Hauraki Gulf: Our most recommended tours and activities

Auckland: Tikapa Moana Whale and Dolphin Wildlife Cruise

1. Auckland: Tikapa Moana Whale and Dolphin Wildlife Cruise

Discover Tikapa Moana - the Hauraki Gulf with us as we cruise through the myriad of islands, spot wildlife and learn about the cultural footprint of Tāmaki Makaurau... View diverse marine wildlife abundant in their natural habitat - the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park - including whales, dolphins, seals, penguins, birdlife and more from our comfortable cruise vessel purpose-built for wildlife viewing. Learn about the history and conservation efforts on the volcanic peaks, many islands and extended coastline of the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park. Hear fascinating stories on the origins and histories of land, sea and Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki – original inhabitants of Tāmaki Makaurau. Operating in partnership with Ngāi Tai Te Haeranga

Duder Regional Park Walking Tours

2. Duder Regional Park Walking Tours

Nestled gracefully on New Zealand's North Island's eastern coast lies the tranquil oasis of Duder Regional Park, a sanctuary beckoning nature enthusiasts and adventurers. Encompassing a sprawling 148 hectares, this park unfolds a tapestry of diverse ecosystems, enticing nature lovers to explore its captivating landscapes, from rugged cliffs to sandy beaches, rolling farmland, and lush native forests. The park is a haven for native bird species and unique flora, creating a harmonious symphony of natural beauty. It's no wonder many consider it one of the best hiking trails in the region. The Duder Regional Park Tour offers a unique opportunity to deepen your connection with this extraordinary locale and learn about its rich natural and cultural heritage. Choose from our half-day loop walk (4 hours) and full-day point walk (8 hours) options. Duder Regional Park Walking Tours - Unveiling Nature's Beauty: Duder Coastal Clifftop Trail: Enjoy stunning coastal vistas with gannets and terns in the sky. Knowledgeable guides reveal the park's geological history and coastal conservation significance. The Forest Adventure at Duder: Trek through native forests among towering pohutukawa and taraire trees, discovering the importance of preserving native flora. Do the Duder Te Ara Hura Trail: A multi-terrain journey for the adventurous explores coastal sections, forest tracks, and open grasslands, immersing participants in the park's wonders and unique heritage. Sunrise and Sunset Walks at Duder Regional Park: An ethereal experience awaits those who join the Sunrise and Sunset Walks. As the sun bathes the sky in golden and rosy hues, visitors find solace in the tranquility of nature. These guided walks offer a fresh perspective of the park's beauty, with its landscapes bathed in the magical light of dawn or dusk. Duder Regional Park Conservation and Education: Beyond mere exploration, Duder Regional Park Walking Tours also serve as a platform to promote environmental education and conservation. Guides passionately educate visitors about the region's delicate ecosystems, the impact of human actions on the environment, and the paramount importance of preserving these precious natural spaces for the well-being of generations to come. From the untamed coastal cliffs to the tranquil native forests, each step on these guided walks unveils a new chapter in the saga of Duder Regional Park's beauty and significance, leaving many to say that it is one of the best hiking trails near me. As visitors delve into the enchanting realm of this natural wonder, they depart with lasting memories and a renewed appreciation for the crucial task of safeguarding and cherishing our planet's invaluable natural treasures. For more information on this tour visit: https://socialnaturemovement.nz/itinerary/duder-regional-park-walking-tours/

Waiheke Island: Gulf Marine Park Sailing Adventure & Lunch

3. Waiheke Island: Gulf Marine Park Sailing Adventure & Lunch

Enjoy this stunning day out on a premium sailing experience from Waiheke Island. After boarding you will stop at a pest-free island for a guided walk, plus you’ll have opportunities for swimming, snorkelling and stand-up paddleboarding. Your guide will help you learn about the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park, its islands, history and people. You’ll learn about the oceanography of the Gulf, the resident and migratory species which make the Gulf their home and current conservation efforts on land and sea as we glide along with the wind in our sails. This unique eco adventure is the only day sailing trip offered in the outer gulf and departing from Waiheke Island. If you’d like to take the helm or help to trim the sails, skipper Bruce will be happy to show you the ropes. Your itinerary will depend on the wind direction and weather, so that we can give you the most enjoyable and comfortable experience.

Browns Island Motukorea Sea Kayak Tour

4. Browns Island Motukorea Sea Kayak Tour

Embark on a beginner-friendly Auckland sea kayak adventure with just a half-day of dedication. From downtown Auckland CBD, a mere 15-minute drive or bus ride, a 20-minute cycle, a 25-minute e-scooter journey, or a leisurely 2-hour coffee stroll to St Heliers beach, our starting point. Adventure out on a captivating four-hour sea kayak journey to Browns Island, departing from the scenic St Heliers beach in Auckland. Glide past Gentleman's and Ladies Bays through tranquil turquoise waters, encircling the uninhabited dormant volcanic island reachable solely by sea kayaks and other vessels. The one-way paddle to Browns Island takes 45-60 minutes, offering 1.5-2 hours of leisurely paddling overall. The remaining time is dedicated to coastal exploration, acquainting yourself with sea kayak equipment and your surroundings. Speaking of Auckland's surroundings, the Waitemata Harbour and Hauraki Gulf teem with marine life, including coastal birds like Dotterel and Oystercatchers. Lucky kayakers might glimpse cetaceans like whales and dolphins, or even adorable little blue penguins during their voyage to Browns Island! In Maori, Browns Island is Motukorea, roughly translating to Oystercatcher Island. Its name originates from the European land purchase by William Brown in 1840. Remnants on the island harken back to a time when a pig farm thrived under Brown's care. A lesser-known fact is that Browns Island farmers once swam horses across the harbor to Karaka Bay. Motukorea Island, in the past, bustled with human activity, featuring Māori settlements and fishing spots. Sydney mud cockle remnants found here hint at its ancient geological history. On June 5, 1909, aviation history was etched as siblings Alex and Claude Barnard launched a homemade flying machine from Brown's Island peak. This marked New Zealand's inaugural aeroplane trials. The Browns Island kayak tour unveils a volcanic cone formed around 25,000 years ago, one of Auckland's 53 volcanoes in the still-active Auckland Volcanic Field. Uninhabited and designated a recreational reserve, Browns Island welcomes explorers to discover its natural allure and historic sites. Wildlife Sanctuary: Browns Island's conservation endeavors have created a haven for numerous bird species. Native tūī, pūkeko, and silvereye abound, alongside skinks and geckos. Educational Opportunities: The island provides educational opportunities for students and researchers interested in volcanology, geology, and environmental conservation. Its accessibility and unique features make it an ideal field study location. For more information on this tour visit: https://socialnaturemovement.nz/itinerary/browns-island-motukorea-volcanic-half-day-sea-kayak-tour/

Warkworth: Full-Day Spearfishing Charter

5. Warkworth: Full-Day Spearfishing Charter

Experience the thrill of the hunt on an exhilarating full-day spearfishing charter suitable for all experience levels. Get up close to kingfish, snapper, and more in the Hauraki Gulf, and take your catch home with you, if you're lucky. After meeting at the local partner's dive center, head out on the water. Destinations covered include Little Barrier Island, Great Barrier Island, Hen Island, Kawau Island, and the surrounding areas, though the exact destinations will depend on weather conditions, group numbers, and diver experience on the day. If you're an experienced diver, opt for greater depths for the really big catches. For the less experienced, head to the spots where the reefs are in easy reach. Either way, once you're in the water, give yourself over to the addictive thrill of the chase. If there are no fish in the area, simply move on to another place. Target certain species to maximize your fun and keep all levels of experience engaged. With good luck on your side, you may catch a few fish to take home. They'll taste that much better considering how hard you worked for them.

Other Sightseeing Options in Hauraki Gulf

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