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Ports and marinas reopen to recreational vessel, small craft and yacht arrivals

08.49am 02 September 2022

For the first time since September 2020, recreational vessels, yachts and small craft can once again arrive at seven ports and marinas in New Zealand.

Arrivals have been restricted to entering New Zealand via Opua in the Bay of Islands so that COVID-19 restrictions could be managed effectively to reduce the spread of COVID-19. 

The ports/marinas that vessels can now arrive at are:  

  • Opua
  • Whangarei  
  • Auckland (Westhaven marina)  
  • Auckland Harbour Viaduct marina and Silo Park marina  
  • Tauranga (Vessel works precinct) 
  • Picton  
  • Lyttelton  

Pre-COVID-19, these seven ports were authorised for arrivals of recreational vessels, yachts and small craft. All seven port and marinas are Customs-controlled Areas (CCA’s) and Places of First Arrival (PoFA) for MPI.  

Prior to the pandemic, Opua saw the majority of recreational vessel arrivals, with over 500 in 2019, followed by Whangarei and Auckland. 

Based on arrival patterns pre-COVID-19 and the increase in small craft departures in the past few months, it is highly likely that the small craft arrival season for 2022/23 will return close to pre-COVID-19 levels.  

All recreational vessels, yachts and small craft will be met by Customs on arrival, with checks carried out including reviewing COVID-19 vaccination evidence, checking immigration status/visas, and assessing Customs risk. 

Crew and passengers preparing to travel to New Zealand on a recreational vessel, yacht or small craft can visit the Yacht webpage for all information including mandatory documentation and health requirements.