Cruise News

South Island Rally 2022-2023

South Island Rally 2022-2023

We are excited to launch the South Island Rally 2022!


If you missed our webinar - you can watch it now by clicking here.  Access Passcode: 00jh=%z$

What is a Rally?

A yacht rally is a group of sailors who choose to sail in approximately the same direction around the same time. Our focus is on safe and social cruising. We will help you prepare for the adventures ahead, assist with finding crew, provide a detailed guide book for the destinations you'll be visiting, give you support with weather, shore crew assistance if you have any questions or problems, provide some great discounts and events and socially connect you with all the other yachts and power boats heading in your direction. 

You are free to cruise with the group, or do your own thing. The choice is yours!


The Options:

  1. The whole South Island - including Fiordland & Stewart Island
  2. Marlborough & Banks Peninsula 
  3. Waikawa/Wellington to Lyttelton for SailGP - March. 
  4. Addon Waikawa Boating club membership - use of moorings, clubhouse facilities, enter the New Year regatta etc.


The Route

Departing from Opua at the end of December - or at your own leisure, the rally will head south, firstly for the stunning Abel Tasman area. This is a 500NM passage and will take you around 3-4 days. 

On arrival you can explore the golden sandy beaches and stunning walks in the Abel Tasman and reprovision or make any repairs in Nelson.

From there you have the choice - either to stay and explore in the Abel Tasman and Marlborough area - or for those keen to head south it is around 350NM or a two day passage South to spectacular Milford Sound. 

There is so much to explore in Fiordland and Stewart Island, scenery, history, wildlife and friendly people. There is very limited phone coverage in this part of the world, so you'll need an IridiumGO or some other kind of satellite communications to be able to keep in touch. Weather is also another challenging aspect of sailing in this part of the world. You'll need to be confident with anchoring and sailing in challenging conditions, be well provisioned, bring some good wet weather gear & sand fly repellant too.

After Stewart Island it is a short hop up the coast to Dunedin, should you wish to stop and explore this lovely city. You can then day-hop up the coast to Oamaru, Timaru or sail straight up to Akaroa arriving early March.

For those staying in Marlborough, there is much to explore. D'Urville Island, Pelorus, Tennyson, Kenupuru & Queen Charlotte Sounds. You'll find great fishing, hundreds of bays and inlets, wonderful walks, remote lodges and stunning anchorages.

For those keen to join us in Lyttelton for SailGP the rally groups will meet up again in stunning Akaroa. From Marlborough, this is a 190NM passage and will take you around 30 - 36 hours. In Akaroa we'll have a pirate party and give you time to enjoy the French atmosphere of this pretty town. From there we'll share our favourite anchorages around Banks Peninsula, stopping at various places along way as we work our way around towards Lyttelton. We will give you tips on the best spots to anchor overnight and where the SailGP racing will happen. The SailGP racing is 18-19 March and there is on-water training and practice racing you might also like to watch on the 16-17th too.

The rally concludes in Lyttelton and from here you can head home at your own pace, stopping at places like Marlborough, Wellington, Napier, Gisborne & Tauranga along the way if you wish. 


The Rally Includes:

  • A printed Yacht Manual checklist to help you get prepared
  • A detailed rally guide - we've done all the research for you! Our rally guide book contains lots of local information on things like tides, VHF channels, where to get fuel & groceries in remote places, contacts for moorings & things to see and do along the way.
  • The LINZ paper chart of the South Island.
  • Stewart Island Cruising guide by Alastair Walker - for those heading to Stewart Island.
  • A free Fiordland cruising guide
  • Passage plan template & workshop
  • A rally pack with sponsors goodies
  • All you need to know about biosecurity requirements and clean vessel passes
  • Assistance with getting prepared, including webinars, workshops and regular updates containing detailed content on destinations, weather, anchoring techniques, fishing regulations, radio stations and more
  • Use of a professional weather router for certain longer passages when travelling with the rally group
  • The PredictWind tracker if you have an IridiumGO which you can share with your friends & family. Check out last year's tracker here. 
  • 20% discount on PredictWind weather routing subscriptions
  • Group discounted access to Southland Maritime/Bluff Fishermans Radio for use of repeater channels, local weather and advice
  • Access to discounted summer membership of Waikawa Boating Club and use of their extensive mooring options in the Sounds - (at an optional extra cost)
  • Making great friends to sail with and meet the locals along the way
  • Shore crew support - I'll be on the end of the phone if you need help or advice
  • Guidance from Peter Mott our Passage Guardian.
  • Coordination with Maritime Radio & RCCNZ so they are aware of the rally movements
  • An ICNZ burgee
  • Lots of great deals and discounts from our suppliers including charts, cruising guides, safety gear, lines and much more
  • Events along the way
  • Flexibility to cruise with the group or do your own thing.



Whole South Island Circumnavigation $690 per vessel

Marlborough & Banks Peninsula $390 per vessel

Stewart Island & Fiordland only (for South Island boats) $390 per vessel

Banks Peninsula only for SailGP 1-20 March - $190 per vessel

Optional extra to add on - Waikawa Boating Club package $350.00 per vessel. This includes use of the extensive network of club moorings and facilities over the rally period.


I recommend signing up early to take full advantage of all the content and assistance with getting ready to go. 



You'll also need to become a member of Island Cruising if you aren't already, which is $95 per year. This will also give you access to all our cruising preparation content to help get you, your crew and your boat ready for the adventures ahead: 

We encourage your crew to join too so they can also access all the resources and updates about the rally.



We can help with crew too if you need an extra hand for the passages or just cruising in general. While not compulsory, we recommend your crew also become members of Island Cruising so they can swot up on all the handy things to know such as passage planning, safety, navigation, watch keeping and get access all our other content and resources as well. Check out our CrewSeeker list here or if you'd like to sign up and crew please do so here



A rally is not a race, and you can expect to encounter some bad weather and challenging conditions on this voyage. We will help you with tips, discounts and advice to help you prepare you and your vessel for the adventures ahead. Island Cruising will provide the information, advice and events and assistance along the way to help you prepare and undertake the voyage, Maritime Law states that the skipper has the sole responsibility of the safety of the vessel and its crew, and the decision to set sail or participate in the rally or any events along the way is entirely up to you.


We would love to have you join us and a deposit of $200 will secure your spot with the balance due by 30 October 2022.


Registrations are open now! You can sign up online here


We will then send you an invoice for the rally and once we receive your deposit, you'll get your printed copy of the Yacht Manual checklist and will start getting the first rally preparation updates.


If you have any questions or feedback, please let me know.

Thanks for your support.

Kind Regards

Viki Moore

Island Cruising NZ


P: 021 438 977