Water activity

Bay of Islands: Bay Discovery Cruise with Island Stop-Over

Bay of Islands: Bay Discovery Cruise with Island Stop-Over

Activity provider: Explore Group New Zealand

From US$ 91.74 per person

Discover the stunning Bay of Islands and the Hole in the Rock on a scenic 4.5 to 5-hour cruise, keeping an eye out for wildlife along the way. Enjoy a 1.5-hour island stop-over to swim, walk, and relax.

About this activity

Free cancellation
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Covid-19 precautions
Special health and safety measures are in place. Check your activity voucher once you book for full details.
Duration 4.5 hours
Check availability to see starting times.
Live tour guide


  • Discover some of the 144 stunning islands in the Bay of Islands on a scenic cruise
  • Journey to the iconic Hole in the Rock and if weather permits, sail through it
  • Listen to entertaining live commentary from your local Nature Guide
  • Enjoy a 1.5-hour island stop-over and walk, swim, paddle board, kayak or relax
  • Keep a lookout for dolphins, whales, or orcas
Full description
Set off on a scenic 4.5 to 5-hour cruise to discover the very best of the Bay of Islands. Experience the spectacular scenery and encounter diverse wildlife in an area soaked in rich culture and history. Board the black and yellow power cat at Paihia Wharf and be welcomed aboard by the friendly crew. Your crew will deliver a full safety briefing and overview of the trip. Cruise among the 144 islands and enjoy entertaining live commentary from your local knowledgeable skipper. Visit the iconic Hole in the Rock and when conditions permit, you can even travel through it. Spot local wildlife including dolphins, birds, seals and even the occasional whale with a success rate of over 90%. Your trip will also include a 1.5-hour island stop at Otehei Bay on Urupukapuka Island. Enjoy free time to explore the island. If you wish, you can hire kayaks, or paddleboards (available during summer only) or just relax on the beach. You can also choose to extend your stay on the island and return on a later ferry (only available during summer).
  • 4.5 to 5-hour scenic cruise
  • Live commentary in English
  • 1.5-hour island stop-over at Otehei Bay on Urupukapuka Island
  • Food and drinks

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Meeting point

Paihia Wharf - Pier 7, Paihia, New Zealand

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Important information

Know before you go

  • A portion of your fare contributes to marine mammal research and conservation
  • You will be able to purchase lunch from the café at Otehei Bay
  • Snacks and drinks are also available for purchase onboard the vessel
  • From December - April: on the day, you can opt to extend your time on the island (subject to availability) and there is also the option to hire paddleboards and kayaks
  • Pick-up can be arranged from Russell Wharf subject to availability; please contact the local operator after booking to coordinate
  • The activity requires minimum numbers to operate, in the unlikely even these are not met, you will be offered an alternative date or full refund
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.5 /5

based on 118 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
  • Transportation
  • Value for money
  • Safety

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We were blessed with a perfect morning. There was a cruise ship in so it was a full boat but everyone was friendly and coperative. The captain gave just enough information on the historical context and the natural marine habitation of this beautiful place. He always turned the boat so everyone on board got a prime view of each spectacular place we visited. We spent quality time at Hole in the Rock. At the island stopover we chose to hike to the top of the nearby hills (about 15 minutes walk up) to enjoy the serenity of the spectacular 360 degree vista we were surrounded by. This also gave time for a swim in the clear aquamarine waters. It was a totally awesome day which I highly recommend.

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January 13, 2023

It was a wonderful experience, we sailed surrounded by beautiful landscapes between uninhabited and wild islands. We saw dolphins up close and passed under the Hole in the rock arch. We stopped on a beautiful island full of vegetation, where there were several trekking routes. We chose a short one and reached a protected beach, where we swam with a manta ray.

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December 27, 2022

Great experience! It was a present to myself for my birthday and it was the best I could have done. We saw dolphins and even cruised through the hole of the rock. It was magical. The time at the island was beautiful as well. Definitely would do this trip again.

October 27, 2022

Product ID: 175137