Smallest Chico 30 ( Gary Mull design); largest 70ft Brigantine, lots of ordinary boats in between.
Cat 1 regs are a good starting point if you are new to the business (but don't let them scare you, they tend to be a bit overly dramatic - maybe look at them when the wife is at work.
Last trip was a piece of cake, 10-15kn up the bum. Motored most of the way once, but have also seen 70kn.
NZ - only round the top, but I'd love to sail to Nelson and the Sounds one day. Most places on East coast
Clearing into NZ is no worries, but they want to know you are coming, lots of info on the NZ customs
website, Aus is more of a headache going the other way.
Year round (delivery skipper)
Now some unsolicited advice you are welcome to ignore.
Syd- North Cape I would go later in the year, the weather
will be better - do you have time constraints?
If you are looking to introduce your wife to cruising I would start with something warmer and statistically easier than a Tasman crossing, on a scale of 1 to 5 it's about a 1.5-2 (1 would be Cape Horn) unless she is a real adventurer type personality with a background in high altitude mountain climbing (they make great crew).
My wife was a real "sissy sailor", we spent a year inside Baja
, one of the easiest most pleasant cruising grounds on the planet, she enjoyed it and now has over 10,000 miles behind her.
Over the years I have met lots of single
handers crying in their beer
coz the wife won't join them, but they start off with a trip to Antarctica.
Not saying you can't do it and that you won't be feeling pretty good about yourself on arrival, just that it may not be the best introduction
to sailing around.
What about going north to the QLD and the Barrier Reef, or if you want to see blue water go Lord Howe then Noumea?