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6 places to visit while cruising New Zealand’s North Island by superyacht

By Rebecca Bradbury   Last Updated: 15 April 2021

On a New Zealand superyacht charter your itinerary options are endless. From craggy coastlines and sweeping beaches to snow-capped mountains and verdant forests, New Zealand is a stunner to see by yacht . Charter a superyacht here and have an adventure of a lifetime, just don’t miss these six must-visit places when cruising the North Island.

Bestowed with incredibly diverse and astoundingly beautiful landscapes, New Zealand charters offer outdoor adventures galore. But, you don’t have to be actively inclined to enjoy this spectacular country as wineries, dynamic cities and a fascinating history also form part of its appeal.

However you wish to to spend your New Zealand luxury yacht charter, be rest assured that the North Island has it all. Read on to discover the six best places to visit while exploring by superyacht.

Auckland

view of Auckland cityscape from the harbour

Waiheke Island

Nicknamed the ‘City of Sails’, Auckland floats on two glittering harbors, Waitemata and Manukau, both of which are gloriously sprinkled with ferries, sailing boats and luxury yachts voyaging to waterside towns and nearby islands in the Hauraki Gulf. 

Lush walking trails, golden sand beaches and unspoiled islands are all within easy reach, but it’s certainly worth planning a few days into your luxury yacht charter itinerary to explore New Zealand’s largest city.

Auckland, after all, regularly ranks as one of the world’s most liveable cities. With 48 volcanic hills scattered about, a dynamic dining scene, museums, art galleries and designer shops, there is much to keep you and your charter party entertained.  

Hekerua Bay on Waiheke Island in New Zealand with sail boats on the water below and pretty purple flowers in the foreground
Vineyard on the hillside, Waiheke island in Hauraki Gulf, New Zealand
Beautiful bay on Waiheke Island with sailing boats, New Zealand
Palm Beach view, Waiheke Island, New Zeland, on a beautiful sunny day

Beautiful coastlines, boutique wineries and a blissed-out bohemian vibe make Waiheke an ideal island escape for yacht-goers, wine-lovers and free spirits alike.

Not far from Auckland, in the Hauraki Gulf, the 20-kilometer-long island is blessed with its own warm, dry microclimate. Emerald waters lap at rocky bays on the island’s landward side, while its ocean flank has some of the best sandy beaches in the region.

Around 30 wineries, many with tasting rooms and swanky restaurants, dot the island alongside quirky art galleries and craft stores. Those with a more adventurous disposition, however, will be satisfied with the hiking, kayaking and zip-lining opportunities.

Coromandel Peninsula

Aerial view on a remote ocean coast with small coves and mountains on the background. Coromandel, New Zealand.
women bathes in pool of hot water on Hot Water Beach on Coromandel peninsula in New Zealand
Beautiful Te Hoho Rock at Cathedral Cove Marine Reserve, Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand

The Coromandel Peninsula juts into the Pacific Ocean just 55 kilometres east of Auckland but feels like a world away. Sparsely populated and undeveloped, this place offers New Zealand yacht charter guests some serious seclusion as well as some spectacular scenery.

On its eastern side, a wild stretch of rugged coastline is dotted with dreamy white sands. Not to be missed are Cathedral Cove, a picturesque marine reserve, and Hot Water Beach, where visitors come to dig a pool at low tide and bathe in the piping hot water which flows up to the surface from the earth’s interior.

Other activities on offer include hiking through the native rainforest, cycling the Hauraki Rail Trail and discovering the relics of the area’s gold mining heritage.

Great Barrier Island

Island overlook from Mt Hobson, Great Barrier Island, New Zealand

The fourth largest of New Zealand’s islands, Great Barrier shelters Auckland from the relentless swells of the Pacific Ocean. Rugged and exceptionally beautiful, this is the land time forgot and makes for a wonderful superyacht charter destination.

Come here for all kinds of wilderness adventures. On land, a network of tramping tracks wind through the native New Zealand bush past hot springs and old kauri dams.  

Diving, fishing and kayaking are also possible, with a beautiful coastline of high cliffs and long, white surf beaches in the east and deep, sheltered harbours and calm, sandy bays in the west.

Poor Knights Islands Marine Reserve

Scuba diving, Poor Knights Islands Marine Reserve, while on a luxury yacht charter in New Zealand
scuba diving at Poor Knights Islands Marine Reserve, New Zealand
scuba diving at Poor Knights Islands Marine Reserve, New Zealand

A five-hour cruise northwards brings New Zealand yacht-goers to the Poor Knights Islands Marine Reserve which, scattered 23 kilometres off Tutukaka Coast, is one of the top dive locations in the world.

The volcanic origins of these 11-million-year-old islands make for spectacular drop offs, walls, caves, arches and tunnels, while converging warm water currents, a micro-climate and thousands of years  of separation from the mainland have resulted in a unique biodiversity.

From turbulent sunlit waters and kelp forests to the dark waters of the many caves to sponge gardens, gorgonian fields and hundreds of colourful fish, there is much for divers to discover.

Bay of Islands

Aerial shot of Urapukapuka Island, Bay of Islands, New Zealand
Dolphin swims alongside yacht in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand
deserted house and sailing yacht in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand
Aerial view of Roberton Island in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand

Luring New Zealand superyacht charters further up the coast with its seductive good looks is the Bay of Islands. Clear, sparkling blue waters are punctuated with 144 undeveloped islands, presenting a maritime adventure playground with penguins, marlin, dolphins and whales to watch out for.  

On land, the islands are dotted with tiny, timeless towns and miles upon miles of rolling hillsides swoop down to deserted beaches or trace a forest trail to a wine estate or waterfront café.

The Bay of Islands is also a place of huge historical significance. Maori settled here in their early migrations and it was the site of New Zealand’s first permanent British settlement. Plus, it was where the Treaty of Waitangi, which remains the linchpin of race relations in NZ today, was drawn up and signed in 1840.

Bestowed with incredibly diverse and astoundingly beautiful landscapes, New Zealand offers outdoor adventures galore

four travellers walk along Pauanui Beach, Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand

For more details on planning a New Zealand yacht charter, speak to your preferred charter broker.

Alternatively, view all luxury yachts available for charter in New Zealand.

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