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A unique sailing experience onboard a high performance schooner with professional crew raised in the Bay of Islands

The Yacht

The yacht Zindabar, meaning ‘doer of great things’, as hailed to Sir Edmund Hilary after conquering Mount Everest, is an 18.3 metre (60 foot) Greg Elliott designed high performance cruiser. Engineered by High Modulus and built using modern composites by Dave Wade Boatbuilders in 1998 she is a proven offshore yacht that has cruised extensively in New Zealand, voyaged to Tonga, Vanuatu, New Caledonia and Fiji on a number of occasions.

She has also participated in many races including at least six Coastal Classic Auckland to Bay of Islands yacht races as well as the demanding Round North Island Two Handed Race to name a few however; unlike converted racing yachts she was always intended to cruise with emphasis on fast passage making and is therefore setup that way.

Featuring a huge cockpit for spending the days sailing, swimming, fishing and water-sports she also has three large double cabins as well as twin bunks, big saloon, a great bathroom with separate shower cubicle, large galley, fridge, freezer, all amenities and plenty of storage for all the toys.

She has a deep keel for great sailing that lifts up for access to all those beautiful shallow anchorages. This and a schooner rig provides for a powerful yacht that is easily handled short-handed and therefore an ideal family and charter yacht. The yacht is also fitted with all modern communication and navigation devices, new autopilot and safety equipment compliant with Category 1 Offshore voyages including satellite tracking beacons and life-raft.

Following an extensive refit in 2009 by her original builder she is immaculately presented, sporting a new set of performance sails, new dinghy, kayak, snorkeling and fishing equipment and resides on the picturesque marina in Kerikeri; she is all setup and ready to cruise in the magnificent Bay of Islands.The Team

Following a successful career in yachting, we know what it takes to give you the best cruising experience in the Bay of Islands.

A Master Mariner, former Captain of the worlds largest mega-yacht, experienced yachtsman and raised in the Bay of Islands, you could not be in better hands than Capt.Tony.

A former super-yacht Chef and Chief Stewardess, your host Nicky sets this experience apart from the rest.

About Us

We (Tony & Nicky) were both raised in the Bay of Islands and have been involved with boating in this area since early childhood.

Together we decided to follow a career in yachting and have been employed onboard significant super-yachts where we cruised many of the beautiful areas in the world including the Mediterranean Sea, Bahamas, Cuba, Florida, Panama, Costa Rica, the Galapagos Archipelago, Thailand, Maldives, Arabian Gulf and Alaska to name a few.

Captain Tony Browne

I commenced my seafaring career as a teenager in the merchant navy rising in the ranks and later qualifying as a Foreign Going Master Mariner at the Auckland Maritime College. I evolved into yachting and assumed command of many high profile yachts including what was the largest mega-yacht in the world, which I commissioned and operated for a number of years.

My sailing started as a child when I raced and cruised centerboard yachts and keelers in the Bay of Islands onboard family owned launches and yachts from as early as I can remember. This later included trans-Atlantic passages, coastal yacht races and recently New Zealand’s most grueling yacht race the Round North Island Two Handed Race onboard Zindabar where we were amongst sixteen boats to finish out of thirty-seven starters.

Nicola McCaig Browne

Born and bred in the Bay of Islands I cruised the Bay onboard a family owned launch as a child then studied Tourism and Travel at the Auckland Institute of Technology. I later joined the yachting industry as Chef and Chief Stewardess and gained the expertise necessary for the highest level of service required by such a demanding industry.

Having traveled extensively and cooked in these areas with locally sourced produce for many different nationalities and all with exacting tastes I have developed an appreciation of ingredients and a variety of cuisines.


We can provide you with an affordable cruise onboard our immaculately presented yacht with exclusivity. This is the best way to see the Bay of Islands and we know how to make your experience memorable.

Day Cruises:

A day cruise would see you collected at 10:00 am and returned to the jetty around 4:00 pm that afternoon in time to freshen up for dinner; activities can include:

  • A sail amongst the islands absorbing the scenery with tranquility and effortless pace,
  • Spot a dolphin or set a lure for that opportune fish,
  • Select a desirable anchorage and enjoy a pleasant lunch on deck,
  • Have a relaxing swim at the boat or the beach, snorkel around the rocks, dinghy ride ashore or paddle a kayak,
  • Enjoy a quiet beach walk or climb the island for spectacular views from the summit,
  • Relax with an afternoon sail back to the jetty with a refreshment or two,
Overnight Cruises:

An overnight cruise would start at midday and have you back at the jetty around 10:00 am the next day to get you back in time for your next day’s plan; activities can include:

  • A sail amongst the islands or further afield to an enchanting bay away from the crowds,
  • Observe the wildlife as you silently cruise past their habitats,
  • Anchor in a picturesque bay and enjoy a long lunch and a drink,
  • Take a relaxing swim around the boat or a snorkel around the rocks, row a dinghy ashore or paddle in the kayak,
  • A quiet walk on a deserted beach or climb the island to take in the spectacular views,
  • Perhaps another sail to our evening anchorage or a favourite fishing spot,
  • Try some fishing, gather some shellfish or take in a bush walk listening to the birdsong,
  • Enjoy a sundowner, BBQ or a great meal, a quiet evening under the stars and some planet spotting,
  • A great nights sleep with the gentle motion and lapping water,
  • Awake to a sunrise at sea, a swim to get the blood flowing or try your luck for a fish,
  • Get in a good breakfast before a nice sail home,
Add-on Cruises:

After an overnight cruise you might like to add-on a day cruise to allow you to return home in the afternoon giving you another great day out to finish off an amazing cruise.

Extended Cruises:

An extended cruise for anywhere between two nights and however much time you have to enjoy the area gives you the opportunity to take in much more of this beautiful area:

  • Continue to explore the Bay of Islands, all the inlets and fantastic anchorages, fishing and diving spots,
  • Voyage further to the beautiful Cavalli Islands where you will be awed by the clear water and wildlife such as Fur Seals Dolphins and Killer Whales that we often see,
  • Visit the majestic Whangaroa harbour with all the ancient volcano cones and towering rock formations,
  • Sail around the famous Cape Brett (hole in the rock) to Whangamumu Harbour and see the old whaling station,
  • There are endless possibilities that are limited only by your time,

With regards our cruising itinerary we do whatever you want to do because, remember, you are chartering the yacht and her crew so you are not governed by pre-arranged schedules. For example, as she is an exemplary performer, some like to do lots of sailing whilst others like plenty of beach time, island walks and swimming while others just like to relax and absorb the ambience.

We provide snorkeling and fishing equipment, kayak and dinghy and we normally see dolphins and numerous sea birds including penguins. There is an extensive walking track system in the bay which includes tracks with awesome views, island blowholes, Maori archeological areas and some that show case the native bush and bird song.

Diving is also great in the Bay of Islands with many crayfish holes, scallops in season, spear fishing, subtropical kelp gardens, marine reserves where you can see a variety of sea-life such as rays, octopus and abundant fish as well as some well known wreck dives. Dive equipment is not included however; rental equipment is readily available or bring your own.

There is also plenty shell fish here so if you feel like harvesting shellfish fresh from the rocks and sand, green lip mussels, pipi, cockles or trying your hand at fishing, which we would be happy to cook or smoke anything that you catch, it’s all possible.

We are totally flexible and will make suggestions based on your preferences and our extensive experience and knowledge of the area. Feel free to ask any questions you may have and we will be sure to answer them for you.