We’re Sailing to Australia

After over six months exploring beautiful New Zealand, we’re sailing to Australia. It’s always hard to leave a place as welcoming and wonderful as New Zealand has been, but we’ll always have the memories, photos, and friendships we’ve made here. After short hops in New Zealand, the Go crew is ready for the next voyage.

rear view from our sailboat, islands, wake
We’re leaving New Zealand behind and sailing to Australia

Why We’re Sailing to Australia

We are going to Australia for a few reasons.

First, we have a few friends living there who we want to see. Friends we met our first year cruising, and friends we met in Panama. Second, all the things to see and do in Australia, including great sailing, beautiful reefs, and great wildlife. We’ll finally see kangaroos and koalas! Last, we’ve never been there. But now we’re sailing to Australia and should be there soon.

Our cat is the reason we’re going straight to Australia non-stop. Having Domino on board was easy until we got to Fiji, when it got ridiculously difficult. Ever since last July, we have to go through bureaucratic hoops to make sure Domino is allowed in country.

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Boating The Bay of Islands

New Zealand’s Bay of Islands is renowned as a summer destination. The North Island’s water wonderland, we spent a month boating The Bay of Islands. We loved anchoring in cozy bays, hiking uninhabited islands, and visiting historic towns. It’s a great place to visit by sailboat.

About New Zealand’s Bay of Islands

New Zealand’s Bay of Islands is both beautiful and an important historical area. Captain Cook stopped here on his South Pacific voyages and gave it it’s name. Also, the Bay of Islands was the first part of the country to be inhabited by Europeans. Maybe more importantly, it’s the site of the signing of the 1840 Treaty of Waitingi between the British and Maoris.

beach, Boating the Bay of islands
Beach at Urupukapuka Island

Currently, The Bay of Islands is known for beautiful beaches, clear water, and gorgeous scenery. The entire region is called “The Winterless North” because the weather never gets freezing like in other parts of the country. It’s New Zealand’s top cruising ground in the summer. We visited in autumn and fell in love with the region.

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Living Aboard in Whangarei

We sailed from Fiji to New Zealand in early November. After checking in at Marsden Cove and completing the formalities, we moved up the river to the Whangarei Town Basin marina. Here’s what it was like spending almost two months living aboard in Whangarei.

About Whangarei

Whangarei is not pronounced how it looks. Unless you speak Maori. In that case you know that the WH is pronounced as F, so it’s pronounced Fang-Ah-Ray.

We enjoyed living aboard in Whangarei. It’s the biggest town in the Northland region of New Zealand, with all the amenities we’ve missed since Tahiti. Whangarei’s population is almost 57,000 and it is 155km north of Auckland, which is said to have almost 1.7mm people.

marina, town basin Whangarei
The marina and town basin in Whangarei

The Town Basin Marina is located on the Hatea river and is walkable to groceries, shops, restaurants and more.

The supermarket across the street is huge and overwhelmingly good. After being in Tonga, where you couldn’t get basic rice, and Fiji, with no cat food or kitty litter, we consider New Zealand the land of plenty. On our first visit to the supermarket, we were overjoyed upon seeing the varieties of lettuce, berries, and yogurt, and the glow hasn’t faded. It doesn’t hurt that we arrived in springtime.

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Inside Our New Boat

It’s been busy here in Fiji as we packed up Sava and moved everything onto Go. Finally I have enough photos to provide a look inside our new boat.

About Go

Go is a Leopard 43 catamaran. She is 43 feet long, 22 feet wide, and has a 5 foot draft.

catamaran trampoline, leopard 43
Out front on Go

We jumped on Go because it’s equipped with everything we need to keep sailing around the world.

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We Bought A Catamaran

After nearly five years on board Sava, Brian and I are making a change. We bought a catamaran and will sell Sava.

Our New Sailboat

We only recently started looking for a different boat. When we saw this sailboat, it was a go! We bought a catamaran; it’s a Leopard 43.

After almost five years and thousands of miles on board Sava, we’re ready for more space. A head for each of us plus one for guests. Lots of lounge space indoors and out. This boat provides all of it.

It’s also been lovingly maintained by its previous owners, is registered to Canada, and has lots of power. The decision to buy a catamaran was even quicker than when we bought Sava, which we never regretted.

Once we’ve moved aboard and made ourselves comfortable, I will post photos and more details.

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