yacht, luxury, Government, Covid, borders

New Zealand welcomes back cruising yachts and superyachts

Photography by: Jeff Brown


New Zealand will open its doors to visitors again with air and sea borders opening 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.

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Foreign flagged yachts visiting New Zealand benefit from a superyacht-friendly framework that includes newly completed refit facilities, a 24 month Temporary Import Entry, and refit services and supplies that are exempt from New Zealand’s 15 per cent goods and services tax.

New Zealand has spent the past two years expanding superyacht offerings across the country’s marine destinations, with additional inner city berthage in Auckland, 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, 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 spots like Tahiti, Fiji, and then onto, 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.

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