Best time to visit New Zealand

Sailing in New Zealand

Find delight in peaceful, silent and scenic gliding on water

Best time: September–May


New Zealand offers plenty of scenic sailing routes. One of them lies through the Bay of Islands offering 144 islands to be explored and occasionally rewarding the sailors with dolphin encounters. The largest New Zealand's lake Taupo is another sailing destination boasting picturesque views and huge Maori carvings on the rocks. Auckland is known as the "City of Sails" offering a wide selection from sailing tours to dinner cruises. Another popular sailing route lies through crystal clear waters around Abel Tasman national park overlooking beautiful golden sand beaches and lake Wanaka is noted for picturesque landscapes. Warm season between September and May is more favorable for sailing experience, especially summer.

Practical info

When is the best time to go sailing in New Zealand?

Exploring New Zealand's lakes and islands by boat is best during warm seasons between September and May, when mild conditions with more favorable weather make sailing a delightful activity. This period is exceptionally suitable to explore the scenic beauty of the country by boat, with the temperature, lush greenery, and cultural landmarks adding to the entire experience. Show more

Where are the top sailing destinations in New Zealand?

New Zealand offers several picturesque sailing destinations worth exploring, from the expansive lake Taupo to the Bay of Islands, Abel Tasman national park, Auckland, and Lake Wanaka. Each destination hosts unique features, from crystal clear waters and sandy beaches to Maori carvings and dolphin sightings, adding to the magic of sailing in New Zealand's breathtaking geography. Show more

What are some unique features of sailing in the Bay of Islands?

The Bay of Islands offers a magical sailing experience to visitors with its 144 beautiful islands, warm coastal waters, stunning beaches, and cultural landmarks. There are ample routes to explore around this area, with occasional dolphin sightings offering a unique experience. It's no wonder many tourists flock to the Bay of Islands, making it a top choice for sailing enthusiasts worldwide. Show more

When is the ideal time to spot dolphins while sailing in New Zealand?

Dolphins are present almost all year round in New Zealand's coastal waters, but a higher likelihood of encounters exists between December and March, ideal for those looking to witness these remarkable creatures up close. These months coincide with the warm sailing conditions, presenting the perfect opportunity to explore the coast with dolphins as company. Private sailing and tour opportunities exist throughout the year for spotting dolphins along favorable routes. Show more

Where can you find the largest Maori carvings while sailing in New Zealand?

The beautiful Lake Taupo holds the largest Maori carvings available to explore while sailing across New Zealand. Discovering these intricate carvings provides a unique insight into the beautiful Maori culture while on a magnificent lake. Interested visitors can take part in guided sailing tours or privately explore the rich and cultural Lake Taupo to experience the Maori carvings in full view. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin