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Old 14-12-2013, 08:36   #1
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New Zealand or Australia For Pacific Bound Sailors

We're firming up our plans for the Pacific and trying to pick where we want to spend the summer, and possibly a year or two. We've gone over five options which then turned into two.

- Summer over in the South Pacific (Fiji, Tonga, etc).
- Go north into Micronesia-esque islands.
- Go north to Hawaii.
- Go to New Zealand. We have good friends in Whangeri and they have the place pretty well figured out.
- Go to Australia. I got a recommendation for Brisbane.


We're a family, and by the time we get there we'll have spent two years living and traveling around in third world countries so we're looking forward to the first world a bit. I know both places are expensive.

I'm a little spooked by the Tonga -> New Zealand route. I've had good success in largely picking chicken-**** sailing routes where you don't need to embrace your inner Shackleton, so the idea of having to go through (and come back through) an eleven day slugfest seems a little brutal.

We'd be at a marina, parked for a while, liveaboard, etc. A bigger town would be better than a smaller one, but anything with >10k people should everything we need (school for the kids, decent communication infrastructure, etc).
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Old 14-12-2013, 09:31   #2
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Re: New Zealand or Australia For Pacific Bound Sailors

G'Day Eric,

Well, that's a tough decision for you! We've spent a lot of time in the area, and certainly think that you will enjoy the experience of a couple of years down under. Choosing between NZed and Oz is kinda dependent upon your personal preferences... they both have wonderful people, many possible venues for your stay, good cruising opportunities and with some reservations, the locals speak a sort of English.

One factor that you didn't mention in your post was weather. From your past locations, I would guess that you are warm weather folks by preference. If so, and if you are considering staying through a whole year, Oz might be a better choice. The Brisbane area has a great climate IMO, for instance, and the Manly boat harbour has several marinas that allow overseas visitors to live aboard. Our favourite is the Morton Bay Trailer Boat Club marina... good facilities, friendly people in the office and in the large live aboard population, walking distance to everything you need, including the train station to get into downtown Brissie, public swimming pool right next door. We've used that facility when we have needed a marina stop since the early 90's.

I'm sure that you will get lots of opinionated advice on this subject, and everyone will be right... for them! We would be happy to answer specific queries about various locations on the East end of Oz if they come up. Ann and I have been (repeatedly) from Tassie to Lizard Island, and have been into most of the available places, so ask away!

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 14-12-2013, 09:47   #3
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Re: New Zealand or Australia For Pacific Bound Sailors

Well you got good advice from Jim and Anne. I found NZ to be very cool after living in the tropics and it rains a fair bit. People are wonderful and there is lots to see and do. We did have a boisterous sail both to and from NZ so your not too far off the mark but certainly doable and safe.
Brisbane is a great place as well with much better weather although their rugby team doesn't measure up to the AllBlacks. It would be my choice as well if I were putting down roots for a year or two.
The second season we went to the Marshall Islands and had a blast but its probably not a great place to put kids back in school...LOL.
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Old 14-12-2013, 10:03   #4
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Re: New Zealand or Australia For Pacific Bound Sailors

I've been both routes, and my definite preference is OZ. In OZ, you can go where it is cold and wet if you want--in NZ you can't escape it. While I had good weather going into to NZ, that is unusual and I shipped the boat home. I went from the South Pacific into OZ four times, and had a decent trip each time. Just enter at or north of Brisbane and work your way south down the coast when the weather is right.

One caveat--if you want to do major boat work, you are better off in NZ.
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Old 14-12-2013, 12:48   #5
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Re: New Zealand or Australia For Pacific Bound Sailors

11 days?? thats an average of 3.8 kn.
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Old 14-12-2013, 13:50   #6
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Re: New Zealand or Australia For Pacific Bound Sailors

You can always do both, pick one and when you are sick of it head for the other!

Whangeri is a lovely little spot as is Brisbane.
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Old 14-12-2013, 14:39   #7
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Re: New Zealand or Australia For Pacific Bound Sailors

You can reach Aus in shorter hops, if you go via New Cal or Vanuatu, so have a better chance of avoiding bad weather. Almost everyone we talked to who had sailed to NZ said they experienced 50+ knots on the passage. A couple of NZ residents who sail the South Pacific every year, consider it almost inevitable.

Once in Aus, it's cheap and easy to fly to NZ, if you want to visit.

There's fantastic cruising available here too.

Marina berths on the East coast aren't cheap though.
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Old 14-12-2013, 15:26   #8
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Re: New Zealand or Australia For Pacific Bound Sailors

We've found that Mooloolaba (Kawana Waters - 100 km north of Brisbane on the Sunshine Coast) is way too comfortable over a very extended stay.

Have you checked if yous are eligible for any sort of long term or work visa?
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Old 16-12-2013, 19:06   #9
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Re: New Zealand or Australia For Pacific Bound Sailors

New Zealand, Mate. Most of the cruising fleet had a pretty good run down from Tong & Fiji mid October to mid November this year. The spring gales were very mild. Around about late September, just keep track of the weather windows and be ready to head south when the appropriate one locks in. A lot less rules & regs here at the moment (can't guarantee it will last though). Best of the season. Cheers.
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Old 16-12-2013, 19:17   #10
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Adelaide is nice all year round and everyone should sail on Bass Strait at some time in their life. (Disclaimer: this post may have been made by someone with an Adelaide bias who knows little to nothing about long haul sailing)
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Old 16-12-2013, 20:21   #11
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The Queensland coast. Work your way up from Brisbane. You will not be disappointed.

I am too chickenshit to sail to include New Zealand in my plans. Too many boats seem get in trouble on the way to/from there. Adelaide maybe... if you choose to take another year to circumnavigate Australia.

The Aussie dollar has slipped to below US $0.90 after going as high as US$1.08 last year. The central bank is trying to talk it down to US $0.85. At the same time the NZ$ is appreciating. Australia is becoming more affordable after being ungodly expensive in recent years.
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Old 16-12-2013, 21:32   #12
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Re: New Zealand or Australia For Pacific Bound Sailors

We know it's a "LITTLE" off of your route, but we have had some of the best times of whole cruiseing years there! Lot's of nice short cruises to many Isles there abouts ! Nice folks, lot's of fish and good food and some fair marinas, english spoken, even some great Hurrycane holes if needed. lots of kids, good diveing, And we both found work there ! Good place to fill the kitty! Just our 2 cents Have fun
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Old 16-12-2013, 21:35   #13
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Re: New Zealand or Australia For Pacific Bound Sailors

WOOPS!! This site deletes stuff on me all the time !! It's the Marianas ! Ya know Guam and such ! Sorry bout that !!
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Old 16-12-2013, 22:04   #14
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Re: New Zealand or Australia For Pacific Bound Sailors

It will be quite warm in Queensland in Summer and there's cyclone season with the further up you go it becomes an issue.

Tropical Cyclones in Queensland

If you could start down south in the summer that could work well, but it is a long way to Adelaide as nice as it is and there's not much in Melbourne, but working your way from Melbourne around the Gippsland Lakes is fairly nice, Mallacoota, Eden, Merimbula and all the way up the NSW and QLD coasts. It's quite a distance.
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Old 16-12-2013, 22:25   #15
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Re: New Zealand or Australia For Pacific Bound Sailors

Quote:
Originally Posted by ausaviator View Post
It will be quite warm in Queensland in Summer and there's cyclone season with the further up you go it becomes an issue.

Tropical Cyclones in Queensland

If you could start down south in the summer that could work well, but it is a long way to Adelaide as nice as it is and there's not much in Melbourne, but working your way from Melbourne around the Gippsland Lakes is fairly nice, Mallacoota, Eden, Merimbula and all the way up the NSW and QLD coasts. It's quite a distance.
It pains me to admit it, but having lived in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney, I would sail the East Coast of Australia from Eden up , plus of course, Tasmania, but even the locals can't find work there at the moment, so I don't know how easy it would be to find work if you needed it.

I understand that getting into the Gippsland Lakes is a problem depending on your draft, but once in there it is MAGIC, I know this as dad has a house on the water at a place called the Banksia Penninsula. Semi salt water but he gets dolphins swimming past his front door, kookaburras in the trees, kangaroos hopping past. It's like some kind of contrived tourist brochure. Kids would really love it I think.

Matt
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