Many hours are spent thinking about where we will sail to. Of late, the discussions have been around sailing to New Zealand.
With all the horrible things we read about regarding sailing into Australia (permits, aggressiveness of Australian authorities (simply read the SlapDash account to get an idea, and their account is hardly the first), etc.), and the wonderful things we read about New Zealand, we've decided that we will make New Zealand our base of operations after we've left Easter Island.
New Zealand not only has cruiser friendly maritime laws, but the visa policies for foreigners are perfect for our family. If we stay 90 days or less, we don't even need a visa! If we elect to stay for 6 months, then we do need one and the processing is simple and affordable.
New Zealand has fantastic ship yards with reasonable prices. We expect, after the long passage, we will need to make some sort of repairs.
New Zealand is also a very bike friendly country. Quick Internet searches reveals miles and miles of bike ways, and after having made the ocean crossing, maybe a month or 2 on a bike will be exactly what we need.
With New Zealand's proximity to Australia, we plan to make a week long type trip into Australia. The flight would be short, and we can then tour the country as a regular tourist without all the hassle one has when visiting by boat.
New Zealand looks absolutely beautiful. We can bust out our small 3 person tent, scramble up a mountain or 2, and sleep with the trees. Heck, one of Val's favorite movie sagas is the Lord of the Rings .... and it was filmed in New Zealand. Maybe we will find Mordor; that would be cool!
Then, of course, there are the indigenous Maori people, with their tattooed faces. Exposing our girls to such cultures is fundamental to the education of this trip.
What better place to anchor up in than New Zealand?
New Zealand, here we come!