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white island helicopter new zealand

Yacht Experiences

Explore New Zealand by Yacht

Discover the mystery and majesty of New Zealand on an epic yacht expedition. Known for its high-octane culture, go off-road exploring and heli-biking while meeting Maori warriors. When it’s time to slow down, hike the world-famous trails and savor the incredible wines. Select from the activities below to create your own tailor-made Pelorus itinerary.

When to go:
November – April

HELI-BIKING
From the volcanoes of the North Island to the Southern Alps, New Zealand seems purpose-shaped for mountain biking. Explore extreme backcountry terrain, or for the most advanced rider choose a heli-biking experience and descend from 6000ft above sea level into open alpine tundra. 

GLIDING
With a landscape this spectacular, it’s essential to see it from above. Glide among the peaks of the South Island with an experienced pilot. With visibility often in excess of 250 miles, the rugged topography and unpredictable weather make this experience challenging and thrilling in equal measure.

CANYONING
Take a chopper from your yacht to Nelson, an area that even advanced canyoning experts regard as challenging. Following an intense hike, you’ll arrive at the beginning of the canyon. Back-to-back climbs follow, with rappels and huge slides—it’s one for the determined. Prefer something a little more laid-back? At Torrent River, you’ll discover a more approachable canyon packed with exciting jumps, slides, and rappels. 

CULTURAL IMMERSION
Take a deep dive into indigenous New Zealand culture with a day spent among a Maori tribe. While in their company, you will learn how to track, hunt, gather, and prepare Maori cuisine. Elevate this experience with a simulated Maori warrior ambush. Incredibly exhilarating, this is an opportunity to experience something truly unique.

OFF-ROADING
With enough remote tracks, river crossings, hairpin bends, and sheer drops for a country twice its size, New Zealand is the perfect destination for a heart-racing off-road Landrover Defender experience. With Pelorus granted exclusive access to private land, expect this drive to be extreme.

VINEYARDS
Famous for its grassy sauvignons and composed pinot noirs, wine tasting while in New Zealand is a must. Visit its world-class vineyards, learn how to tend the vines, and enjoy a premium pairing meal prepared by a top local chef. As you savor the myriad flavors, drink in the rolling vineland views. 

FISHING & FOSSICKING
Game fishing is a popular activity among locals, with world records attached to New Zealand’s bountiful waters. Join two fishing industry icons and national competition winners as you dive to spear giant tuna and marlin. Or snorkel in search of lobster, crayfish, and scallops, bearing your catch to your yacht’s chef for preparation ahead of a delicious beach barbecue.

EXTREME
Join an ex-special forces guide on an intense foray into the unknown. You’ll encounter high ropes and confined spaces in this radical challenge that had the country’s famously fit rugby team, the All Blacks, struggling to keep up.

HIKING
Discovering New Zealand’s beautiful landscape on foot is rightly one of the country’s most popular activities. On your yacht expedition, Pelorus will arrange for you to be collected by helicopter for a day’s trekking alongside an expert local guide. You’ll explore uncharted animal trails leading to untouched native beech forests. Pass through abandoned mining areas characterized by derelict stone buildings and sluicing trails. Squint to see the top of cascading waterfalls and walk beside rivers snaking down from the distant summits. 

DIVING
Each of New Zealand’s islands offers an entirely different diving experience. Discover the wrecks, fjords, and kelp forests, and explore the incredible sea bed topography in this volcanic region. Among the undersea pinnacles, watch out for blue, humpback, and sperm whales, as well as dolphins and orcas.

RUM-RACING
Known as the ‘city of sails’, Auckland has a rugged coastline dotted with islands that are perfect for sailing. With rum racing long a part of the national culture, board sailboats and race around the islands—first back to the Royal Auckland Yacht Club is the winner.

DISCOVERY
Travel with a legendary pilot to discover the secrets of the fjordland. Fly over shipwrecks, seal colonies, and pre-European Maori battlegrounds, not forgetting the remarkable natural beauty of this epic landscape. Lunch on freshly caught seafood in one of the country’s most surreally beautiful settings, before ending the day exploring an untouched fjord.

HELI-TAHR
Experience a thrilling heli-tahr, where you drop from a helicopter to hunt. Scour the landscape from above with an expert hunter, before tracking the quarry on foot.

RALLY DRIVING
Drive full specification rally cars on part of the New Zealand rally circuit. Ignite your competitive spirit while skidding around the bends kicking up dirt during a thrilling experience. 

HELI-RAFTING
Pelorus can arrange an action-packed wilderness excursion with an exclusive blend of raft and helicopter. Drop into the incredible Westland National Park onto glacier-fed waters from your helicopter. In the company of a New Zealand white water rafting legend, tackle rapids with names like “Hell Fire” and “The Squeeze”. Afterward, enjoy a helicopter flight over the scenic beech forests, white peaks, and the majestic Hooker Glacier.

SITE-SEEING
Absorb New Zealand’s famous natural beauty on a cruise through its mountainous interior. Jump in a jet boat to access more difficult-to-reach areas, navigating extremely shallow water before a high-octane 50mph ride over fast-flowing rivers and gravel banks. After a wild picnic at the feet of the soaring Southern Alps, take the jet boat helm yourself.