Captains Review: Destination New Zealand
Captain Gavin Bladin, of SY Hemisphere reviews his experience of bringing a superyacht to New Zealand for a mix of maintenance, charter and owner cruising. 37South has provided agency services and placed charter on board SY Hemisphere during their 4 month trip to NZ. Below, Gavin provides a valuable resource for anyone who has considered a trip to NZ for captains, owners and guests alike. Enjoy!
Hemisphere has experienced a very enjoyable 4 months in New Zealand’s waters which has been appreciated by her Owner, the guests who have come onboard and the crew. During our time Hemisphere has cruised far and wide from the Bay of Islands all the way down to Stewart Island in the far south.
New Zealand offers many diverse experiences along the way while all the time being surrounded in stunning scenery. New Zealand is a different cruising ground from the more conventional tropical beach setting on offer in other destinations, but if owners and guests enjoy the great outdoors they will not be disappointed.
During Hemisphere’s exploration we: visited small seaside villages like Russell in the Bay of Islands which was the first settlement in NZ, to the major cities of Wellington and Auckland; we tagged and release striped marlin from our sport fishing tender, to fly fishing for brown trout in the crystal clear streams in the mountains; we covered miles of countryside on foot on the stunning trails of Milford Track, Queens Charlotte Sound Trail and the coastal track at Able Tasman national park; we dived all around NZ from wrecks such as Green Peace’s Rainbow Warrior and the navy’s decommissioned 113m long HMNZS Canterbury and took the opportunity to keep the galley supplied with fresh scallops and lobsters; we immersed ourselves with the Maori culture on land in traditional mareas and villages, to enjoying performances on the back deck and learnt their history; we saw fur seals, penguins, whales and the elusive and rare Kiwi bird, we enjoyed the restaurants and exclusive lodges ashore and visited innumerable vineyards and replenished our onboard stocks, we jumped off Auckland’s main landmark the Sky Tower (192 meter) and raced up mountain rivers in jet boats, we chartered helicopters to penetrate deep into the national park of Fiordland to be able to walk around on the glaciers, to see mountain lakes and marvel at the scenery below us; we enjoyed the solitude of idyllic pristine anchorages and all along we were welcomed by everyone we met.
Hemisphere has been cruising the Pacific for nearly two years now, so as well as cruising we utilized the local skilled workforce in Auckland and kept busy keeping up with maintenance which has been a very good experience with excellent results.
So at the end of four enjoyable months what was my most memorable experience? That’s easy…..diving with the great whites in Stewart Island!
Thank you NZ.