Going Wild in New Zealand
The summer season may be drawing to a close on this side of the equator but for our friends down under, it’s just starting to heat up! We took a deep dive into what New Zealand has to offer. And if epic adventure and natural beauty feature high on your must-haves for an ocean escape, then South Island won’t disappoint.
Its staggeringly beautiful coastline and diverse landscape provide a wealth of unforgettable experiences making this part of the land of the Long White Cloud an incredible yachting destination for guests and crew alike.
South Island: 43º35’11.62” S 171º12’44.39” E
With its strong ocean connections, South Island is perfectly positioned for a South Pacific yachting itinerary. Laid-back charm combines with intense and exceptional natural beauty providing adventurous opportunities for thrill-seekers, gastronomic experiences and exploration. The craggy coastline has plentiful anchorage options with sheltered bays and island coves complimented with deep and calm waters.
“Laid-back charm with intense and exceptional natural beauty.”
Sounding out the South
The yachting haven Marlborough Sounds has been a renowned cruising area for sailors of centuries past. Aside from the natural safe havens, perfect cruising and anchoring conditions, the Sounds are stunning with tranquil waters of the bays, inlets, and coves ideally suited for watersports.
Yacht tender is the best way to access hiking opportunities here; the Queen Charlotte Track has stunning coastal views and is bordered by lush forests and rugged mountains. Refuelling after activities is recommended with the local cuisine - especially in the charming town of Havelock for world-famous mussels. Wash down a day’s exploration with some award-winning sauvignon blanc. Marlborough is New Zealand’s largest wine-growing region and home to over 140 wineries, from the well-known Cloudy Bay to smaller boutique estates, with plenty of options for cellar door visits..
The wildlife is abundant wherever you venture but Kaikoura is a top spot for whale watching and is renowned for its entertaining and friendly local seal colony. This picturesque east coast town is ideal for exploring but don’t leave without tucking into a plate of the delicious local crayfish.
The backdrop of glacial valleys, mirror-like reflections and plunging cliffs makes up Fiordland’s iconic world heritage listed destination. Down on the remote southwest coast of the island, the area is a natural wonder full of yachting opportunities. Cruising through the Milford and Doubtful Sounds are magical. The calm waters make for the perfect kayaking spot where adventures will be shared with seals, penguins and bottlenose dolphins.
“Cruising through the Milford and Doubtful Sounds is magical.”
View from Above
For a bird's-eye view over the region, helicopter flights give you the best vista looking down into the spectacular Fiordland, onto dramatic peaks, over the waterfalls and across the glaciers. Back on land, there are plenty of guided hikes within the glaciers and natural thermal pools to soothe tired muscles.
The world’s adventure capital, Queenstown, offers access to the best adventures, from jet boating and rafting to horse riding and bungee jumping. Its bustling, cosmopolitan feel also offers luxury shopping and dining opportunities.
The subantarctic Stewart Island, or Rakiura, is around 30 kilometres south of the South Island and is the perfect addition to an itinerary. Explore the island’s hidden coves, hike through the forests or relish in this remote tranquility. And this unspolit island of raw beauty, a national park, is home to the iconic flightless bird, the kiwi, and the ideal location to witness the enchanting Southern lights.
With some of the world’s most incredible landscapes, New Zealand’s South Island is perfect for those looking to seek out natural beauty and adventure, both on and offshore.