Blue is back; the South Pacific is open to superyachts and primed to be the next great charter destination
Coordinated superyacht chartering procedures in the main South Pacific countries, eased border restrictions, safe cruising, diversity of sights and new marina and refit facilities, have created irresistible cruising in the world’s most undiscovered destination; the South Pacific.
Earth’s playground is open for business. New Zealand, Tahiti, Fiji and Australia have coordinated superyacht procedures for ease of cruising across this ultimate destination.
Each country boasts widely-differing and interesting cultures, sights and cruising grounds, but with the added bonus of closely aligned charter and entry rules. This allows yachts to enjoy multiple seasons across the vast blue of the South Pacific, including consecutive charter seasons.
All four countries have announced removal of Covid-19 border restrictions and from August 2022, visiting yachts can stay two or more years in each country on a revolving basis that now allows them to enjoy the South Pacific indefinitely.
The coordination allows superyachts to create multiple charter seasons across the wide blue spaces of the South Pacific. With the countries dotted down the Pacific and each equipped with superyacht
infrastructure, yachts are able to plan seasons in Tahiti and Fiji, before moving on to spend time in New Zealand and Australia, and back into the islands if they choose. The refit hub of New Zealand allows for warrantee repairs and service schedules for new builds, or complex refits to be undertaken to facilitate multiple seasons.
The South Pacific offers a year-long summer climate for charter yachts, with the Tahiti and Fiji season from May to October and the New Zealand and Australian season from October to May.
The islands of the South Pacific deliver idyllic atolls, white sand beaches, crystalline waters and rich cultural experiences, while New Zealand boasts an adventure around every headland, award-winning hospitality, the adrenaline capital of the world, and ancient landscapes. Australia is a haven for wildlife found nowhere else on earth, cosmopolitan cities, and long reaches of white, sandy coastline.
With endless stretches of islands and beaches, untouched dive sites, superyacht-friendly legislation, safe destinations and welcoming cultures, the South Pacific is well on its way to becoming the world’s next great charter hot spot and ultimate getaway for superyacht owners.
How to get there? Superyacht New Zealand has produced a summary of the entry rules for each South Pacific country and a fact sheet for superyachts visiting New Zealand, which can be found at superyachtnewzealand.co.nz
New Zealand throws open sea borders, welcomes back cruising yachts and superyachts
With New Zealand’s reputation cemented as one of the world’s most-serene yet adventurous destinations, New Zealand will thrown open its doors to visitors again with air and sea borders opening from 1 August, allowing tourists to once again explore and enjoy one of the world’s greatest natural playgrounds.
New Zealand’s sea and air borders are opening.
In a government announcement on 11 May, the next step in New Zealand’s border reopening has been set, with sea and air borders effectively open for visitors and vessels from 1 August.
The move has been met with delight by the superyacht industry as the final step in New Zealand’s reopening, inviting visitors to return to the gateway to some of the most adventurous cruising in the world, and the renowned refit hub of the South Pacific.
Superyachts, their owners and crew, can now enter easily by land and sea, enjoying simple access to New Zealand’s safe shores, high-quality refit services and world-renowned scenery.
Foreign flagged yachts visiting New Zealand benefit from a superyacht-friendly framework that includes newly completed refit facilities, a 24 month Temporary Import Entry (TIE), and refit services and supplies which are exempt from New Zealand’s 15 per cent goods and services tax (GST).
New Zealand has spent the past two years expanding superyacht offerings across the country’s marine destinations, with additional inner city berthage in Auckland cementing its position as a leading city, globally, where superyachts can be moored in the heart of the CBD. In addition, the rapid expansion of New Zealand’s superyacht refit facilities have included a multi-year, large scale development of specialised superyacht refit facilities, including a new 820 tonne travel lift in the central city, adding to exisiting central Auckland haul out and slipway facilities which include 1500 tonne, and 600 tonne slipways and a 181 metre dry dock.
Central Auckland boasts 75 superyacht berths in close proximity to FBO airports and steps from award-winning hospitality precincts, with 40 berths for yachts between 25 and 40 metres LOA, and 30 berths capable of accommodating yachts between 40 metres and 100. For the largest yachts in the international fleet - those over 100 metres - Auckland has five berths designed to cater to their needs.
In the north of the country, the expansion of the Bay of Islands Marina with casual berthage available to visiting cruising yachts and a new 120 metre superyacht berth, is the first in a string of new facilities dotted down the country. Next along New Zealand’s coast is an expanded superyacht refit facility in Whangarei and the newly-enlarged Vessel Works haul out yard in Tauranga.
The reopening of New Zealand completes the traditional South Pacific loop for yachts, with most
superyachts favouring a journey which takes them through the islands of the Pacific, including beauty spots like Tahiti, Fiji, and then on to the peak of the South Pacific, New Zealand. There, they refit, bunker, provision, explore, charter, and often create a base over several seasons, before heading back into the Pacific and onward on their journeys.
The ultimate superyacht destination
The world’s most-southerly superyacht regatta, the NZ Millennium Cup will return in 2023. Taking place among the 144 islets of the Bay of Islands, it’s a four day celebration of camaraderie and fierce competition, set to a backdrop of daily dolphin vanguards and relaxed hospitality in one of the world’s great natural playgrounds.
Safe and secure berths designed specifically for superyachts can be found around New Zealand, with sub-tropical bays and islets to explore in the north of the country’s North Island, right down to mountains, fiords, and ancient fiords in the South Island.
To enable visitors to fully experience New Zealand, with its adventure around every headland, the 24 month TIE was created to enable foreign flagged yachts to clear into the country and cruise for two years, as well as charter for up to 65 per cent of their time in New Zealand, without paying duties and GST for 24 months after entry.
Two years perfecting the heart of Pacific superyachting
Through 2020 and 2021, the New Zealand superyacht industry turned inward to come back with a refined offering.
Auckland’s expanded superyacht refit facilities in the heart of the central city offer yachts a refit experience which is unrivalled across the region for proximity to the central city, size of travel lifts and haul out abilities, range of skilled on-site marine trades, sustainable water treatment plant, expansive hardstand, in-water workspaces, and on-site worksheds.
Additional refit facilities to the country’s north and south provide extra capacity to accommodate visiting yachts, in this nation designed around its extensive coastlines and seafaring history.
Check back for the latest news from the NZ Millennium Cup.
A superyacht regatta in one of the world's great natural playgrounds
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All photos ©Jeff Brown Breed Media