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Southport Australia to Auckland, New Zealand Expedition Cruising

Southport Yacht Club
  • Event date: 02/10/2022
  • Event end: 16/10/2022
  • When: OCT-DEC
  • Duration: 2 weeks

Expedition Southport, Australia to Middleton Reef, Elizabeth Reef, Lord Howe Island, Ball’s Pyramid, Norfolk Island to Auckland, New Zealand / 1,400 Nm / 15 Days / CAT 1 Ocean Passage

The ocean passage from Southport, Queensland, Australia to Middleton Reef, Elizabeth Reef, Lord Howe Island, Ball’s Pyramid, Norfolk Island and finally onto Auckland, New Zealand is a true adventurers expedition. We depart Southport and head 300nm east to the notorious Middleton Reef, one of the southernmost platform reefs in the world. This 6nm long reef rises up from the 3,000 metres deep Tasman Seafloor and is visible at low tide. It’s claimed more than 70 vessels in the past 100 years with some wrecks still visible.

Then we’ll sail 30nm south 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! Its 100nm south to our next stop at Lord Howe Island where we will tie up on a mooring in the lagoon for 2-3 nights on the western side and take the opportunity to swim, cycle, hike, relax and enjoy everything this stunning island has to offer.

Crossing the Tasman Sea

Crossing the Tasman Sea is one of the most revered ocean crossings on the planet. With nothing but the 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.

David, your skipper crossed the Tasman Sea six times (two solo), 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 August) and wait for a safe weather window. It’s an absolute bucket-list voyage and a hugely satisfying personal achievement.

The sea life, milky way, phosphorescence and tranquility of  crossing an ocean and seeing no other vessels for the bulk of the voyage, really make this a special sailing experience.

The 1,390nm route from Southport to Middleton & Elizabeth and Reefs, Lord Howe Island, Balls Pyramid and to Picton
Difficulty Level:
Medium
Price:

7750 $ AUD

Southport, Australia to Middleton Reef, Elizabeth Reef, Lord Howe Island, Ball’s Pyramid, Norfolk Island and Auckland, New Zealand / 1400 Nm / 2 – 16 Oct 2022

You can fly directly into Southport on or before the 2nd of October 2022. 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 on the 3rd onwards and we will aim to depart (subject to weather) on the 4th October 2022, when we will clear Customs and then depart Southport and sail east towards Middleton Reef, then onto Elizabeth Reef for a brief stop to go ashore, then to Lord Howe Island for a 2-day stopover. When we depart we’ll sail 13nm SE to Balls Pyramid then 490 Nm onto Norfolk Island where we will stop briefly for an island tour before continuing 390nm SE toward New Zealand, passing the northernmost tip; Cape Reinga before sailing into Opua to clear customs, before sailing the final 120nm to Auckland.

You are welcome to stay onboard from the date you arrive in Southport, but if you plan to arrive prior to 2 October, you may need to arrange accommodation ashore, but check with me first. You can stay on board when we arrive in Auckland depart out of Auckland airport.

Highlights from the 2019 passage to Middleton Reef and Elizabeth Reef

When we depart Lord Howe Island, we’ll sail past the unique Balls Pyramid 13nm to the SE, stretching almost 500m out of the ocean, before altering course for Norfolk Island 480 Nm to the ENE where (weather permitting), we will anchor and go ashore, clear Australian Customs and take a tour of the island and take in the rich history dating back to the early convict inhabitants.

The final 2 legs of our journey take us 490 Nm SE to the Port of Opua in New Zealand’s Bay of Islands, where we will clear customs before continuing onto the final port in Auckland. This expedition will have some unique sights including seeing shipwrecks visible on top of the Middleton Reef, turquoise blue lagoons, amazing sea life and the steep Jurassic like cliff faces of Lord Howe Island.

Southport, Australia to Middleton Reef, Elizabeth Reef, Lord Howe Island, Ball’s Pyramid and Picton, New Zealand / 1390 Nm / 18 Sep – 1 Oct 2023

You can fly directly into Southport on or before 18 September 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 on the 19th onwards and we will aim to depart (subject to weather) on the 20th September 2023, when we will clear Customs and then depart Southport and sail east towards Middleton Reef, then onto Elizabeth Reef for a brief stop to go ashore, then to Lord Howe Island for a 2-day stopover. When we depart we’ll sail 13nm SE to Balls Pyramid before continuing 950nm SE toward the Cook Strait at the top of New Zealand’s South Island before the final turn into Queen Charlotte Sound to sail the final 23nm to Picton.

You are welcome to stay onboard from the date you arrive in Southport, but if you plan to arrive prior to 18 September, you may need to arrange accommodation ashore, but check with me first. You can stay on board when we arrive in Picton depart out of Blenheim airport to connecting flights from Christchurch, Wellington or Auckland airports.

Highlights from the 2019 passage to Middleton Reef and Elizabeth Reef

When we depart Lord Howe Island, we’ll sail past the unique Balls Pyramid 13nm to the SE, stretching almost 500m out of the ocean, before altering course for Picton in New Zealand’s Marlborough Sounds. This expedition will have some unique sights including seeing shipwrecks visible on top of the Middleton Reef, turquoise blue lagoons, amazing sea life and the steep Jurassic like cliff faces of Lord Howe Island.

Here’s what you will experience onboard:

  • Hoisting, trimming and reefing both upwind (main, genoas, and jibs) and downwind sails (poled out headsails, spinnakers, gennakers and code 0’s (subject to weather).
  • Acting as watch captain (day and night), helming, navigating, checking the weather and monitoring AIS and radar and for both traffic and rain squalls.
  • Downloading and analysing the latest weather forecasts and calculating the best route to the destination.
  • Navigating, hazard identification, entering waypoints and calculating updated ETA’s.
  • Routine checks of bilges, engine, electrical systems, sails and hardware for preventative maintenance.
  • Watch roster planning, matching responsibility to experience, crew management and communication
  • Familiarisation of all safety procedures, sail planning, storm preparation planning and abandon ship procedures.
  • Training in the use of PDF’s (Personal Flotation Devices), PLB’s (Personal Locator Beacons), safety tethers, dan buoy’s, storm drogue, liferaft and any other equipment required to ensure you remain safe in all conditions.
  • Advice on how to take responsibility for managing clothing, hydration, sleep and nutrition to maintain your health and well being aboard.
  • Planning our arrival and route to safe harbour including timing with daylight (if required), weather factors, navigational hazards, communications/customs and sail/motor arrival plan.
  • Multi-day, offshore passage making 24/7 on a significant Category 1 offshore passage

Read the blog articles published by Lena Padukova after her 2019 Trans-Tasman on Ocean Gem.

Read our blog article of the Trans Tasman Crossing from Southport, Auckland to Opua & Auckland, New Zealand done on Ocean Gem in March 2019

Lord Howe Island information

Your crew package includes:

  • all meals onboard
  • crew meals ashore in Southport, Lord Howe Island and in Auckland
  • accommodation onboard
  • your Ocean Sailing Expeditions crew shirt
  • marina fees
  • the use of a PFD (personal floatation device), PLB (personal locator beacon), and a safety tether
  • your bedding, a pillow and towel is also included along with suncream.

Your crew package excludes:

  • accommodation ashore
  • flights and transport to and from departure and arrival ports and visas
  • alcohol
  • toiletries
  • clothing and wet weather gear

You will need to complete a 2-day Sea Safety and Survival Training Course or equivalent Category 1 Course at least 2 months prior.

Its always recommended that you book flights with date flexibility in case of unforeseen changes due to weather or schedules. Accommodation options if you want to stay ashore either side of trip: AirBNBBooking.comWotif & HomeAway.

Boats
Program 2022

Southport, Australia to Middleton Reef, Elizabeth Reef, Lord Howe Island, Ball’s Pyramid, Norfolk Island and Auckland, New Zealand / 1400 Nm / 2 – 16 Oct 2022

You can fly directly into Southport on or before the 2nd of October 2022. 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 on the 3rd onwards and we will aim to depart (subject to weather) on the 4th October 2022, when we will clear Customs and then depart Southport and sail east towards Middleton Reef, then onto Elizabeth Reef for a brief stop to go ashore, then to Lord Howe Island for a 2-day stopover. When we depart we’ll sail 13nm SE to Balls Pyramid then 490 Nm onto Norfolk Island where we will stop briefly for an island tour before continuing 390nm SE toward New Zealand, passing the northernmost tip; Cape Reinga before sailing into Opua to clear customs, before sailing the final 120nm to Auckland.

You are welcome to stay onboard from the date you arrive in Southport, but if you plan to arrive prior to 2 October, you may need to arrange accommodation ashore, but check with me first. You can stay on board when we arrive in Auckland depart out of Auckland airport.

Highlights from the 2019 passage to Middleton Reef and Elizabeth Reef

When we depart Lord Howe Island, we’ll sail past the unique Balls Pyramid 13nm to the SE, stretching almost 500m out of the ocean, before altering course for Norfolk Island 480 Nm to the ENE where (weather permitting), we will anchor and go ashore, clear Australian Customs and take a tour of the island and take in the rich history dating back to the early convict inhabitants.

The final 2 legs of our journey take us 490 Nm SE to the Port of Opua in New Zealand’s Bay of Islands, where we will clear customs before continuing onto the final port in Auckland. This expedition will have some unique sights including seeing shipwrecks visible on top of the Middleton Reef, turquoise blue lagoons, amazing sea life and the steep Jurassic like cliff faces of Lord Howe Island.

Program 2023

Southport, Australia to Middleton Reef, Elizabeth Reef, Lord Howe Island, Ball’s Pyramid and Picton, New Zealand / 1390 Nm / 18 Sep – 1 Oct 2023

You can fly directly into Southport on or before 18 September 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 on the 19th onwards and we will aim to depart (subject to weather) on the 20th September 2023, when we will clear Customs and then depart Southport and sail east towards Middleton Reef, then onto Elizabeth Reef for a brief stop to go ashore, then to Lord Howe Island for a 2-day stopover. When we depart we’ll sail 13nm SE to Balls Pyramid before continuing 950nm SE toward the Cook Strait at the top of New Zealand’s South Island before the final turn into Queen Charlotte Sound to sail the final 23nm to Picton.

You are welcome to stay onboard from the date you arrive in Southport, but if you plan to arrive prior to 18 September, you may need to arrange accommodation ashore, but check with me first. You can stay on board when we arrive in Picton depart out of Blenheim airport to connecting flights from Christchurch, Wellington or Auckland airports.

Highlights from the 2019 passage to Middleton Reef and Elizabeth Reef

When we depart Lord Howe Island, we’ll sail past the unique Balls Pyramid 13nm to the SE, stretching almost 500m out of the ocean, before altering course for Picton in New Zealand’s Marlborough Sounds. This expedition will have some unique sights including seeing shipwrecks visible on top of the Middleton Reef, turquoise blue lagoons, amazing sea life and the steep Jurassic like cliff faces of Lord Howe Island.

Tips

Here’s what you will experience onboard:

  • Hoisting, trimming and reefing both upwind (main, genoas, and jibs) and downwind sails (poled out headsails, spinnakers, gennakers and code 0’s (subject to weather).
  • Acting as watch captain (day and night), helming, navigating, checking the weather and monitoring AIS and radar and for both traffic and rain squalls.
  • Downloading and analysing the latest weather forecasts and calculating the best route to the destination.
  • Navigating, hazard identification, entering waypoints and calculating updated ETA’s.
  • Routine checks of bilges, engine, electrical systems, sails and hardware for preventative maintenance.
  • Watch roster planning, matching responsibility to experience, crew management and communication
  • Familiarisation of all safety procedures, sail planning, storm preparation planning and abandon ship procedures.
  • Training in the use of PDF’s (Personal Flotation Devices), PLB’s (Personal Locator Beacons), safety tethers, dan buoy’s, storm drogue, liferaft and any other equipment required to ensure you remain safe in all conditions.
  • Advice on how to take responsibility for managing clothing, hydration, sleep and nutrition to maintain your health and well being aboard.
  • Planning our arrival and route to safe harbour including timing with daylight (if required), weather factors, navigational hazards, communications/customs and sail/motor arrival plan.
  • Multi-day, offshore passage making 24/7 on a significant Category 1 offshore passage

Read the blog articles published by Lena Padukova after her 2019 Trans-Tasman on Ocean Gem.

Read our blog article of the Trans Tasman Crossing from Southport, Auckland to Opua & Auckland, New Zealand done on Ocean Gem in March 2019

Lord Howe Island information

Inclusions

Your crew package includes:

  • all meals onboard
  • crew meals ashore in Southport, Lord Howe Island and in Auckland
  • accommodation onboard
  • your Ocean Sailing Expeditions crew shirt
  • marina fees
  • the use of a PFD (personal floatation device), PLB (personal locator beacon), and a safety tether
  • your bedding, a pillow and towel is also included along with suncream.
Exclusions

Your crew package excludes:

  • accommodation ashore
  • flights and transport to and from departure and arrival ports and visas
  • alcohol
  • toiletries
  • clothing and wet weather gear

You will need to complete a 2-day Sea Safety and Survival Training Course or equivalent Category 1 Course at least 2 months prior.

Its always recommended that you book flights with date flexibility in case of unforeseen changes due to weather or schedules. Accommodation options if you want to stay ashore either side of trip: AirBNBBooking.comWotif & HomeAway.

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