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North Island

Beach Trips

Our most recommended North Island Beach Trips

Whitianga: Cathedral Cove 2 Hour Boat Cruise

1. Whitianga: Cathedral Cove 2 Hour Boat Cruise

Based in Whitianga, this scenic boat cruise showcases Mercury Bay’s stunning coastal paradise at its very best. Embark on a 2-hour journey across the rugged volcanic shores of the bay and explore its beautiful beaches including Hahei and Lonely Bay. The highlight of the tour is the world-famous Cathedral Cove at Te Whanganui a Hei Marine Reserve. The site has a rich Maori heritage, attracts around 150,000 visitors per year, and was used as a filming location for the blockbuster movie Narnia. Sit back and relax as you sail around the bay, and marvel at its stunning natural landscapes that stretch across the peninsula. Along the way, listen to your guide share entertaining live commentary about the bay and the wildlife that lives here. Make sure to keep an eye on the water too, as there's always a chance to see dolphins, whales and orcas in their natural habitat.

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

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

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).

Waiheke Island: Wine Tastings and Lunch Scenic Half-Day Tour

3. Waiheke Island: Wine Tastings and Lunch Scenic Half-Day Tour

Enjoy a wine and food tour around Waiheke Island, the most populated island in New Zealand. Stop and taste at three local vineyards, take in views of the Hauraki Gulf, and explore Waiheke's largest beach, Onetangi Beach. Start with a drive along the scenic northern route, taking in spectacular views of the Hauraki Gulf and beyond to the Coromandel Peninsula. Stop first for a tasting and casual lunch at a local vineyard. If time allows after lunch, head towards Onetangi, a 1.87 kilometer-long, north-facing beach with beautiful old Pohutukawa trees on the foreshore. For many years, the beach has been the site of the Onetangi Beach Races, a family fun adventure day that supports local causes. Leave Onetangi for a second vineyard and more wine tasting. For a final stop, visit a picturesque vineyard overlooking the Hauraki Gulf. Enjoy another wine tasting as you take in the view. At the end of the tour, return to the Waiheke Wharf with your guide in time to catch a return ferry. Alternatively, choose to stay on the island for dinner (at your own expense) and make your way back when you are ready.

Leigh: Goat Island Guided Snorkeling Tour for Beginners

4. 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.

Whitianga: 3-Hour Sailing Trip to Cathedral Cove with Swim

5. Whitianga: 3-Hour Sailing Trip to Cathedral Cove with Swim

Delight in a 3-hour sailing trip from Whitianga and see the iconic sights of Mercury Bay and Cathedral Cove. Lend a hand with the sailing or simply sit back and relax on comfy beanbags and admire the picturesque scenery. Meet your guide in Whitianga and board Fully Charged, a fast racing catamaran. After a short introductory session to the boat's main facilities and safety systems, set sail out to the calm waters of the bay. As you sail, spot the area's most notable sights with the help of your guide. Keep your cameras ready as you sail past Cathedral Cove. Swim or snorkel in the marine reserve with the wonderful sea life, or simply chill out on board and soak up the scenery. The tour concludes back at the starting point in Whitianga. The morning tour option includes freshly-brewed coffee, chilled organic juice, and a freshly-baked snack. The afternoon tour option includes chilled local beer or New Zealand wine with a fresh fruit platter.

From Whitianga: Mercury Bay Schooner Cruise

6. From Whitianga: Mercury Bay Schooner Cruise

Meet at Whitianga wharf bright and early to allow for a full day of activities. Step on to the great Windborne; a 1928 Topsail Schooner, and meet your crew for the day. Once you devise a plan for the day the schooner will set sail. Sit back and relax on the large deck, listening to the tales of Windborne in the early days, and the captain's sea stories. Make sure to keep an eye out for dolphins, whales, and the vast array of birdlife swooping by. Visit some of the most breathtaking places around Mercury Bay including Cathedral Cove, Devil's Point, and Pink Beach. Drop anchor at these locations and go for a snorkel in the crystal clear waters, do some paddleboarding, or swim onto shore for a little look around. Or you can simply relax on deck and enjoy a picnic lunch. Arrive back to Whitianga at approximately 4:00 PM.

Bay of Islands: Awesome Day Sailing Tour with Island Stop

7. Bay of Islands: Awesome Day Sailing Tour with Island Stop

On boarding this ocean going yacht in Paihia guests are greeted with a safety briefing and invited to join in sailing as participants or simply relax and enjoy. On the journey, guests are treated to fresh fruit and vegetable snacks. See the various and beautiful land formations, ancient lava flows and numerous wave swept caves.  Spot penguins and other marine life in playful groups as the yacht sails along. Upon arrival at the island stopover, guests are invited to swim ashore with snorkel gear, if wished. Those wishing to stay dry are transferred ashore. While on the island travelers may choose to go on a walk, comb the beach, snorkel or a combination of all.  After exploring, enjoy a fresh sandwich lunch provided on board (vegetarian, gluten-free and vegan options available) before heading back to land.

From Auckland: Small Group Coromandel Peninsula Day Tour

8. From Auckland: Small Group Coromandel Peninsula Day Tour

First, enjoy the 90-minute drive to the charming town of Thames, where you will take a short break. Then, hit the road again and take in the spectacular views along New Zealand’s west coast. You will then stop in at the Coromandel Township where the renowned potter, Barry Brickell, had his studio. Ride on his personally designed mountain railway system, on a memorable journey through the rugged landscape. Next, stop for a quiet stroll in pristine rainforest and see some magnificent kauri trees, which once covered the Coromandel Peninsula. The journey continues across the mountain divide and descends towards the east coast beaches where you will stop for lunch. Visit the amazing Hot Water Beach, where hot water bubbles to the surface of the sand. Dig your own hot tub right next to the lapping waves.   Then, visit Cathedral Cove, where the water washes through a natural arch onto a white sandy beach backed by white cliffs. Next, take the 30-minute downhill walk to the beautiful beach, which was featured in the Chronicles of Narnia.   End the day enjoy the landscape during the return journey to Auckland, as you head over the hills along a different route.

Whitianga: Sailing Trip to Great Mercury Island with Lunch

9. Whitianga: Sailing Trip to Great Mercury Island with Lunch

Meet your friendly captain at Whitianga Wharf and board the impressive 63 ft Windborne. The boat, which has been sailing the oceans of the world since 1928 was lovingly rebuilt in 1981 and is bursting with character, charm, strength, and comfort. Once aboard, set sail onto the glistening waters that surround Whitianga and begin the 15 nautical mile journey towards Great Mercury Island, one of the prettiest places on earth. Anchor at Peach Grove and cool off from the heat with a refreshing dip in the crystal clear water. Swim ashore, or catch a ride in the dinghy boat then feel the sand beneath your toes as you stroll along the flawless beach. While at the beach, you can also make use of the boat's snorkel gear and paddle boards. Later, wander through the bush to find a stunning waterfall where you can relax in the freshwater pool. Whatever you choose to do on the island, native parrots are abundant and sure to keep you company. Once you’ve worked up a bit of an appetite, dine on a delicious lunch of homemade salads, cheese, chutneys, and more onboard the schooner. After lunch, set sail again back towards the mainland and allow the fresh sea breeze to immerse you in the beauty of nature. Snack on tasty nibbles as you lookout for dolphins, orcas, and whales and admire the rock formations and volcanic plaques of Flat Island along the way.

Raglan: 2-Hour Surf Lesson

10. Raglan: 2-Hour Surf Lesson

Meet your surf instructor at Ngarunui Beach carpark by our red truck and wooden surf trailer Benefit from equipment and get everything you need to learn surfing: warm wetsuits and surfboards for all skill levels.  Your surf instructor will be with you for a whole 2 hours to teach you and help you out in the water. Practice your pop up and catch heaps of waves in this awesome New Zealand surf experience.

Frequently asked questions about North Island Beach Trips

What are other things to do than Beach Trips that are worth visiting in North Island?

The other unmissable things to do in North Island are:

Other Sightseeing Options in North Island

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What people are saying about North Island

Overall rating

4.0 / 5

based on 14 reviews

This was a wonderful excursion! The sites were absolutely breathtaking and there were plenty of photo stops and potty breaks to break up the trip. TONY is the best!! Such a wonderful tour guide and personable human being altogether. The tour guides we had with our Bush & Beach excursions were easily the best and one of the most memorable parts of our trip - definitely recommend booking with them for anything you can :)

This was a fantastic introduction to the beauty of Mercury Bay. The skipper, Justin, is very knowledgeable and Avery competent operator. The boat is a very dry hull and I can thoroughly recommend this trip to anyone. It was a great trip and an event my wife and I will talk about for years to come.

the trip was very good. the weather was fantastic we had to put it off one day but it was well worth it. what we saw was good the sea was smooth and no swell; even over eighty years old service was good and easy to manage

Loved it, Justin was very knowledgeable about the different sites we visited & a great host. Also let us have photo opportunities now & then. Great trip, highly recommend!

Justin was knowledgeable and entertaining! We thoroughly enjoyed the experience and will recommend to others.