Great Escape Sail Yourself Yachts...



8 Rankers Reviews

5 Face-to-Face

3 Sailing

1 Opua




Sailing in the Bay of Islands is sensational. Whether you’re a newbie looking to find your sea legs or an old hand who already knows the ropes, Great Escape has a sailing holiday for you.

We have a fleet of affordable kiwi yachts and a crew of very experienced sailing instructors. We also have a couple of small powerboats for hire.

Explore our secluded bays and sheltered waters as you sail yourself through the world renown cruising grounds of the Bay of Islands.

If you want some instruction before heading out on your own check out our Sailing School Adventure Holidays to see what works best for you.

Depending on the holiday selected and your experience you can gain international sailing qualifications.

If you have a sound knowledge of sailing and boat handling, you’ll be ready to charter one of our well-maintained affordable kiwi yachts.

With over one hundred islands, a handful of historic towns, calm waters, sheltered anchorages, numerous secluded bays, stunning scenery and fresh seafood we have one of the best cruising destinations in the world.

Learn more…


Feature Value Info


North IslandNorthlandOpua


  • Sailing





Mary & Charlie's avatar

Mary & Charlie

Ranking: 10/10

We had a truely fantastic three days sailing in the Bay of Islands onboard our Noelex 25, hired from Bill and Julie at Great Escape Yacht Charters!
Bill and Julie were so welcoming, providing us with the beautifully refurbished yacht “Discovery”. They provided great laminated charts of our sailing area and gave us useful tips about where to sail and anchor in the different wind directions, which can change by as much as 180 degrees due to the daily sea breeze effect.
“Discovery” was a delight to sail and anchor. Very simple, with no electronics to worry about, a large cockpit, and surprisingly spacious down below with comfortable mattresses, plenty of storage and a good galley.
The Bay of Islands is a brilliant cruising area for a long weekend or week, and we shall definitely charter from Great Escape again next time we are in New Zealand!

Reviewed about 1 year ago

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Thomas and Katia's avatar

Thomas and Katia


Ranking: 9/10

We chose 2 days of lessons and 3 days sailing on our own! Amazing experience, we really loved it. Teachers are very good, patient and cool! The owner is very welcoming and the Bay is just the best place that we have sailed. Easy, lovely, awesome!

Reviewed almost 4 years ago

Great Escape Sail Yourself Yachts is open for business… Visit Website …now's your chance to take a closer look.

Lindblom's avatar



Ranking: 9/10

Boat OK - two to three days maximum. The area where you can sail is small. Tricky wind, experience from sailing skills is necessary. Safety onboard good, nice owners, good information before leaving.

Reviewed almost 8 years ago and experienced in February 2012

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Lee Lloyd's avatar

Lee Lloyd

United States

Ranking: 9/10

Chartered a boat in the Bay of Islands for six days, great company, easy to use, awesome boat, beautiful area (Bay of Islands).

Reviewed almost 8 years ago

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imo's avatar


United Kingdom

Ranking: 10/10

We really can’t recommend Great Escape Yacht Charters enough. We had a wonderful experience learning to sail with these guys and are hooked for life. It is run by a great couple (Wendy and Darren) who are really friendly and fun at the same time as running a professional set up. Sure you could pay more money and learn on swankier boats...but why would you would bother.
Imogen&Jonnie - UK

Reviewed almost 9 years ago

Bob & Lynda Miller's avatar

Bob & Lynda Miller


Ranking: 7/10

Terrific instruction and patience from the instructor. Organisation was flexible but not structured for boat rentals and safety.

Reviewed almost 9 years ago

Great Escape Sail Yourself Yachts is open for business… Visit Website …now's your chance to take a closer look.

mtbsailor's avatar


United States

Ranking: 9/10

We chartered one of the Davidson 20s for a 5-hour afternoon sail. Darren and Wendy were very friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful. These Davidson 20s are a bit old and are starting to look it, but they are really well built and have a great feel under sail. If I get the chance to come back to NZL, I will definitely come back to this company for another charter.

Reviewed about 9 years ago

Nadine's avatar



Ranking: 10/10

We did a 6 day sailing course, 3 days course & 3 days we had the boat by our own.

Reviewed almost 11 years ago