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post #1 of 7 Old 07-01-2007 Thread Starter
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Question New Zealand to Australia

G' Guys.

Time for another question because I am not sure about something.

What would be the chances of a EXCELLENT outcome if one was to depart New Zealand for a sail to Australia if leaving in October or November??

I only have one cruising guide and it says April or May.
And that assumes you want to go via Tonga and New Caledonia etc.
I plan to sail from North Is. to somewhere around Sydney area.

I know that at that time of year there are cyclones(hurricanes) to the north of this area but don't know how far south they come.

So, has anyone done this at this time?
Anyone got a good guide that says "yes" or "no"?
Anyone got any suggestions? (seriously).

Jim.
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post #2 of 7 Old 07-01-2007
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SJ,

I'll get back to you on this more specifically but my understanding is that it's not cyclones you need to worry about as they don't come that far south but more the southerlys coming through from the cold wastes of Antarctica. The Tasman is renowned for shortish but very steep seas with a one in four chance of winds in excess of 20 knots.

There is quite a good account of a west - east crossing by a multihull out of Hobart but I'd need to scratch it out for you. Many folk do specifically choose to make that crossing by way of New Caledonia although November is getting a bit late for avoiding the cyclone season.

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post #3 of 7 Old 07-02-2007
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Hi Jim

I did it a few years back but the other way round Oz to NZ in april I remenber because, I was the Easter bunny on that trip I have pics ( but not here). The winds were mostly south westerly and pleasent 17deg C, 11 days one big storm. flew home.

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post #4 of 7 Old 07-04-2007
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The time to clear the subtropics is by late November December so cyclones shouldn't be an issue unless you want to go via New Caledonia and are running late.
The difficulties are twofold.
The predominant winds are SW or W. The course from Nelson is 283 and from Cape Reinga 264. So while there is marginally more chance of a close reach from the South Island in both cases the chances are there will be a lot of beating.
The distances in each case are about 1150 nm making it a probable 10-11 day trip depending on the boat and course.
The difficulty is that the weather systems tend to last about 7 days. So if you start on a high where the winds could be favourable if it were not too high in the Tasman you will have unfavourable stronger winds in the last few days the seas being accentuated by the shallow Australian waters, or conversely you start with a few hard days.
The Tasman has a reputation as one of the most difficult passages. One guy I met had done it 20 times and said they got bashed everytime. Conversely some have had a charmed run.
Consequently most head a bit North to say Norfolk Island or New Caledonia for easier winds, albeit a longer distance.
You need to consult the pilot charts.
Without knowing the boat or experience of the crew it is difficult to comment much more. However the chances are that you will experience heavy weather at some point of the passage, and at the least should be well prepared and able to wait for a relatively favourable weather window.

Last edited by chris_gee; 07-04-2007 at 07:13 PM.
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post #5 of 7 Old 07-04-2007
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Chris is probably on the money here. If I were doing NZ - OZ I'd head north west from Auckland to Lord Howe and wait there for the next weather window for the final hop to OZ. Doesn't add a lot of miles to the total trip but does reduce your chances of getting a hammering.

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post #6 of 7 Old 07-05-2007 Thread Starter
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Thanks Chris

The PROPER time is March and April.
Since I put up the thread I have been doing a little research and it came up the same as yours.

I have met a lot of people who have gone from Australia to N.Z. but they continued on to other destinations after and came back by a different route.

Thanks for your help. (You also TDW)

JIm
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post #7 of 7 Old 07-05-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailorjim99
Thanks Chris

The PROPER time is March and April.
Since I put up the thread I have been doing a little research and it came up the same as yours.

I have met a lot of people who have gone from Australia to N.Z. but they continued on to other destinations after and came back by a different route.

Thanks for your help. (You also TDW)

JIm
Interesting though but don't hold me to this. Generally speaking the prevailing winds in the Tasman are SW until you get close to Oz when in summer they will be predominantly NE. So if you are heading to , say, Sydney, you'd be beam reaching but probably with a swell from the south making life a tad miserable. Heading further north (say going via Lord Howe) the seas would not be quite so much abeam and you'd be on a broad(er) reach. From Lord Howe to Sydney you'd pick up the NEster and the southerly set as you approach the coast. Almost certainly it would be a more comfortable trip.

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