A popular starting point for an Australian yacht charter is Cairns as it is close to the Great Barrier Reef. It is the largest coral reef system in the world and has over 3,000 reef chains, coral clays, and picturesque islands. You will set sail from Cairns to the Ribbon Reefs where you’ll find tropical fish.
Then, you’ll continue to Ribbon Reef number five, also known as Andy’s Postcard. Here you can anchor overnight and admire the night sky full of stars. Next up for the beach lovers, you will cruise to the beautiful beaches of Lizard Island and the Blue Lagoon. If you’re into history, sail just 45 nautical miles south of Lizard Island to Cooktown, the site of Captain Cook’s landing. You can then dip into some of the best snorkeling spots while on your way to an idyllic picnic on a secluded sandy cay.
Besides leaving from Cairns, another great yacht charter option with easy passages is the Whitsunday Islands. The archipelago has more than 70 islands with countless spots for diving and snorkeling. Yachts usually depart from Hamilton Island where only 10 nautical miles away you can sail to Neck Bay, a snorkeling paradise.
Enjoy a blissful night among the stars before heading to Long Island Sound and the protected waters of Cid Island. Along the west coast of Whitsunday Island you are actually allowed to jet ski, as other areas do not authorize these kinds of devices. A few miles north on Hook Island, you can find more diving and snorkeling opportunities with turtles, dolphins, reef fish, and manta rays. Then cruise south to find the amazing sands of Whitehaven Beach.
Arguably one of the most stunning countries on earth, New Zealand is a top player in the South Pacific yacht charter industry. It’s located in the southwestern Pacific Ocean just southeast of Australia and consists of two man islands and a plethora of smaller islands. The most popular sailing area stretches 170 miles extending north from the main city of Auckland with the Bay of Islands lying in the center.
Auckland is a city where everyone lives within a half hour away from several holiday islands, beaches, and hiking trails. With a warm sunny climate and Polynesian culture, Auckland is guaranteed to take you to paradise while barely scratching the surface. One of the best stops in Auckland is Rangitoto Island in the inner harbor. Local Maori tribes refer to it as the “Sky of Blood”.
You can take a train or hike to the top of the summit and take in a breathtaking panoramic view of the Auckland landscape. Sitting in the Hauraki Gulf, Great Barrier Island has unspoiled beaches and is home to a variety of different birds and plants. The type of atmosphere here is difficult to find in the rest of the world. There are walking tracks that lead to natural hot springs and historic Kauri dams. The island provides an overall great experience with something for everyone to enjoy such as fishing, camping, bush walking, and surfing.
The Bay of Islands are the most popular sailing destination in New Zealand. It contains four main islands and several smaller islands. The larger islands have beautiful beaches, small coves, and opportunity to hike in the forest or on the grassland. When visiting the Bay, you can dive the world renowned marine reserve of the Poor Knights’ Islands. It’s located south of the bay near the Rainbow Warrior wreck which was destroyed by sabotage in 1985.
If you want to sail past the flat waters of the Bay, you can visit the northlands coastline. Whangaroa Harbor is a must visit and a simple day’s sail. If you head south, there are countless harbors and bays along 100 miles of coast between the Bay and Auckland. The Marlborough Sounds, Tasman, and Golden Bays are ideal for a yacht charter. The Marlborough Sounds is an aquatic paradise with stunning scenery, historic sites, and opportunities for fishing, diving, and wildlife viewing.
New Zealand is a small country, but it’s big on adventure and bigger on experience. Exploring the North and South Islands are equally popular for yacht experiences because many locals spend a lot of time on the water.
Most people visit New Zealand with little to mild expectations and usually end up leaving blown away thanks to the landscaping, wildlife, and overall natural beauty.