Sheryl Mai is known for her warm welcomes to visitors from around New Zealand and the world, whether they are choosing to visit the Whangārei District or even make this their new home.

Scottish yachtie Julia Neustein is one of those people who received a warm welcome from Sheryl. She says New Zealand had been on her bucket list for more than 40 years and she was not been disappointed after her recent visit.

“My partner and I sailed from the Mediterranean, taking eight years to get here, allowing time to explore countries we encountered on the way.  We first heard about Whangārei when we were in Tonga, where we met a delegation from this area who encouraged us to visit.

“Whangārei is a wonderful place for us to get quality repairs and maintenance done on our yachts – large enough to cope with numerous boats, but small enough to provide a very personalised service.  We recognise that this also provides employment and business opportunities to locals.”

Julie says her and her partner were delighted to be welcomed as part of the community, enjoying the restaurants and events that Whangārei has in abundance. 

“The Christmas boat decorating competition for yachts in the Town Basin really brought us all together!”