How Long Does It Take to Sail to New Zealand?

Are you planning a sailing trip to New Zealand? One of the most common questions asked by sailors is, “How long does it take to sail to New Zealand?”

The answer depends on various factors such as the starting point, the route taken, weather conditions and the type of vessel. In this article, we will take a look at these factors and discuss how they can affect your sailing journey.

Starting Point

The starting point of your journey plays a vital role in determining how long it will take to sail to New Zealand. If you are starting from Australia or nearby islands such as Fiji or Tonga, your journey may be shorter than if you were starting from the west coast of North America or Europe.

Route Taken

The route taken also affects the duration of your sailing journey. There are two main routes that sailors can take when sailing to New Zealand: the Southern Route and the Northern Route.

The Southern Route is shorter but more challenging due to harsh weather conditions and strong winds. It involves sailing across the Tasman Sea, which is known for its unpredictable weather and rough seas. The journey from Sydney to Auckland via this route takes approximately 7-10 days.

On the other hand, the Northern Route is longer but less challenging. It involves sailing across the Pacific Ocean and stopping at islands such as Vanuatu and Fiji before reaching New Zealand. This route takes approximately 3-4 weeks but offers more opportunities for exploration along the way.

Weather Conditions

Weather conditions can significantly impact how long it takes to sail to New Zealand. The Tasman Sea is notorious for its volatile weather patterns with sudden gusts of wind and heavy swells that can slow down your journey. On top of that, cyclones can hit during summer months that make it difficult for sailors on their way to New Zealand.

Therefore, it’s essential to keep an eye on weather forecasts and plan your journey accordingly. Additionally, it’s crucial to have a well-equipped vessel that can withstand rough weather conditions.

Type of Vessel

The type of vessel you use can also affect how long it takes to sail to New Zealand. A fast and modern yacht will cover the distance faster than a traditional sailing vessel. However, for sailors on a budget, slower vessels such as catamarans or monohulls are still suitable options for sailing to New Zealand.


In conclusion, the time it takes to sail to New Zealand depends on various factors, including your starting point, route taken, weather conditions and type of vessel. While sailing across the Tasman Sea presents its own set of challenges, it’s a rewarding journey that offers stunning views of the rugged coastline and natural beauty of New Zealand. Before embarking on your journey, make sure you have all the necessary equipment and take into account all these factors for a safe and enjoyable trip.

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Daniel Bennet