With more than 18,000km of pristine coastline and an abundance of freshwater lakes and sparkling rivers, New Zealand is one of the best places on the planet to get out on the water.
Enjoy nature or harbour cruises, sea kayaking or jet boating and fishing. The country’s stunning scenery looks even better from aboard a boat.
There are many splendid dive-sights brimming with fascinating marine-life too. All year round, New Zealand is a water-lovers’ wonderland.
In New Zealand you’re never far from stunning coastline and beautiful lakes. Here are a few regional highlights:
Bay of Islands
The crystal clear waters surrounding the Bay of Islands is a draw card for divers. Discover the spectacular beaches and bays that skirt its 144 islands. Join a dolphin safari or climb aboard the Ipiriri catamaran for an overnight cruise to some of the bay’s most stunning spots, including Piercy Island, known as ‘The Hole in the Rock’. Charter a fishing boat or join a heli-fishing tour to chase snapper, tarakihi, gurnard, trevally and kingfish.
Get out on the water on Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour. Auckland has the highest rate of boat ownership per capita in the world and has twice hosted the America’s Cup yacht regatta. Experience the thrills of America’s Cup racing aboard a former America’s Cup yacht with Corporate Explore. Sail the yacht, enjoy harbour views or go race against the crew of another former America’s Cup yacht. Another great option is chartering a super yacht for a day of sailing. Combine a meal and voyage with a tour on Waiheke Island, known for its vineyards, olive groves and beautiful beaches.
Discover some of New Zealand’s largest and most beautiful freshwater lakes near Rotorua and Taupo. Climb aboard the 53-foot luxury catamaran Tuia to explore Lake Rotoiti, known for its beautiful scenery and hot pools accessible only by boat, or chase trout on a charter fishing trip on Lake Taupo, New Zealand’s largest lake.
Nelson and Marlborough
Explore the Marlborough Sounds and Abel Tasman National Park by sea. Both are home to wildlife including seals, dolphins and native birds. Many visitors will get their first glimpse of the Marlborough Sounds from the Interislander Ferry as it sails into Picton from Wellington. Get a closer look on an eco cruise or sea kayak tour. The Abel Tasman National Park in Nelson is equally striking. Known for its golden beaches and turquoise waters, its remote location makes it another perfect place to see wildlife from the water.
The town of Kaikoura in Canterbury’s northeast is a world-renowned whale watching destination. Join a tour to see sperm whales and the occasional humpback whale or gigantic blue whale in their natural environment. Another regional highlight is Akaroa, 90 minutes’ drive southeast of Christchurch. Nature cruises and dolphin swimming tours are available in the town’s sheltered harbour.
Cruise across Lake Wakatipu, taking in the scenery from the historic TSS Earnslaw steamboat. For something faster paced, an exciting Wilderness Safari jet boat ride down the Dart River or the world-famous Shotover Jet gets the heart pumping.
Take in two of New Zealand’s most stunning fiords in Fiordland. Doubtful Sound and Milford Sound are set amidst a landscape of majestic mountains, native forest and beautiful waterfalls. Explore secluded bays by sea kayak, join a wilderness cruise or be immersed in the breathtaking beauty on an exclusive overnight cruise.