Auckland, New Zealand to Elizabeth and Middleton Reef’s to Southport Australia / 1,500nm / 11 Days / CAT 0 Ocean Passage
The Category 0 ocean passage from Auckland, New Zealand to Southport, Queensland, Australia includes a stopover at Elizabeth Reef and a circumnavigation of the notorious Middleton Reef; two of the southernmost platform reefs in the world. It’s a great opportunity to cross the Tasman Sea.
These 6nm long reefs rise up from the 4,000 metres deep Tasman Seafloor and are both visible at low tide. They have claimed more than 70 vessels in the past 100 years with some wrecks still visible on the reefs. Initially, we’ll sail from North Cape to Elizabeth Reef, where we will anchor and go ashore on Elizabeth Island, a sand island inside the platform reef that’s covered at high tide. Imagine standing on a tiny island 300nm off the East Coast of Australia with nothing but the Tasman Sea in every direction!
With nothing but an open ocean from the bottom of Australia/New Zealand to Antarctica; 1,000nm to the south, the ocean swell can build in height with no land to stop it for more than 2,500nm until it hits the shores of the Pacific Islands. There are many reasons why more people have climbed Mount Everest than have sailed across the Tasman Sea and the rapidly changing nature of the Tasman Sea’s weather system is one of them.
Our skippers have sailed across the Tasman Sea twelve times (two solos), the keys to success include waiting for the weather window, downloading live weather en-route and sailing a vessel that’s easy to mode for all wind and swell conditions. Despite its reputation for extreme conditions, the Tasman Sea is easy to cross safely if you stay clear of the winter storm season (late May to early August) and wait for a safe weather window. It’s an absolute bucket-list voyage and a hugely satisfying personal achievement.
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