New Zealand's got More Than a Top 5!
The best advice always comes from those with first hand experience. Sailing Yacht Ethereal, her crew and owners have visited New Zealand twice in the last two years and it's fair to say it appears they can't get enough of it! Beverley Wellington, the Purser on board has generously taken the time to write ten of her favourite NZ activities... Despite wanting to go on forever about all of the reasons she LOVES NZ as a superyacht destination, she thought 10 would be a more readable amount. For any captains, crew or owners thinking of heading this way check these activity ideas out.
On our recent stint in Auckland , New Zealand we discovered even more joys of this great country. Ethereal had been in Auckland for over 6 months on her last visit in 2012- 2013 and were told we were to come back for a further 5-6 months over the Southern hemispheres summer months… bliss! For a big crew like ours there is so much to do, so many places to visit in both the North and South Islands there didn’t seem enough time to even touch the surface but we gave it a try and here are some of the highlights of New Zealand from our perspective!
1. Queenstown, South Island.
This is one action town! I managed to wangle 5 days in a Villa suite at the Millbrook Resort, Malaghans Road, Arrowtown with an avid hiker friend.
First day was spent hiking the Arrowtown track which winds its way up the back of the village hugging the Arrow River . We stopped at the top and sipped the fresh clean water before making our way down for lunch at the Amisfield Winery and Bistro , 10 Lake Hayes Rd , a definite must for any foodie.
Day 2 was spent Hang gliding from Coronet peak- we went with Coronet Tandem, we also did tandem paraglide with them, an excellent way to spend a day terrifying yourself !
Day 3. The funnest way to spend an afternoon skimming the slides of the canyon is in the Shotover Jet, wild and woolie this ride takes you along the river , missing the cliffs by inches . A follow up lunch was had at the lovely Gibbston Valley Winery where they can take you through the list of fabulous Pinot Noirs from this region or try the Gibbston Tavern for the seasonal whitebait fritters.
Day 4 No one can leave Queenstown without doing a Bungy jump ! Home to the famous AJ Hackett jump from the Kawarau Bridge- they even video you looking petrified before you leap 42 meters over the freezing river!
Day 5. SPA day! The Millbrook Resort has a beautiful spa and what better way to end the 5 day extravaganza than having someone pamper you from head to toe. Utter indulgence all the way!
This was a fav Christmas present set amongst the Olive Estate of Simunovich its a brilliant day out. A gourmet lunch served on the restaurant terrace followed by an afternoon of clay pigeon shooting . Used for corporate days out it can be a fun day for any crew, make sure you use the service of a mini van to take you there and back … the serve excellent wines!
3. Campervan for a week around the Coromandel
This was definitely one of my favorite things to do in NZ . A gentle drive along the coast of the Coromandel stopping in local campsites , hiking in some of the most beautiful areas only 2 hours from Auckland. The beaches were some of the prettiest on the planet and mostly deserted.
4.Ohakune for a weekend skiing or snow boarding!
Its close to Auckland , stay at the Lodge and spend the days fly fishing , mountain biking or hiking the beautiful Tongariro National Park
5. Waiheke Island…
Only 30 minutes by ferry from downtown Auckland- it’s a world apart! Stay at one of the fabulous hotels or B & B’s . Spend the day on the beach, sail or standup paddle around the island. favorite place to stay either the Boat shed or Delamore Lodge or Enclosure Bay. Fav Winery: Te Whau, Fav restaurant and wine cellar: Mudbrick.
6. Zorbing! Rotorua
I didn’t go but its on the list for next time!
7. Dining in Auckland Fav place - The Depot!
8. Stewart Island, diving with great White Sharks
There is only one man who does this with integrity and love and that’s Peter Scott. One of the BEST experiences of my life.
9. Stewart Island hiking
Some of the most beautiful places to hike. Eat the best seafood , sip on the best wines – this quiet island is paradise for those wishing to get away from the hustle and bustle. We ate the best smoked salmon by Gary Huggins .
This is a wonderland for anyone wanting the quiet and peace of the mountains and glaicers. Milford Sound is the famous one but there are many other hikes and gems in this area. We dove the Dusky sound, cold but worth it! Guests stayed at the Te Anau and loved it, another must for next time! Waterfalls galore! Ron Peacock helped make this an experience we will never forget.
Below you can view some snaps from there unforgettable trip: