The country has more boats per capita than any other nation; this is not surprising if one considers the spectacular chartering opportunities that New Zealand has to offer. On the east side of the North Island is the sailing paradise known as the Bay of Islands, a 50-mile stretch of coastline sheltered by more than 80 islands with plentiful anchorages, quaint towns, and beautiful beaches. From the South Island, explore the sheltered waterways and incredible scenery of Marlborough and Milford Sounds, and discover the natural beauty of the Able Tasman National Park.

Sailing conditions

Unlike in other parts of the Pacific Ocean, the weather in New Zealand is variable in any season, as are the wind directions and velocities. A land and sea breeze each day is typical. Navigation is straightforward. The tidal range is about six feet. Strong currents can run in narrow channels in certain locations, depending on the state of the tide, but generally are not an issue. In the Southern Hemisphere summer, November to April, the temperatures range between 75°F and 86°F (24°C to 30°C).

Getting there

A number of major operators fly to Auckland, with stop overs in Hong Kong or LA (for example) depending on the route taken. The Hauraki Gulf is then a short transfer from the airport, and the Bay of Islands is a longer drive north of Auckland.
For Milford Sound either take a connecting, local, flight to wellington and then a ferry ride across the Straits to Picton on the South Island, or fly to Christchurch on the South Island and then drive North to the Sound.

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