The sheltered waters of beautiful Lake Rotoiti are home to one of New Zealand’s little known experiences, the luxury sailing catamaran Tiua.
The fresh water encounters Pure Cruise create are now iconic and are enjoyed by guests from all over the world, but the story behind this business success is one of creativity, challenge and friendship.
Started by four adventurous friends with the idea of bringing luxury sailing to the geothermal lakes, the perfect vessel was discovered languishing in a boat yard in the Caribbean island of Granada.
Matt Horder, one of the directors and the main skipper, knew this was the perfect boat to bring home to the shores of Lake Rotoiti: “As soon as I saw it listed — it was the right size and layout, able to host a family comfortably, but also a group of 30.”
The yacht had been left on the land for nine years and had endured at least two hurricanes leaving it in a sorry state — the price was right if we could only sail it home. Matt called the owner and he said, “If you want it, then you have to be here in 48 hours as the phone is ringing off the hook. I left for Grenada that night and 37 hours later I was there.”
The boat was perfect, battered and in need of a complete overhaul – but with beautiful bones. A small group of friends from Okere Falls on the lake shore joined Matt and co-owner Tina for the four-month journey of over 9000 nautical miles through the Caribbean Sea to the Panama Canal, across the Pacific to the Galapagos Islands then through French Polynesia with final landfall at Tauranga. She then had a full re-fit and was christened Tiua meaning ‘to move with the wind’ and today shows little evidence of her humble beginnings.
Tiua is a spectacular sight, luxurious and elegant, cruising the shores of Lake Rotoiti under sail…but she is so much more than just a sailing experience.
Pure Cruise offers a genuine, personal experience exploring the native bays and coves of this beautiful lake under sail. Fish for rainbow trout, soak in the lake edge thermal pools and hear stories & legends of local Maori, all accompanied by fine wine and great food. There are glowworm caves to swim into and stand-up paddle boards to challenge you and even cliff jumping. Your time on the water can be as active or passive as you like, the yacht Tiua is truly an off the beaten track indulgence that is naturally served. The yacht is still run by friends and locals of the lake who’d love to share their beautiful playground with you.
Next time you’re planning a family gathering, special event, work function, or a getaway, step aboard Tiua where guests experience the lake aboard a vessel with heart, with character and with history.