New Zealand is expecting to see a surge of interest in luxury yacht charters in the run-up to the America’s Cup in 2021, and the Port Marlborough Board is preparing ahead of time with approval given to the latest stage for an extension for the Waikawa Marina.
Current demand and increasing waiting lists for both the full-capacity Picton and Waikawa marinas has proven the popularity and necessity of the project both for locals and visitors. An additional 252 berths will be available at the marina extension to the north-west of existing facilities, and the increased capacity with being able to accommodate visiting boats from 10-25m (32.8-82ft), with some of the berths suitable for multi-hulled vessels.
The project has undergone 10 years of careful planning and consultation with local bodies, including Te Ātiawa and the Marlborough Berth & Mooring Association as well as neighbours, community groups, stakeholders and customers. To increase environmental sustainability and reduce the impact on the region, low-energy LED lighting has been installed along with a rubbish recycling compound, recycled water used in the flushing toilets and electric charging stations for cars and boats.
Once completed, the public will have continued access to the northern shoreline and a walkway along the northern breakwater.
“…The North-West Extension will not only fulfil recreational demand in our marinas but also has a wider economic benefit for the Marlborough region, pre and post construction,” commented Port Marlborough CEO Rhys Welbourn. “The economic impact of the marina expansion is estimated to bring an annual additional expenditure of $2.4m in the Marlborough region.”
What the region has to offer on a New Zealand luxury yacht charter
Marlborough and the surrounding Abel Tasman region at the northern tip of South Island is a popular destination for southern hemisphere summer holidays: The Waikawa Marina is ideally situated near the port town of Picton and has direct access to the many island bays and beaches to the north.
Visitors to the region have a wealth of trails to hike, and local galleries and vineyards are just waiting to be discovered. Fishing in non-protected areas can lead to a delicious lunch of freshly cooked crayfish, moki, cod or even river trout for those looking to spend the day on land savouring the tranquil surroundings.
Athletic individuals and wildlife lovers shouldn’t pass up the opportunity to kayak, skydive or snorkel and Scuba dive in and around the Abel Tasman National Park, where rays and turtles have been spotted swimming through the clear water, and some have been lucky enough to spot little blue penguins.
The cosmopolitan capital city of Wellington awaits across the Cook Strait and visitors can expect to find a wealth of museums, theatres and art galleries. The famous special effects studio Weta Workshop that worked on the Lord of the Rings films is also close to town, as is Zealandia, a sanctuary for kiwis and other bird species endemic only to New Zealand.