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Auckland Water activities

Our most recommended Auckland Water activities

Auckland: Whale and Dolphin Watching Half-Day Eco Cruise

1. Auckland: Whale and Dolphin Watching Half-Day Eco Cruise

Climb aboard a 65-foot luxury catamaran conveniently docked in the heart of Auckland. Set sail on the "Dolphin Explorer" to take in the sights and sounds of the city from the water. Enjoy a quick tour past impressive landmarks, such as the Auckland Harbour Bridge, North Head/Devonport, and Rangitoto Island. Keep a close look out for Orca and Bottlenose Dolphins that regularly visit the waters close to the city. Then explore the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park. Get up-close viewings of whales, dolphins, and sea birds. The "Dolphin Explorer" is able to get much closer than whale watching operations in other locations. Learn about the fauna via expert commentary from the ship's skipper, gained from 15 years of running trips daily in the area.

From Auckland: Hobbiton & Waitomo Caves Day Trip with Lunch

2. From Auckland: Hobbiton & Waitomo Caves Day Trip with Lunch

Join this tour to visit two of New Zealand's most iconic and famous attractions, the Hobbiton Movie Set and the Waitomo Glowworm Caves, in a day trip from Auckland.  After pickup from your central Auckland hotel, travel south over the Bombay Hills for panoramic views of the Waikato Region and the scenic Hauraki Plains. Arrive at The Shire's Rest in Matamata, the home of the Hobbiton Movie Set. Your guide will help you skip the crowds so you can explore the Movie Set on an official 2-hour tour. Be escorted through the 10-acre site and learn fascinating details of how the Hobbiton Movie Set was created.  See Hobbit Holes, The Green Dragon Inn, and The Mill. Savor a complimentary specially-brewed beverage at The Green Dragon Inn.  Afterwards, travel to the mesmerizing Waitomo Glowworm Caves, where you'll enjoy a Kiwi-style lunch at The Homestead in Waitomo. On the way, share stories from Hobbiton and interact with your fellow travelers.  Glide silently by boat in the world famous caves and be amazed by the thousands of magical glowworms.  Your guide will likely be a descendant of the Maori Chief who originally explored the Caves and can share with you the remarkable history of the area. Walk through the majestic Cathedral Cove, famous for its acoustics. The return trip takes you through some of New Zealand's most beautiful countryside before following the majestic Waikato River northwards part of the way back to Auckland. You will pass Taupiri with its very sacred Maori burial ground. The day concludes with your return to your accommodation.

America’s Cup 2-Hour Sailing Experience Waitemata Harbour

3. America’s Cup 2-Hour Sailing Experience Waitemata Harbour

Join the crew on an America’s Cup yacht for a unique 2-hour tour from Auckland that gives you the chance to experience the sensation of competing in this world-famous racing meet. The America's Cup is the world's oldest and most prestigious sporting trophy and ultimate yachting regatta. Experience this first hand by sailing these remarkable vessels on the harbor that hosted the America's Cup in 2000 and 2003. Feel the thrill of the wind in your face as you tack and jibe. These powerful and highly engineered race vessels are usually the domain of billionaires and elite professional yacht owners, but this unique two-hour sailing experience offers everyone the opportunity to sail these grand prix racing machines. Set sail around Auckland’s stunning Waitemata Harbor and enjoy all the thrills of sailing in a proper racing yacht. Be transported to a world where the thrill of international sport meets the beauty of the sparkling sea. No sailing experience is required to participate. Take the helm and exert energy on the grinders, or simply sit back and enjoy the journey. Look back at the contrast of natural landscapes and city skyscrapers that line the harbour while you sail the seas.

Auckland: Waiheke Island Fast Ferry Pass

4. Auckland: Waiheke Island Fast Ferry Pass

Make your visit to Waiheke Island as easy and stress-free as possible with use of this fast, reliable and affordable ferry service. With all the comforts and necessities you could wish for, travel from the city to the island and back, while enjoying panoramic views of the stunning surrounding landscapes. With regular departures throughout the day, fitting the ferry ride into your travel schedule is no problem at all, meaning you can explore the island at your own leisure. Located in the Hauraki Gulf, Waiheke Island is a popular tourist destination just a 40-minute ferry ride from Downtown Auckland. During the sail, admire the view as the ferry cruises past Auckland’s stunning coastline. Upon arrival at the island, spend the day exploring and wandering through the unique landscapes of olive groves and sandy beaches before your return journey to the city.

Auckland Harbour 3-Course Dinner Cruise with Welcome Drink

5. Auckland Harbour 3-Course Dinner Cruise with Welcome Drink

Dine on Waitemata Harbor for a memorable experience in Auckland. Join a 2.5-hour sailing dinner cruise for a uniquely local experience with a relaxed, intimate and engaging atmosphere. Discover the city skyline and iconic highlights as they light up for the evening. Set sail while enjoying the city highlights and engaging commentary from your captain. Assist the crew or try your hand at steering the boat. Enjoy the breeze and relax with a drink, with ample space and seating above deck.  Set anchor in Westhaven Marina to enjoy a delicious 3-course dinner, supplied by top Viaduct restaurant Degree. Complement your meal with a selection of premium locally produced wine or beer. After dinner, marvel at the city views and as the sun sets to watch the night lights of the cityscape come alive.

Auckland Harbour 1.5-Hour Sailing Cruise

6. Auckland Harbour 1.5-Hour Sailing Cruise

Enjoy Auckland, the City of Sails, as you join the yachts on Waitemata Harbor and enjoy the relaxed pace of harbor sailing. Set sail on a 50-foot cruising yacht for a spectacular sailing experience on the sparkling harbor waters. Meet your captain at the Auckland waterfront and be welcomed by the crew, who will supply you with weather-proof jackets if required. After a brief introduction accompanied by a safety briefing, depart Viaduct Habor to sail past the Sky Tower and Auckland Harbor Bridge for a 1.5-hour sightseeing tour. Enjoy engaging commentary from your skipper on Auckland, the home of the Americas Cup. Enjoy light refreshments, including a hot drink and a sweet treat, in the sunshine or below deck. Afterwards, set sail to cruise Auckland's sparkling Waitemata Harbor. If you like, help the crew sail the vessel or simply sit back and relax as you take advantage of photo opportunities. Glide past the Auckland Bridge, Westhaven Marina, the charming suburb of Devonport and the city skyline before returning to Auckland.

Auckland: Sunset & Night Sea Kayak Tour to Rangitoto Island

7. Auckland: Sunset & Night Sea Kayak Tour to Rangitoto Island

Kayak out to beautiful Rangitoto Island while the afternoon sun is slowly setting over Auckland and the Waitakere Ranges. Meet at the free pick-up point in Auckland. Then paddle out to Rangitoto Island in the setting sun. Once at the island, pull your kayak up to Rangitoto Wharf before embarking on a 1-hour, leisurely walk to the summit. From the top of the island you will be treated to the best sunset location Auckland has to offer. Enjoy a BBQ dinner while enjoying the stunning North Island views. Under the guidance of your kayak tour guide, paddle back to Auckland in the dark, watching the twinkling city lights of New Zealand's largest city getting closer and closer. Perfect for first-time kayakers as well as those more experienced, this unique, guided tour includes instruction, and a great, unique experience of Auckland.

Auckland: Hobbiton Movie Set and Waitomo Small Group Tour

8. Auckland: Hobbiton Movie Set and Waitomo Small Group Tour

The tour starts with pickup from Auckland city, where the adventure begins as you drive through the stunning Waikato countryside, the most extensive farming area in the world, on a fully guided journey to Hobbiton. Along the way, don’t forget to take advantage of the photo opportunities as you admire the stunning natural landscapes all around of beautiful mountains and farmlands. After the drive, arrive at Alexander Family Sheep Farm and Shire's Rest, the entrance to Hobbiton, and marvel at the thousands of sheep that live here. While you’re here, grab a bite to eat, a coffee, or enjoy an ice cream to cool off while your guide collects your tickets to the movie set.  Next, hop on board one of the big green Hobbiton buses to depart on your 2-hour fully guided tour of this amazing 12-acre movie set with a professional Hobbiton guide to ensure you get the most out of your visit. During your tour trip into the lush pastures of the Shire, visit 44 hobbit holes, see amazing gardens, hear secrets and stories about the making of the movies and finish your LOTR experience with a cold beverage at the famous Hobbiton pub, The Green Dragon Inn. After your LOTR experience, it’s time to head west towards the stunning Waitomo region. Along the way admire the incredible hydro dams, beautiful farmland, race horses, and the Kiwiana capital of New Zealand. Before arriving at the caves, stop by Waitomo homestead for lunch, and a little surprise. Once in Waitomo, explore the ancient and amazing caves and marvel at the many cave formations including Stalactites, Stalagmites, and Lime Columns before descending even further underground for your Glowworm Grotto experience. Board your glow-worm boat for a cruise on the grotto river with thousands of glowworms sparkling above you. Unique to New Zealand for over 120 years, Waitomo Glowworm Caves are a must-see for any traveler.  On the guided trip back to Auckland the sights continue with New Zealand's longest river, the Huntly power station, and the Maori Queens’ burial site.

From Auckland: Hobbiton, Rotorua & Waitomo Caves Day Trip

9. From Auckland: Hobbiton, Rotorua & Waitomo Caves Day Trip

Visit the Hobbiton Movie Set, Rotorua, and Waitomo Caves in one day on a guided tour from Auckland. See three of North Island’s iconic sites in one attraction-filled day. After hotel pickup, travel from Auckland to Hobbiton through Waikato. On arrival, you’ll be guided through the picturesque twelve-acre site and given fascinating details of how the movie set was created. The official tour concludes with a complimentary drink at the Green Dragon Inn. Climb back into the vehicle for the approximately 55-minute drive to Rotorua where you will spend around 1.5 hours. On arrival, visit key attractions, such as the lakefront, government gardens, and Rachel Springs. After sightseeing, have lunch at Pataka Kai, a restaurant next to the Te Puia thermal reserve. Enjoy views and take photos of Te Puia's Pohutu Geyser and thermal valley from the restaurant (entry not included). After Rotorua, drive to the world-renowned Waitomo Caves where you’ll enter the caves on foot and ride out in a small boat. Above your head will be thousands of tiny glowworms radiating their unmistakable luminescent light as an expert guide provides informative commentary. 

Leigh: Goat Island Guided Snorkeling Tour for Beginners

10. Leigh: Goat Island Guided Snorkeling Tour for Beginners

Begin your tour by meeting the team at the Goat Island Dive and Snorkel Center. Here, your friendly staff will get you kitted up with a mask, snorkel, fins, and a wetsuit. You will then drive in your own vehicle 2 miles (3km) to the Goat Island Marine Reserve, where you will meet with your snorkel instructor. Learn about the history of Goat Island and the marine life you are likely to meet at New Zealand's first marine reserve. The experience starts with an introduction to using the equipment and some snorkeling and swimming techniques. Before jumping in you'll receive a full, thorough safety briefing. Everyone will make their way to the water.  The group will stay in shallow waters while getting used to the equipment and the strange sensation of breathing while looking around underwater. Once everyone is feeling confident and comfortable, the group will make their way out to sea to continue the adventure. After the tour, you will be able to use the equipment for the remainder of the day to carry on exploring at your own pace. You will be part of a natural aquarium, with many varieties of colorful fish and marine life including Blue Maomao, Snapper, Eagle and Sting Rays, Blue Cod, Octopus, Kahawai, as well as Crayfish. Sometimes Dolphins or Orca visit the reserve and will often play with the snorkelers.

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Frequently asked questions about Auckland

What top attractions are a must-see in Auckland?

What are the best day trips and excursions from Auckland?

The best day trips and excursions from Auckland are:

Hobbiton Movie Set

Other Sightseeing Options in Auckland

Want to discover all there is to do in Auckland? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Auckland

Our guide, John, was an absolute delight. He made everyone feel very welcome on the tour, was very well informed, and was very friendly with all involved in the experience, from the tourists to the staff at Hobbiton and Waitomo. He even threw in some cheeky surprises (almost felt like we were in NYC at one point :P ) along the way. Amazing way to spend a day; I heartily recommend.

Hello folks! We had our tour today with Rosco and we loved it! He’s punctual, friendly and a great driver. The tour was a fab vibe. The overall experience 10/10! P.S Rosco, thank you for the lovely pictures! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Greetings Bo & Kris from London!

This was a great tour. Our tour guide, Alex, was excellent. Very helpful and very knowledgeable about the history of the country. I enjoyed this trip and recommend anyone going to Auckland to take it.

The guide was friendly and engaging, I learnt a lot along the trip as well as seeing some amazing sights.

100% recommande ! Everyone were so nice and all the trip went very well.