
“Around every headland, you’ll come across something new, gripping and exciting – and that is the New Zealand I came for,” said Delisa Mayer, joint owner of 42-metre motor yacht The Big Blue, which undertook an extended tour around the country in 2014.
“For me, visiting the country was so worth it because there was so much to see in one area, with multiple experiences,” added Tony Mayer.
“We almost didn’t come to New Zealand because we made the mistake of looking at it as one country instead of multiple destinations,” continued Delisa.
After visiting the country in 2015, the European owner of 50-metre sailing yacht Silencio concurs: “You get everything here; the diversity of the country is incredible.
“For yacht owners, this is the most amazing place. You can do everything you want, see everything you want and discover the most beautiful areas and beaches. There is nothing in the Mediterranean that can compare to what you find in the Pacific.”
New Zealanders are well known for their love of the water and visiting superyachts are in good company:. Auckland, the country’s largest city, has more boats per capita than any other city in the world. World-class diving and incredible fishing are just some of the activities luring yacht owners and charterers to this South Pacific nation.
The owners of 34-metre sailing yacht Sassafras, which is based in New Zealand, explain: “If you want to be involved in fishing and diving and amazing anchorages, New Zealand is pretty hard to beat.”
As well as attractions on the water, New Zealand offers a dizzying array of choices for land-based activities, as well as a wealth of experienced yacht agents to help owners and captains dream up the perfect itinerary. A network of luxury lodges up and down the country provide the perfect base for some time on shore, with many owners opting to spend some time on land while their yacht travels between the North and South Islands.
There are options to suit every interest, from bungy jumping to hiking to playing award-winning golf courses – and for connoisseurs, no visit would be complete without sampling some of the country’s world-class wine and gourmet cuisine. Most memorable of all, however, is New Zealand’s culture and its friendly people, with cultural experiences often proving the highlight for yacht owners.
Having explored all the country has to offer, many owners leave with a clear favourite spot. “One of our best day trips away from the boat, hands down, was the Marlborough Sounds,” said Delisa Mayer. “Everything you want is right there in that little jewel of New Zealand.”
In New Zealand, it is common to be able to embark on a wide range of activities from a single anchorage, as the owner of motor yacht Black Pearl explained. “Around the Cavalli Islands there is the anchorage of Motukawanui, which has fantastic views within short hiking distance. The fishing is good and for divers, there is the Rainbow Warrior wreck close by.”
With so much to see and do around New Zealand, it is no surprise that most owners leave vowing to return. “You‘ll see us back,” said Delisa Mayer. “Sooner than you know.”
With one of the longest coastlines in the world, NZ Marine has published Destination & Cruising New Zealand 2020 to help visiting vessels make the most of the country’s diverse shorelines as well as navigate all the services they’ll need when they visit the country. The ebook also combines up-to-date information on the regulatory requirements for vessels planning to visit NewZealand, as well as a directory of over 100 NZ Marine member companies that provide services and products to visiting craft.