The 36th America’s Cup Match will be held in Auckland, New Zealand, March 6 to 21 2021, hosted by the Defender, Emirates Team New Zealand. New Zealand’s summer months, December to March, are the ideal time to charter a luxury yacht to watch the event and/or explore the pristine cruising grounds on offer. It is also a great opportunity to plan an itinerary in the neighbouring Great Barrier Reef of Australia, or the beautiful South Pacific islands of Tahiti, New Caledonia, Fiji, Papua New Guinea or the Solomon Islands between June and October.
Known as “the City of Sails” for its marinas filled with sailing yachts, Auckland is one of only a handful of global venues to have hosted an America’s Cup Match in the past 30 years, joining other iconic ports including Newport, Fremantle, San Diego, Valencia, San Francisco and Bermuda.
Auckland is also the ideal location to commence your luxury charter yacht vacation in New Zealand which includes the Hauraki Gulf all the way north to the Bay of Islands.
Auckland’s wide and picturesque Waitemata Harbour and the Hauraki Gulf, considered ‘the jewel in Auckland’s crown’, offers a huge choice of course options for your luxury yacht charter taking into account the wind and tidal conditions. This spectacular, deep-water harbour provides a myriad of positions for luxury charter sailing and motor yachts to moor as close as possible to the on-water action.
On shore, the Race Village will be situated in the heart of Auckland’s city, spanning the waterfront and its restaurants, cafes, boutiques and galleries.
Luxury charter yachts visiting Auckland will enjoy the famed New Zealand hospitality and a nearly unlimited array of experiences to suit every interest – from world-class dining to extreme adventure.
Charter guests on board your very own private crewed charter yacht will be dazzled by Auckland’s vast smorgasbord of dining options, designer shopping and all the attractions of a global city, as well as its unique scenery and abundance natural wonders such as its pristine coastline, islands, beaches, dive sites, rich variety of flora and fauna, vibrant Maori culture and multitude of cruising itineraries.
Among the amazing destinations on any New Zealand yacht charter itinerary should be the island of Waiheke, just a short cruise from Auckland. This beautiful island boasts vineyards and restaurants where you can sample local wines and food, or handcrafted beers at the local brewery. For the adrenaline junkies, there’s the rush of ziplining through the lush rainforest surrounded on all sides by pristine sandy beaches.
To the east, the Coromandel Peninsula is another of New Zealand’s coastal gems worth exploring during your charter. With a mountainous interior cloaked in native rainforest and more than 400 kilometres of dazzling white sand beaches, this area is unspoiled and relaxed, ideal for a luxury yacht charter vacation.
Activities and attractions are plentiful. Charter guests visiting the Coromandel can enjoy skydiving in Whitianga, a guided sea kayak tour along the volcanic coastline, hiking through forests, home to the mighty Kauri trees which grow 50m tall, or soaking up the geothermal benefits of underwater springs at Lost Springs luxury resort.
Further north, Great Barrier Island offers an entirely unique experience for the luxury charter guest. Great Barrier Island exists entirely off the grid, relying entirely on solar power. Here, nature is king, native wildlife is abundant and charter guests can enjoy a “free range experience” roaming protected forest hiking trails, beaches and bays. For charter guests who enjoy golf, there’s a serenely-situated course nestled amongst the spectacular natural environment. Stargazing enthusiasts will be thrilled that Great Barrier Island is an International Dark Sky Sanctuary, one of only three worldwide, which makes for perfect conditions for admiring the cosmos.
A few hours cruising to the north, Poor Knights Islands are among Jacques Cousteau’s top 10 dives sites in the world. The vibrant underwater world abounds in caves and arches, tunnels, sheer cliffs and even a giant staircase cascading into the blue depths. An incredible diversity of marine life of over 125 species call the Poor Knights Islands home. Guests on a luxury charter yacht will have the opportunity to dive amongst stingrays, mosaic moray and Lord Howe coral fish, vibrant anemones, kelp forests and gorgonian fans.
Or take to the water on paddleboards to explore the world’s largest sea cave, Riko Riko. On shore, the town of Tutukaka is famous for its waterfront cafes, museums and galleries, and rated as one of the top coastal destinations on the planet by National Geographic Traveller.
An easy couple of hours cruising northward delivers luxury charter guests to one of New Zealand’s most sublime areas, the Bay of Islands, which encompasses subtropical islands scattered between Cape Brett and the Purerua Peninsula, all of them teeming with vibrant sea life.
Whether you’re keen on fishing, diving and kayaking, or just exploring the small villages that line the Bay, charter guests will find this region fascinating and full of heritage and culture. It was here that the Waitangi Treaty was signed in 1840 by representatives of the British Crown and Māori chiefs recognising their ownership of the land.
Whangaroa Harbour is another marvellous destination on your New Zealand charter, offering charter guests the option of playing golf on the challenging top-ranking local course or relaxing at the spa at the luxurious resort nearby. Quad biking, horseback riding or fishing are also on offer.
Take a shore excursion to the the northernmost point of New Zealand, Cape Reinga, where the mighty Pacific Ocean meets the Tasman Sea in an amazing swirl of currents and colour-changing waters. Cape Reinga is located within Te Paki Recreation Reserve and is considered a sacred site to the Maori people, as it’s where their spirits begin their final journey. Your Captain can organise a land tour from a safe anchorage
Luxury Charter Group has first-hand knowledge of New Zealand and its many natural wonders. Two of our team are ‘Kiwis’ who have sailed the coastlines of their island home and know its unique appeal. For all your charter enquiries, particularly in the lead up to and during the America’s Cup in Auckland in March 2021, get in touch with the experts at Luxury Charter Group. We can't wait to share this wonderful country with you.