Is Boating New Zealand’s favourite recreational activity?

Early Morning on a Bluebridge Ferry

If there’s one thing New Zealand has a long history with, it’s boats. From the early migrations of the Polynesians who reached the south-west corner of the Pacific between 1250 to 1300 AD, to famous people like Able Tasman and James Cook, New Zealanders do seem to enjoy boats. In fact, boating is New Zealand’s largest recreational activity with 1.9 million people participating in boating activities each year and it being a $2.9 billion dollar industry. According to 2023 statistics, there are more than 1,540,000 boats in New Zealand with an annual growth of an estimated 45,000 vessels per year. That’s not bad for a tiny nation in the south-west corner of the Pacific.