Captain Cooks South Island, New Zealand Circumnavigation / 1,140nm / 6 Nov – 20 Nov 2023
You can fly directly into Blenheim on or before the 6th of November 2023. When you arrive we’ll familiarise you with the yacht, systems and safety equipment and you will join us for a crew dinner ashore.
Our crew will officially assemble from the 7th onwards in the Waikawa Marina near Picton and we will aim to depart (subject to weather) on the 8th of November 2023 and leave the Waikawa Marina, sail out of the Marlborough Sounds and head for the West Coast before turning south for Stewart Island. You are welcome to stay onboard from the date you arrive but if you plan to arrive prior to 6th November, you may need to arrange accommodation ashore.
The goal is to circumnavigate the South Island, stopping at a handful of scenic locations en-route, while managing around the weather to ensure a comfortable and safe expedition. This may include waiting for bad weather to pass while safely anchored or moored in a sheltered bay, inner sound, harbour or anchorage.
The South Island coastline includes some of the most extreme maritime scenery in New Zealand. The voyage starts with departing Picton and sailing out through the Queen Charlotte Sound, before turning west to pass Farewell Spit, before sailing down the west coast to a explore a number of anchorage opportunities in one of the many inner sounds of the lower west coast. Although Milford Sound is the most well known, there are numerous opportunities to explore some of the lesser-known sounds such as George Sound, Thompson Sound, Dusky Sound and Doubtful Sound.
On the south and east coast, there are a variety of locations such as Bluff, Stewart Island, Port Chalmers, Timaru and Lyttleton Harbour that are potential ports of call. The final leg will be sailing from Lyttelton to Picton via the Tory Channel at the eastern entrance to the Marlborough Sounds. We will aim to sail back into Waikawa Marina on the 20th of November 2023. You can stay onboard when we arrive in Picton depart out of Blenheim airport to connecting flights from Christchurch, Wellington or Auckland airport’s.