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Old 27-06-2009, 21:45   #1
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New Zealand - South Island

We plan to spend winter 2010 in New Zealand and we would like to explore the South Island. We have friends who have sailed in Fiordland and I have a copy of the Steward Island cruising guide. What other information is available? Any suggestions?

Thanks for your help.
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Old 28-06-2009, 01:50   #2
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Thumbs up Nelson/Marlborough

Don't forget to call into Nelson and the Able Tasman National Park on it's door step. Beautiful golden beaches. The Marlborough Sounds are fantastic with plenty of shelter and hundreds of miles of coast line with Picton township at the head of the Queen Charlotte Sounds and Havelock at the head of the Pelorus Sounds. Fiordland looks fantastic but never been there.
Nelson has excellent haulout facilities and marine infrastructure and Marina berths are cheaper than up North... under NZ$2500 a year for a 10m berth including power etc.
There is more to New Zealand than Opua and Auckland - Good on you for looking further South!
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Old 28-06-2009, 02:28   #3
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Both the North and South West of the South Island are outstanding, all West coast harbours are bar harbours, local knowledge is definitely helpful, though you could get very good info from the local coastguard/vhf stations. If you plan to cruise in the Marlborough sounds join Mana yacht club this will give you the use of extensive moorings throughout the area. Main East Coast Harbours are fairly evenly spaced from Banks Peninsula (many interesting inlets as well as Lyttelton harbour) south to Timaru, Oamaru, Dunedin Bluff, Riverton, Stewart Island. North of BP is Kaikoura though I have no idea how good it is.
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Old 28-06-2009, 18:28   #4
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Thanks St Elmo and Steve! We are excited to visit as much of NZ as possible.

Are there cruising guides to these areas? I do have the Coastal Cruising Handbook of the Arakana YC but that seems to be mostly the north.

Can I join the Mana YC as an American in the country for 6 months? I have looked at their website and it looks good, so I guess I should ask them.
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Old 28-06-2009, 19:34   #5
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Can't imagine that you would have any problems becoming a member of Mana, Maybe Wheels might pipe up with some more info re the sounds as he is based at Havelock. Yes there is a guide for the wellington / marlborough Sounds area called the "central coast guide / pilot" (I think) once again Wheels or one of the wellington members will correct me if I'm wrong. There may be something about Fiordland but I haven't come across it.
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Old 11-05-2012, 11:38   #6
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Re: New Zealand - South Island

Just an update for anyone who finds this thread on a search.

We did circumnavigate New Zealand in 2012 (3 months, 3000 miles) and it was a fantastic experience. If anyone is interested (I think it's one of the best cruising areas we have visited!) check out our website or email me.

Jim
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:14   #7
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Re: New Zealand - South Island

Hi, Jim.

I'm enjoying catching up on your blog. You and Katie are having a grand time, it appears. As always, your photos are superb.

All the best from Nevis,

Hud
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Old 21-05-2012, 17:38   #8
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Re: New Zealand - South Island

Spending lots of time sailing around NZ is a dream of ours and I wonder how feasible a longer-term charter (several weeks) might be.
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Old 21-05-2012, 18:38   #9
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Re: New Zealand - South Island

I'm sure that it is quite feasible, depending on what type of charter you are looking for, crewed, bareboat, etc. Be aware that NZ sailing conditions can be quite boisterous at times, depending on the time of year and your experience / ability etc. If you google charter yachts in NZ I'm sure you will get some contacts to start you off.
The main area that is well supplied with crewed and bare boat charters is from Auckland North as this is the main population area, and a great cruising ground with many picturesque anchorages less than a day sail apart.
There would be possibilities also in the Marlborough Sounds (South Island)
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Old 21-05-2012, 19:07   #10
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Re: New Zealand - South Island

I am in the sounds now been to havelock and picton and have been to nelson able tasman etc.. as well as durville island. I have found the land is greatly misused by the local inhabitants, and little native bush remains. The hills here can be extremely steep and erode very easily especially when roads are cut through the bush. There are large areas cleared of forest, and a lot of monoculture exists growing trees only for export. The more undisturbed temperate rainforests in durville island offered a unique experience compared to able tasman park. I came in contact with many endemic bird species in new zealand. The old trees support an ecosystem of their own because of the wide variety of plants and other small trees which can grow on top of their branches as dirt has built up over time up there. As in any rain forest, every part is unique as it has been crafted over time as the trees grow.
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Old 21-05-2012, 19:31   #11
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Re: New Zealand - South Island

Boisterous sailing is better than motoring! And while everyone knows about the Bay of Islands and Auckland, it would seem very wrong to give the South Island a miss.
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Old 23-05-2012, 01:13   #12
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Re: New Zealand - South Island

We loved sailing in Fiordland, truly unspoiled areas that are seldom visited. South Stewart Island could have kept us occupied for a month or more and probably only see a couple of boats.

While boisterous sailing may be better than motoring we found that we motored more on the south island than we have in years. Sailing between the fiords and then crossing to Stewart island involved a lot of motoring. As each low pressure area would come the winds would be gale to storm force, with center high having low winds and then back to high winds, so we often moved when we had to motor. We love to sail, but besides the high winds above 40 degrees the south island has swells coming from a couple of directions. It's not an easy area to sail if you are on a schedule and the weather can be rough, but that's why so few yachts visit the area.
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Old 10-06-2012, 18:22   #13
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Re: New Zealand - South Island

We put together a 17 page pdf file with information for anyone thinking about a New Zealand circumnavigation:

Sailing to Fiordland and Stewart Island
What you need for a successful circumnavigation of New Zealand

download: http://www.tenayatravels.com/files/S...%20Zealand.pdf
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Old 10-06-2012, 19:19   #14
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Re: New Zealand - South Island

A great read and a great reference Jim/Katie. I hope I can get to follow your tracks one day, but I really don't like sandflies so not about to rush over there any time soon.
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Old 10-06-2012, 20:28   #15
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Re: New Zealand - South Island

Quote:
Originally Posted by jim_thomsen View Post
We put together a 17 page pdf file with information for anyone thinking about a New Zealand circumnavigation:

Sailing to Fiordland and Stewart Island
What you need for a successful circumnavigation of New Zealand

download: http://www.tenayatravels.com/files/S...%20Zealand.pdf
Good work, we spent all of February cruising Stewart Island a great part of the county. Just a note none of the yachting facility's in Lyttelton have been affected by the earthquake and we saw a dozen visiting yachts this year. but Akaroa is definitely the nicer of the two harbors to stop in.
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