SPRING-SUMMER 2011I sea&iI77The Rugby World Cup will certainly put New Zealand inthe spotlight this year, but there is so much moreto this twin-island country. If you're planning to catchthe action on the touch-line, tie it in with a charteraround this spectacular part of the world. Whether driftingacross a secluded bay or inlet, exploring the many uninhab-ited islands, or sailing into its many harbours, New Zealand hasendless cruising possibilities. If you set aside enough time, acharter can take in both North and South islands, with stopsin the Bay of Islands, the Marlborough Sounds, Tauranga and,of course, the Rugby World Cup venues themselves: Aucklandand Wellington. Sadly, the devastating earthquake that hitChristchurch in February caused such critical damage thatRugby New Zealand 2011 has decided to reschedule the city'smatches at Eden Park, Auckland. However, Christchurch, oftenreferred to as the Garden City of New Zealand, remains a keyregion to visit on a charter of South Island.Although the less populated of the two, South Island'sscenery alone makes it worthy of a visit. It offers a varied landscapeof snowy peaks that sit above sun-drenched plains, waterfalls,fjords and lakes and vineyards, the most famous of which arein Marlborough Wine Country. Although the first vineyards hereonly gained a reputation in the early 70s, the region is nowregarded as being one of the world's finest producers ofSauvignon Blanc. Another must-visit city is Queenstown. NewZealand's adrenaline capital, this year-round Alpine resort onthe shores of a vast lake offers every opportunity for ahealthy, active holiday. North Island is altogether different. Its stunning landscapecomprises pristine lakes and is home to some of the southernhemisphere's most cosmopolitan cities, including Auckland,aka the 'City of Sails'. The largest Polynesian city in the world,it offers a wide range of shops and restaurants, busy?The twin-island nation of New Zealand is made for active adventure, and with the Rugby World Cup being hosted there later this year, it is the perfect place to head for a fun-fuelled charter By Miriam Cain DOUBLE IMPACTnew zealandOpposite page: Abel Tasman NationalPark on South Island furtherafieldRUGBY WORLD CUP 2011 FIXTURESQUARTERFINALS8 OctoberWellington 8 OctoberAuckland9 OctoberWellington9 October AucklandSEMIFINALS15 October Auckland 16 October Auckland 3RDPLACEPLAY-OFF21 October AucklandFINAL23 OctoberAuckland
78Isea&iISPRING-SUMMER 2011ACTIVE CHARTERS Both New Zealand's North and South islands offer a wealth of opportunities,ranging from remote trekking to whale-watching. Here are just a few activitiesto keep you moving during a charter through the southern hemisphere.SCUBADIVEAROUNDTHEPOORKNIGHTSLying off the northeast coast of North Island, the Poor Knights nature andmarine reserve is home to one of the best diving spots in the world. Tropicalcurrents sweep through attracting a variety of tropical species that cannot befound anywhere else in New Zealand. SWIMWITHSHARKSCome face to face with Mako and Blue sharks (albeit from behind the bars ofa protective metal cage) in the waters just north of Gisborne, North Island.WALKTHESKYTOWERMake your way around the thin perimeter ring of one of the SouthernHemisphere's tallest freestanding structures. At 192m (630') above ground,the famous Sky Tower promises spectacular views of Auckland and your yachtberthed below. The fact that you have no handrails and nothing but sky oneither side of you makes for a nail-biting experience. Although you'll be fittedwith a full body harness and overhead safety lines, this is not recommendedfor the faint of heart. SEAKAYAKINABELTASMANNATIONALPARKLying at the northern tip of New Zealand's South Island, the Abel Tasman coastis renowned for clear azure waters, white-sand beaches, hidden coves andspectacular headlands. Here you can paddle your way among seal pups anddolphins, Little Blue Penguins, and many other sea birds that make a homealong this beautifully preserved coastline. Sea kayaking is also popular in theBay of Islands, Hauraki Gulf and Milford Sound. GOWILDINQUEENSTOWNIn Queenstown you will find plenty of daredevil opportunities for even themost adventurous among you. From skydiving and bungee jumping to skiing,hand-gliding and quad biking, the city provides every adrenalin-pumpingactivity imaginable.WHITE-WATERRAFTINGANDJETBOATINGNorth Island is home to the Wairoa, Mohaka and Kaituna rivers, all of whichprovide challenging rapids for white-water rafting, while South Island hasaction on the Shotover, Kawarau and Rangitata rivers. For an extra adrenalinrush, jet boating is available along most of the major rivers on South Island. WHALE-WATCHINGINKAIKOURANorth of Christchurch, Kaikoura has a deep underwater canyon with unusualsea currents that attract an abundance of marine life - the most famous beingthe sperm whales, which are drawn by the region's rich plankton. The watershere also abound with dolphins.