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Paihia Ecotourism

Our most recommended Paihia Ecotourism

From Paihia or Russell: Hole in the Rock Dolphin Cruise

1. From Paihia or Russell: Hole in the Rock Dolphin Cruise

Embark on a catamaran tour of the Bay of Islands from Paihia or Russell. Enjoy insightful commentary as you visit famous sights, including the "Hole in the Rock" and make a stop at Urupukapuka Island. Board your vessel in Paihia or Russell and glide out through the islands. Cruise along the Rakaumangamanga Peninsula to Cape Brett, where a historic lighthouse watches over the famous ‘Hole in the Rock’.  The natural sculpture, one of New Zealand's most popular attractions, was created from centuries of sea and wind erosion. According to Maori legend, local warriors paddled through the Hole in the Rock in their canoes before departing for battle. Drops of water from the cave roof were a good omen. Take in the Grand Cathedral Cave before heading back into the bay. Keep an eye out for common and bottlenose dolphins, whales, and other marine life.  Cruise in comfort aboard the Dolphin Seeker with indoor and outdoor seating and the Bay of Island's largest outdoor viewing decks. Treat yourself to snacks and a licensed bar on board, or enjoy the Otehei Bar Café and Bar on Urupukapuka Island.

From Paihia: The Rock Adventure Overnight Cruise

2. From Paihia: The Rock Adventure Overnight Cruise

The only overnight cruise in the Bay of Islands, offering snorkeling, kayaking, island walks and the opportunity to catch or collect seafood. Come aboard The Rock for a truly unique experience - with a homely atmosphere, a warm welcome from our crew and a variety of awesome activities to keep you entertained and immersed in this amazing part of the world. Departing from Paihia Wharf, this is the best way to spend 22 hours in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand. Day 1 Start: 5:00 PM, END: up to you Departs at 5 pm, grab a drink and enjoy a 2-3hr cruise out to the islands. Give the target shooting a go as we cruise. Once on anchor in a sheltered bay, we’ll do a spot of dusk fishing. A healthy snapper baked on the barbecue is a welcome addition to an already delicious buffet dinner (subject to guest’s fishing ability, of course!).  Later you can choose to go night kayaking to marvel in the phosphorescence (some call it “fairy dust”) and lie back for a star-gazing session - your guide will point out the major constellations, planets and galaxies. If you’re still up for action, you can jump in the sea for a night swim before settling in for a drink by the fire. Day 2 Start: 8:00 AM, END: 3:00 PM Sunrise at sea is spectacular – you can watch it from your bed if you’re not an early bird! The breakfast bell goes at 8 am. We serve a traditional kiwi breakfast and then haul anchor and get underway for an exploration of the islands. If you’re up early enough, you might even get a chance for a quick wake-up swim with the crew. Kayaking, snorkelling, gathering fresh seafood, exploring WWII remains, trekking across islands enjoying stunning vantage points and visiting ancient Maori fortifications. If conditions allow, we’ll gather mussels from the kelp-covered outer reefs to enjoy on the way home (along with the unique experience of eating sea urchins raw if you’re brave enough). You will have time to enjoy the remote beaches - perfect for a game of beach cricket or volleyball. On the homeward cruise, enjoy those mussels, freshly steamed, and watch out for the abundant marine and bird life…hopefully you’ll even see dolphins! Arrive back at Paihia wharf at approximately 3 pm.

The Rock Adventure Day Cruise

3. The Rock Adventure Day Cruise

You’ll get picked up at 7.45 am at the Paihia Wharf by sea shuttle which will take you on a smooth cruise to a remote and quiet bay where The Rock has been anchored overnight. After arrival and a quick safety brief haul anchor and get underway for an exploration of the islands. Go Kayaking, snorkelling, gathering fresh sea food, explore WWII remains, trek across islands enjoying stunning vantage points, and visit ancient Maori fortifications. If conditions allow, gather mussels from the kelp-covered outer reefs to enjoy on the way home (along with the unique experience of eating sea urchins raw if you’re brave enough). You will have time to enjoy the remote beaches - perfect for a game of beach cricket or volley ball. On the homeward cruise, enjoy those mussels, freshly steamed, and watch out for the abundant marine and bird life…hopefully you’ll even see dolphins! Arrive back at Paihia wharf at approximately 3 pm. Think you want more activities or want to stay on board The Rock longer? Then maybe The Rock Overnight Cruise is for you. Perhaps your time is a bit more limited but you still fancy sleeping aboard a boat? Then go on the Rock Bed & Breakfast Overnight Cruise.

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What people are saying about Paihia

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 14 reviews

I had been to Hole in the Rock 3 times, but this time, the boat did not enter the Hole because of wavy water, but linger longer when dolphins appeared and played with the boat and made a show for the passengers.

The tour was great. However, due to the weather conditions, we were not at the hole in the rock, but we were able to watch dolphins. We also had a 1 hour layover on one of the islands.

It was a beautiful trip out with lots of info shared with us. The stop on the island gave a chance to see 360 degrees around for breathtaking views. Just watch for the sheep dung!!

Great cruise that got through the hole as well as seeing dolphins. The stop at the island was a good break to the cruise.

Well organised. Good communication. Safety was a priority.