As the sun set over Westhaven Marina tonight, I could feel the festive atmosphere developing. It’s a great day to be a Kiwi. Today is the day New Zealand brought home America’s Cup, winning 7-1 over Oracle Team USA. The highly sought after Cup will reside at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, overlooking Westhaven Marina to the South and the Waitemata Harbour and the Hauraki Gulf to the North.
Normally, I don’t stop at Westhaven Marina, although I see it often as we cross the Auckland Harbour Bridge. It’s the largest yacht marina in the southern hemisphere, and each time I look out at the nearly 2,000 boats, I fantasise that one of them is mine. It is no surprise that Auckland is nicknamed the City of Sails.
More on Westhaven Marina, the Auckland Harbour Bridge, and the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron:
- Auckland Council purchased Westhaven Marina in 2004 from Ports of Auckland for $46 million.
- The Auckland Harbour Bridge is the longest road bridge on New Zealand’s North Island. It spans the Waitemata Harbour connecting Auckland to the North Shore.
- By the end of 2017, the bridge will have all its lighting powered by solar-stored energy, a world’s first. The goal is to create colourful effects using over 90,000 LED lights and 200 flood lights.
- The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron is the club behind New Zealand’s America’s Cup campaigns.
- America’s Cup resided at the RNZYS from 1995 until 2003 and with today’s win, the Cup will return.
- The club was established in 1871 as the “Auckland Yacht Club” until it received royal patronage thus changing its name to the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron. The club patron is Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
- Take note of the warning signs in the marina car park. If you are a visitor, be sure to only park in the white spaces.
More on Boating in Auckland
- Westhaven Marina is the starting point for the Red Boat tours to Riverhead Tavern.
- America’s Cup racing fans can sail on former New Zealand America’s Cup yachts. These are the same boats that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge raced on when they visited Auckland.
- New Zealand’s Viaduct Harbour was a stopover destination for the Volvo Ocean Race Around the World.
- The annual Auckland Boat Show is in September. It’s an excellent place to learn more about boating. Last year I got to board the NZ classics Steinlager 2.
- If you love sunsets, check out my favourite New Zealand sunset photos.
If you are headed to the Auckland or anywhere in New Zealand, don’t forget to pick up a copy of Lonely Planet’s New Zealand Travel Guide. It makes planning your adventures easy. Or, if you prefer a tour, Viator offers several day trips in and around Auckland that look great.
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Have you been to Westhaven Marina? Did you watch the America’s Cup Racing?
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