Located in the southern hemisphere, New Zealand is a great alternative to winter charters in the popular Caribbean islands. While much of the northern hemisphere is covered in snow and lacks sunshine during long winter months, the southern part of the globe is drenched in sunlight and warmth and is enjoying a long summer season, the reason for which a luxury charter vacation in the winter in New Zealand will be a tingling experience. The country is drenched in two climates, temperate on the South Island and sub-tropical on the North Island, leaving New Zealand a wonderfully diverse land boasting a rich biodiversity, snow-capped peaks, verdant rolling hills, rugged shorelines, sandy beaches, vibrant hubs and quaint rural towns.
The North Island’s sailing paradise rests the Bay of Islands stretching on it’s north eastern coast and sporting secluded anchorages, magnificent powdery beaches, picturesque towns and more than 80 islands for you to discover during your luxury charter vacation.
Visit the Bay of Islands with Sunreef Yachts Charter and explore with us the Land Down Under’s most plush coastline!
Day 1: Opua / Russell
Embark on your luxury charter yacht in the coastal town of Opua, the region’s main port of entry for international vessels, that you will easily reach from Auckland offering short daily flights to the Bay of Islands Kerikeri Airport. Your yacht will be waiting for you in Opua Marina providing all necessary facilities and amenities for luxury vessels. Opua is a rather small town with a humble population of just over 600 inhabitants, however the plush coastline lures for a relaxing first afternoon of swimming, snorkeling or diving in clear azure waters of the South Pacific. You may also want to stay onshore and go hiking through lush tropical forests lining the bay and explore magnificent, one of a kind flora and fauna.
In the evening you will cross over to Russell, just a few miles north of Opua, where you will spend your first night and the next day.
Day 2: Russell
Wake up to beautiful New Zealand sunshine in the touristic yet not overly crowded destination of Russell in the Bay of Islands. This town, originally a Maori village named Kororareka, was also the site of the first European settlement and sea port in New Zealand. Russell is a historic town lined with a number of cafes, restaurants and souvenir boutiques where you will be able to fully unwind on land while strolling through quaint passages in the surrounding of verdant tropical flora. Visit the ancient Roman Catholic Pompallier Mission, a historic print house and tannery that is one of the oldest industrial buildings in the country, or go to Christ Church, New Zealand’s oldest Anglican church. Make sure to stop by the Russell Museum, exhibiting the town’s history, from it’s Maori past through to it being a principal whaling and trading harbor and finally the country’s first capital city.
Restaurants in Russell specialize both in colonial cuisine as well as traditional Maori recipes based on fresh local produce grown on land as well as catches of the day. Let your Chef take you to a local market so you can pick what you wish to be served for lunch or dinner, or eat out on the town.
Day 3: Russell / Moturua Island
Enjoy breakfast on the flybridge of your luxury charter catamaran or luxury charter mega yacht before setting sail to Moturua Island, just a few miles to the east. On your way you will stop by Motuarohia Island (Roberton Island), the site of landing of British sailor James Cook in late 18th century during his initial voyage to the South Pacific. This quaint robust island is part of a marine reserve and features two stunning azure lagoons pushing inland while a submarine snorkeling trail beckons for underwater adventures with a mask and tube. For guests wishing to unwind on the beach, the shore of Motuarohia is lined with white powdery sands and a picturesque hiking trail leads to a vista point opening up to magnificent views of sparkling waters on the horizon and rich verdant vegetation.
Ever-present bountiful forests will be ideal for exploring South Pacific flora and fauna. The nature reserve is a natural habitat for North Island robins, tui, fantails as well as kiwis so prepare to discover the unknown during your cruise through these islands.
Moturua Island is just a few miles away and when you reach it, the best place to drop anchor for your luxury yacht will be Waipao Bay on the island’s southern coast. This slice of paradise is also lined with wonderful beaches and a scenic hiking trail looping the island that will take you atop steep bluffs for breathtaking vistas to cherish for a lifetime.
Day 4: Moturua Island / Whangaroa Harbor
Today after breakfast your Captain will navigate your luxury charter yacht to Whangaroa Harbour as you cruise along multiple quaint islands and admire lush panoramas of steep rocky bluffs towering over majestic blue lagoons where you will be able to anchor and swim in crystal clear waters, snorkel, dive or fish and explore rich marine life no where else to be found. When you enter Whangaroa Harbour, mooring will be available at the premium Kingfish Lodge with top notch amenities for luxury vessels as well as a restaurant and bar for a delicious seafront dinner, evening cocktails and utter relaxation in this blissful haven.
Day 5: Whangaroa Harbour
Spend the day in Whangaroa Harbor, a fjord-like lagoon, north of your previous destination, pushing inland, where majestic bays and coves are quaintly nestled between dramatic bluffs with expansive powdery beaches lined beneath these rocky formations. A pristine retreat, it rests just as immaculate as it was centuries ago, the main reason why the destination is always a favorite one for guests longing for a purely relaxing charter vacation. Just a short sail away is what separates you from Rere Bay with splendid waterfalls and hiking trails as well as a small creek to discover with a dinghy or tender. Admire an entourage of vibrant green tropical flora and find safe mooring at Game Fishing Club and Marina in Whangaroa, a facility for luxury yachts offering supreme casual dining to enjoy while soaking up plush surroundings.
Whangaroa is an ideal base for deep-sea fishing as well as other aquatic activities so guests will fully enjoy a pleasant afternoon of snorkeling, swimming or thrilling rides on tenders, water skis or jet skis.
Day 6: Whangaroa / Cavalli Islands
South east of Whangaroa Harbor in the Mautauri Bay lie the Cavalli Islands that you will have the chance to visit today as your luxury charter yacht cruises through sparkling and imposing waters surrounding the North Island. There you will find multiple whimsical anchorages for your vessel to moor with Horseshoe Bay on the west coast of the biggest island in the archipelago, Motukawanui, being very popular with water sport amateurs, while the hiking trail circling this unusual islet offers awe-inspiring vistas of the archipelago as well as the rest of the North Island.
Not only will you thrill at the thought of snorkeling in crystal waters but you will also be able to try your skills at ship-wreck diving with Greenpeace’s “Rainbow Warrior” sunken in 1987 that now serves as an artificial coral reef and therefore a rich habitat for marine life.
Day 7: Cavalli Islands / Waewatorea Island
Wake up to chanting tropical birds and warm sun rays caressing the senses in a magnificent entourage of glistening nestled azure lagoons whose waters are the perfect backdrop for your luxury charter vessel. Further south of Cavalli Islands and not far away from Moturua Island lies another peculiar islet of Waewatorea, a serene destination rimmed with pristine sheltered beaches impeccable for swimming, snorkeling and beachcombing. And once you step ashore, hike inland to visit ruins of a Maori village.
Sun and sea on Waewaetorea is an excellent way to unwind during your luxury charter vacation in this elegant land of kiwis and waters in changing hues of emerald and turquoise.
Day 8: Waewaetorea Island / Whangamumu Harbor
As you set sail south to Whangamumu Harbor, your voyage will be a delightful experience of sailing around Cape Brett, home to the famous white impressive lighthouse sitting atop a dramatic cliff plunging into deep waters, and passing by Percy Island known for its Hole in the Rock and Cathedral Cave, two splendid rock formations with exquisite seascapes, around which lucky visitors will admire dolphins and blue penguins playing in the water. Drop anchor for a short moment and enjoy fishing off the cape, a natural habitat for wonderful tropical species. Nestled between two headlands is Whangamumu Harbor which was once the most bustling whaling station in the country, first established in the mid 19th century.
Take your dinghy or tender ashore and explore panoramic hiking trails leading up to a picturesque viewpoint and nearby waterfalls where soothing roars of falling water are a pleasant symphony to visitors’ ears.
Day 9: Whangamumu Harbor / Oke Bay
Today you will sail back north around Cape Brett, and reach Oke Bay while you admire friendly dolphins swimming beside you. Be captivated by the remoteness of this bluff-rimmed coastal destination stretching as far as the eye can see. Deep Water Cove will be ideal to stop for lunch as you drop anchor in this artificial reef where you can take a refreshing dip before continuing your cruise.
Relax in the afternoon while snorkeling or sunbathing or gather mussels for your onboard alfresco dinner or a romantic evening meal on the beach. You may also want to spend time ashore discovering the site of an ancient Maori cemetery drenched in warm hues of oranges, pinks and reds during spectacular tropical sunsets.
Day 10: Oke Bay / Assassination Cove
Commence another day in paradise aboard your luxury charter yacht in New Zealand and spend a tranquil day in Assassination Cove, just a short sail away from Oke Bay. This stretch of water is a maze of picturesque sheltered bays, some of the best protected coves in the area, featuring a rather low landscape with gentle hills and overlooking powdery golden beaches and serene waters where you will spend the afternoon exploring rich submarine life while swimming, snorkeling or fishing from the deck of your charter yacht.
This safe refuge is well secluded and you will find yourself at peace while contemplating a rich biodiversity around these plush waters. Dine onboard or opt for a delicious meal on the beach readily prepared by your expert crew.
Day 11: Assassination Cove / Opua
Today is your final morning in the Bay of Islands before heading back home. After breakfast in Assassination Cove you can enjoy a nice bath in refreshing waters or soak up the sun on the flybridge of your yacht as the Captain sets sail to Opua, where you will be disembarking.
Say goodbye to your wonderful yacht and her crew and take advantage of your last moment in this scenic destination of New Zealand’s North Island before you head to the airport and make your way back home.
Your luxury charter vacation in the Bay of Islands, a genuine sanctuary for the five senses, will be one to remember long after you step off board. Anticipate an upcoming wonderful adventure with Sunreef Yachts Charter and let us take you to next exquisite worldwide ports of call!