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58Isea& iIAUTUMN 2009 Rolling pastures, snow capped mountains, ancient forests and dramatic coastlines - the tranquil beauty of New Zealand inspires all those who cruise its stunning shores Kiwi connection F or an unparalleled multi- centre cruising destina-tion, the two islands of New Zealand are utterly enchanting. Home to some of the world's greatest sailing, New Zealand's North Island plays host to Auckland, renowned as the ' city of sails'. Cultured and calm, the city is abounding with fine restaurants and shops. For a taste of the best the city has to offer, stroll down the streets of Parnell or Ponsonby, located on one of the hills neighbouring the city centre, where designer shops and art galleries line up in boutiques whose architecture is reminiscent of the older days when the Auckland region was merely a group of small villages. Overlooked by the Sky Tower, Viaduct Harbour bustles with life in the evening and over the weekends, when people take on the pedestrian walkways all around to enjoy a glass of wine or fine food in the numerous bars and restaurants that opened in the early 2000' s, at the time when the America's Cup made its way to Auckland. Among these, make your way down to Soul Bar and Bistro ( www. soulbar. co. nz), a lively contemporary restaurant with excellent fusion cuisine and New Zealand flavour, great wines and excellent service. Other places worth a culinary visit include the French Café ( www. thefrenchcafé. co. nz), Iguacu ( www. iguacu. co. nz), and the aforementioned Clooney ( www. clooney. co. nz) located near the quaint Victoria Park, where you will also find the renowned Victoria Park Market. Located in a former factory, the market is where you will find local arts and crafts including Maori designs. For those looking for more serious pieces the Moko Artspace Below left: the diversity of landscapes in New Zealand has no equivalent the world over Below right: The Chuan Spa at the Langham Hotel offers fabulous facilities

The following are just a selection of yachts that are either based in New Zealand or cruising through the Southern Ocean as part of a round- the- world tour. SALPERTON IV 45m/ 147' 6, Fitzroy Yachts, 2009 A fast cruising sloop, Salperton IV is a low profile, fast, sleek sailing yacht. Built in New Zealand by Fitzroy Yachts, and designed by Dubois Naval Architects, with an interior by Adam Lay Studios, she boasts a distinctive pedigree. She has been built for fast sailing, but without compromising the ultimate comforts. She boasts ample deck space for lounging and a spacious interior with accommodations for eight guests in an owner's suite and three generous guest cabins, one of which converts to a gym. MYSTERY 34.3m/ 112' 5, Nautor Swan, 2000 Powerful, bold performance combines with elegance and classic styling aboard Mystery. Designed for blue water cruising and racing in ultimate safety and comfort, her graceful lines and sleek elegance are a testament to centuries of shipbuilding tradition in Finland. Mystery is the ideal choice for spectacular cruising under sail. Sleeping eight guests in four cabins, she has a magnificent interior offering superb facilities for stylish entertaining, complimented by a world- class crew. ( www. moko. co. nz) located at Hot Water Beach about three hours drive away from Auckland is a must visit gallery. The combination of excellent cuisine and quality outdoor lifestyle have become the motto of Auckland, and the city boasts a plethora of well- being centres. Some of the best include the Chuan Spa, located at the Langham Hotel ( www. chuanspa. co. nz); Mollies ( www. mollies. co. nz); the Isis spa ( www. isisspa. co. nz) and the Tamara spa ( www. tamaraspa. co. nz), all of which provide an excellent range of treatments and pampering facilities. Auckland is also the gateway to the 144 islands and secluded bays of the Bay of Islands. The archipelago has attracted sailors from around the world for hundreds of years with their sheltered anchorages and temperate climate. Cruise around the sleepy bays and protected inlets of the Coromandel Peninsula dominated by the National Forest Park with its spectacular hills and rain forest, or head north from North Shore Point, to reach the region of Whangaparoa, along the Hibiscus Coast up to Cape Leigh, where the magnificent and lush green hills drop down to long sweeping stretches of golden sandy beaches. The Highway of the Two Oceans can then take you across to the Tasman Sea, where black sand beaches such as Waitakere - as featured in the award winning Jane Campion film The Piano - are abounding. And then there is the capital of North Island, Wellington. Located in the south of the island, the city is a cultural hot spot with numerous galleries, opera and ballet. Alternatively, South Island has a character all of its own. Home to Queenstown, the country's adventure capital, and the Marlborough Sounds, it promises idyllic cruising surrounded by glorious mountain landscapes. The country of " the long white cloud", as New Zealand is often referred to, may seem to be located at the end of the world, but as the latter keeps shrinking, it is also a country to watch out for when it comes to the future of yachting. Redevelopment plans are under way in Auckland to revamp the marina - which is already the largest in the southern Hemisphere - in order to cater better to the needs of superyachts. In a few years' time, the entire piece of land from Auckland's own Harbour Bridge down to Viaduct Harbour will be given a new look, with more berths for superyachts, an improved refit and maintenance area combined with a complex of luxury housing, hotels and facilities to offer additional support services to yachts coming to the region. ¦ For further information on the Sea+ City project, visit www. seacity. co. nz or visit the Integrated Marine Group at www. integratedmarinegroup. com. Special thanks to New Zealand Trade & Enterprise for their assistance and support in developing this feature. Clothing supplied by Trelise Cooper, World and Sabantini. Visit www. trelisecopper. com, www. worldbrand. co. nz, and www. sabatini. co. nz. lifeafloat AUTUMN 2009I sea& iI59