With 15,000 kilometres of stunning coastline, sheltered sounds and island-dotted harbours, New Zealand has everything you could ask of a sailing holiday.

If you’re an experienced yachtsman you can charter a vessel and embark on your own sailing adventure or, if you want to relax and watch the world pass slowly by, you can opt for a skipper and crew. Skippered voyages and sailing tours range from a leisurely cruise with afternoon tea on the harbour to several days on a fully-fledged ocean-going maxi yacht. The boats range in character and speed from restored historic square-riggers to the highest technology New Zealand’s Americas Cup winners.

Where to sail is up to you; there are certainly no shortage of choices. The marine reserves are good places to start; the Bay of Islands, Hauraki Gulf, and the Marlborough Sounds. The sheltered harbours and islands make for picturesque journeys before opening out to inshore cruising grounds. There are also a number of popular coastal journeys where you can moor each day in a sheltered bay before heading onward. The east coast, north of Auckland, on route to the Bay of Islands, the Kerikeri Inlet or the fiord-like Whangaroa Harbour is a particularly scenic cruise.

Find sailing activities

Where to next?