Great Escape

Great Escape, Opua: Hours, Address, Great Escape Reviews: 5/5

9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Escape from ordinary and set sail with us. We have a fleet of well-maintained Kiwi yachts for Bareboat Charter, Flotilla Rallies and Learn to Sail courses. Our boats are suitable for two to six people; complete novices can be out skippering their own boat in the beautiful Bay of Islands after one of our sailing courses, experienced sailors can cast off straight away. Great Escape is an authorised Yachting New Zealand and International Yacht Training sailing school. Our instructors are all experienced passionate sailors with thousands of ocean miles under their belts. Come sail with us.
Opua, New Zealand
Awards
Travellers' Choice
2021
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Great Escape
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Travellers talk about
(22 reviews)
(21 reviews)
(6 reviews)
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5.0
197 reviews
Excellent
183
Very good
11
Average
1
Poor
0
Terrible
2

Dan_Waterston
Nanyuki, Kenya2 contributions
May 2022 • Family
We did the 6 day ‘learn to sail’ package as a family (me, wife & 2 daughters aged 7 & 10) on board a Nolex 25 (the Persephone). The 3 days tuition with Martin was exceptional, and the great thing about New Zealand weather is we got a little bit of all conditions (Sun/ rain/ strong wind/ light wind/ swell/ calm etc for about 30 minutes at a time!) to really dial in our experience and make us feel well equipped!

Casting off on our own and mooring up in beautiful beaches out on the islands for 3 days was a real family adventure, and one that we’ll definitely want to repeat- I think we’ve got a new hobby! It also really consolidates the learning, and I think is a fantastically mature way of structuring a course- I imagine it’s not without risk to them, and yet they encourage self reliance whilst maintaining an appropriate arms-reach safety net. For what you get, the packages offered by Great Escapes are exceptional value for money, and I would recommend to anyone.
Written 6 May 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you so much for taking the time to write a review, your great comments and positive rating arevery much appreciated. We also really appreciate your comments on the course structure as we belive that to develop skills and competence you need to spend time on the water out sailing. The sail yourself element of our adventure gives you this opportunity to conslidate your new skills. We're so glad you enjoyed your family sailing adventure and sorry for getting you hooked on a new hobby :-) (welcome to the sport for life). We look forward to welcoming you back aboard again soon.
Written 9 May 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jill Burrows
1 contribution
Mar 2022
My husband and I have just returned from a 5 day bare boat charter on Kokako, a 31 ft Raven. I had never been on a yacht before and did have some reservations but it was perfect!
You don't have to sail as it has a great motor but we did a bit of both due to lack of wind at times.
The fishing, swimming and walking over the islands was the best thing for a relaxing few days and of course Julie chose a week of perfect weather.
So pack a bag , grab some bedding and food and explore our beautiful Bay of Islands.
Thank you so much Julie and Bill we will be back. Richard and Jill.
Written 4 April 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you so much for taking the time to write us a review, upload the photos and your lovely comments and recommendation. We are so glad you enjoyed your time aboard Kokako and being out in the the beautiful Bay of Islands. We look forward to welcoming you aboard again soon.
Written 5 April 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Leon
1 contribution
Feb 2022
We recommend without hesitation the IYT International Bareboat Skipper and Yachting New Zealand Level 3 sailing course with Captain Amanda Swan at Great Escapes. From the first enquiry to the follow-up after our trip, Julie kept us fully informed on every detail. Our experience during the course with Captain Amanda Swan was beyond our expectation; both in terms of the practical sailing experience and the way in which it was delivered. Amanda’s sailing experience is undeniably world-class, however it was not just her knowledge, but the way in which she imparted her experience that made this course more than special. Amanda’s knowledge and approach made this course not only enjoyable and practical, but an outstanding experience that we will stay with us for a long time.
Written 5 March 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you so much for taking the time to write a review, your positive comments, and the great rating. We are so pleased you had a great experience sailing with us. We feel very privileged to be able to operate in such a beautiful sailing area and our team really enjoy sharing their expertise and passion for sailing. We look forward to welcoming you aboard again soon.
Written 7 March 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jov
4 contributions
Feb 2022 • Couples
This course is amazing! To go from 0 to sailing yourselves in 3 days is phenomenal. It’s intense and can seem overwhelming if you haven’t had any sailing experience but it does all come together…trust me! Highly recommend. Julie and Bill
and the team are so friendly and welcoming. We had Josh instruct us, Josh is a very practical guy with a wealth of knowledge. If your considering learning to sail ….come with this company. Simply the best!
Written 24 February 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you so much for taking time to write us a review and for your positive recommendation, it is very much appreciated. We work really hard to create a great learning experience and enable sailing newbies to undertake a new adventure and yes sometimes it is a bit intense, but we are so proud of each of our sailors when they come back successfully from their maiden voyage. So congratulations to you again. We'd love to have you back sailing with us and look forward to welcoming you aboard again soon.
Written 27 February 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

HappyMum1999
1 contribution
Feb 2022
Fabulous 2 days with a very patient instructor (thank you Martin). We learnt so much and enjoyed every minute.
Highly recommend this experience, it was a birthday present for my hubby, we made some great memories and hope to sail again in the future.
"We did something new New Zealand"
Written 11 February 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you so much for taking the time to write us a review and for "doing something new New Zealand :-)". We really appreciate your positive comments and that you choose to come and sail with us. We look forward to welcoming you aboard again soon.
Written 27 February 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Simon
1 contribution
Jan 2022
Great Escapes was a perfect holiday. The Raven was just what we needed. My boys (4 and 7) swam off the back and my wife was really pleased with how safe, clean and organised everything was. Julie and Bill do such a great job. The Bay of Islands is a beautiful place, as far as we are concerned this is the only way to truly witness it.
Written 23 January 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you for taking the time to write a review for us, we really appreciate your positive comments. We're glad you had such a lovely sailing holiday in our beautiful Bay of Islands and that you all enjoyed being aboard one of our Ravens. We hope to be able to welcome you back aboard again soon.
Written 27 January 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

deardougal
Wellington, New Zealand48 contributions
Jan 2022 • Family
We just completed half of our 6 day learn to sail experience with Great escape (second half was weather disrupted) and had an incredible time. Great boat, Nolex 30 plus very knowledgeable and patient instructor which led to many laughs, smiles and learning. Our 2 teenage sons came away with a lot of experience and are keen as anything to be back! Looking forward to the next trip.
Written 16 January 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you very much for taking the time to write a review for us and your positive rating and comments, it is very much appreciated. We're glad you had a good time for the part of your sailing adventure you were able to complete and we look forward to welcoming you all back again soon to complete your adventure.
Written 22 January 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Nick
1 contribution
Jan 2022
Fantastic experience. A great way to transition from regular keelboat crewing to introductory helming. Would highly recommend this company and their product! Thanks Julie
Written 7 January 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you so much for your positive review and recommendation, it is very much appreciated. We look forward to welcoming you back aboard again soon.
Written 13 January 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

TimaruKen
timaru73 contributions
Nov 2021
We celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary by learning to sail a boat a bit bigger than we are used to. We have done most of our sailing in a Sunburst and then a 420 so the main challenge for us was mastering navigation, anchoring and the outboard motor. The wee Davidson 20 was perfect for the 2 of us. It is like camping but more comfortable and you don’t have to erect the tent! Julie is very efficient with regards to preparation, paperwork and safety and we felt secure and well supported at all times. Our tutor/coach/sailing guru, Kerry, was great. We were able to sail ourselves throughout but, for the first two days, she was there to guide and advise and her calm and knowledgeable approach to everything was admirable - even when I drove us into a moored yacht! (Fortunately my husband could be the human fender and no damage was done).
The Bay of Islands is a beautiful piece of water and being here during Covid restrictions meant the number of boats on the water is much reduced - great for us novices. We loved every minute of it - saw a penguin, stingray, dolphins, gannets (their dive-bombing is amazing) a fish frenzy and hundreds of shags roosting in the trees. A real highlight was when we walked the 300m through a shady kanuka forest to a bird hide on Urupukapuka Island, and watched the beautiful kakariki (red-crowned parakeet) being chased by the bossy tuis.
Thank-you Julie, Bill and Kerry for giving us the skills and opportunity to immerse ourselves in your wonderful slice of paradise. We intend to return.
Written 3 December 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a lovely comprehensive review, it is really appreciated. We're so glad you had a good time and enjoyed the sailing and beauty of the Bay of Islands. We look forward to welcoming you aboard again soon.
Written 12 December 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Trish Howell
2 contributions
Nov 2021 • Couples
Having the confidence to sail the last 3 days on your own. The weather and winds were perfect for us beginners.
Written 28 November 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you so much for taking the time to write a review and your great rating, it is really appreciated. We're so glad you had a good time and gained the confidence to enjoy sailing by yourselves in the beautiful Bay of Islands. It's never to late to cast off the bowlines and learn to sail :-) . We look forward to welcoming you aboard again soon.
Written 12 December 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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