South Island Cruising
Take your guests to the South Island and it will be one trip they will never forget. From Abel Tasman’s golden beaches to Fjordlands dramatic scenery each view is breathtaking and the activities will keep the kids occupied for hours!
To the North: The Marlborough Sounds & Abel Tasman
The most popular and easily accessible area is an area of sea drowned valleys that form the Marlborough Sounds stretching from Tasman Bay to Cloudy Bay. The Sounds is an extensive region of inlets and bays amongst forest and national parks, much of which is inaccessible by road. It would be possible to lose a couple of weeks cruising the Sounds without anchoring in the same bay twice. Countless tracks for hikers and mountain bikers thread through the forests and parks with campsites, homestays and luxury lodges.
To the west of the sounds are Tasman Bay and Golden Bay which stretch up to the north western tip of the south island. The shores of Golden Bay are in places long sandy beaches. Tasman Bay incorporates the Abel Tasman National Park which have sheltered anchorages allowing further exploration of the park by tender or kayak.
For those looking for a relaxing time, a tour through the vineyards and wineries of the Marlborough region should definitely be considered. The Marlborough area is the country’s most famous wine region and produces a range of Sauvignon Blanc that is considered by many European wine critics to be the best in the world.
To the South: Fiordland, Glaciers and Adrenalin
A passage around the Cape Farewell at north western tip of the island and then on down the west coast for around 350nm will bring the more adventurous yachtsman to Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound in the Fiordland region. Fiordland, carved up by the action of glaciers in the ice age, was listed as a United Nations World Heritage site in 1990 and has some of the most dramatic scenery in New Zealand. Fingers of sea wind between snow-capped peaks and thick forests of ancient trees.
Those seeking a more adrenalin stimulating experience should head to Queenstown, the mecca for extreme sports aficionados. Queenstown and nearby Wanaka have world class ski fields. The resorts offer year round activities with mountain biking and hiking popular in the summer months and para gliding, hang gliding and fishing popular year round. For thrill seekers Queenstown is home to a couple of bungy jumping sites in spectacular surroundings, tandem free fall parachute jumps and jet boat rides over rapids. The stunning alpine scenery enhances all of the activities adding another dimension to the enjoyment.
North of Queenstown is another amazing natural feature, the Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers. The glaciers can be explored from one of the many walking tracks in the region or by helicopter, which will actually land on the glaciers.
Wherever you travel in New Zealand, you will see spectacular scenery: from the glaciers to the alpine regions, rolling plains, rugged fiords and long white sandy beaches. You are guaranteed to be blown away by what New Zealand has to offer.