If there is one good thing about sitting in traffic on the Tauranga Harbour Bridge of an evening, it's a chance to admire the views of sparkling water, bobbing boats and Mauao in the distance.
But recently, a new feature has been turning heads: 42m mahogany-hulled superyacht Elisea Nova. But unlike most superyacht spottings in Tauranga, the Elisea Nova is not visiting. In fact, the vessel has been here a while, just in a less visible spot. And her owner? He's local too.
A three-deck superyacht turning heads of motorists travelling over the Tauranga Harbour Bridge is owned by a local businessman.
And for a mere $4.49m the Elisea Nova - with its nine cabins, chandeliers and top deck jacuzzi - could be all yours.
Its Tauranga owner, a marine industry professional, agreed to talk about his unusual acquisition on the condition he not be named.
He said he bought the Elisea Nova in France in October last year after a tip-off from a friend.
"I buy boats and fix them up and make them better."
Custom built in Turkey in 2009, Elisea Nova has space for up to 12 guests and six crew, and every cabin has its own ensuite.
The gilded interior features embroidered wall panelling and golden mosaic tiling.
"The guy that had it built was big into European history."
His initial plan was to use the superyacht to take his family - and others such as teachers - on a voyage to the Pacific Islands for a few years after the America's Cup.
He and a professional crew brought the boat back to Tauranga. It stayed under the radar until it was moved a few weeks ago to a new berth in view of motorists on the bridge.
The man said he and his family lived on the superyacht for a while but moved out when temperatures started dropping.
There were a few sleepless nights in rough weather, he said, because Tauranga's wharves were not set up to cater for vessels the size and weight of the Elisea Nova.
He said that was one of the reasons it was rare for superyachts to be based in the city.
The owner said he had been working on the boat and decided to put it on the market to see if there was any interest.
If it sold, he would use one of his other boats to take his family overseas.
The Elisea Nova is on the market for $3.9m plus GST.
Tauranga Marine Precinct manager Phil Wardale said the superyacht was not yet booked in to hauled out of the water by the city's travel lift.
If it was lifted, it would be the second-longest vessel to use the travel lift since it opened last year.
The longest was the lift's first commercial customer in May last year: the 325 tonne, 47.5m superyacht No Comment.
- five double guest cabins
- one twin guest cabin
- four crew cabins
- all cabins have their own ensuites
- formal dining room seating eight
- top deck for entertaining, including bar, sunbed, jacuzzi
- cruising speed up to 18 knots, max 21 knots
- full galley
Source: Hool Marine