New Zealand is a great destination for both the cruising yacht and the conventional tourist. For the cruising yacht there are additional advantages in that skilled boat work is very reasonable when compared to US or European prices and the quality is usually quite high with the few exceptions that will be found anywhere.
For the tourist, New Zealand offers the same advantages. It is a world class destination with a tremendous variety of activities and sights packed into an area 2/3 the size of California. Most lodging, food service and organized tours are priced very reasonably because they want to capture the local market as well as the foreign tourist.
Getting to New Zealand presents the biggest challenge to the sailor and tourist. Once here, a tour may be organized from 2 weeks to 3 months and with a budget ranging from NZ$100 a day to NZ$400 a day per couple. At $1 US buying almost $2 New Zealand it is not expensive even to travel first class.
The first decision is determining the amount of time available for the tour. One island takes a minimum of 2 weeks to see at a very fast pace and 1 month at a slow but steady pace. Each island has just about as many things to see and do but the South Island is more dramatic and would tend to be my first choice if I could only do one island. This would change however if it is the southern winter. The South Island is pretty far south so plan to visit between November and April. From the last week of December through the entire month of January is the summer school holiday and all of the kiwis take off for the country. Avoid this time if you can, it is pretty crazy.
To Be Continued...