Top North Island Whale Watching
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11 results | All North Island Tours
Cruise the waters of Hauraki Gulf Marine Park in search of whales, dolphins and penguins on a half-day tour from Auckland. You’ll board a spacious catamaran at Viaduct Harbour and hear expert guides share informative commentary about New Zealand’s natural wonders. During the whale and dolphin safari, keep an eye out for six types of whales that frequent these waters, as well as seabirds such as Australasian gannets, petrels and terns.
Experience with us and help protect our wild dolphins! Surrounded by deep blue waters, vivid green islands and diverse wildlife, sailing on Carino NZ our 50ft catamaran is the best way to experience the stunning bay of islands. We are a small, local family owned and operated wildlife cruise. Join us on our marine wildlife conservation vessel. On board help to set sails or sit back and relax.Time to take a deep breath and unwind. Watch for wild dolphins in their ocean habitat. We are only yacht licensed to view wild dolphins in the Bay. Viewing wild dolphins in their natural habitat is an amazing and wonderful experience. A portion of every fare contributes directly to marine mammal conservation – Protect the future While we are sailing, watch for our local little blue penguins and our crazy diving gannets. An island stop is included, where you get to explore a historic scenic island walks, snorkeling at the beach. Bbq lunch aboard Carino NZ, a cash bar available.
While many travelers come to Cathedral Cove to relax on the beach, this is a marine reserve so there’s so much to see beneath the surface of the ocean. Take a look on a glass bottomed boat ride, and jump in with a snorkel if you want to get up close to the fish. Learn all about the history of this important area while relaxing and enjoying the views of the rock formations and pinnacles.
A half day cruise on our spacious 18 metre vessel with 360° outdoor views. Comfortable fully enclosed seating downstairs and a large open sun-deck for wildlife watching. Some of the best marine diversity in New Zealand. Close-up encounters with seasonal marine wildlife – penguins, seals, dolphins, whales, sunfish, school fish, seabirds, sharks, turtles and orca. Onboard commentary and references with facts on the Bay and local marine wildlife. Photos of a lifetime!
Cover plenty of ground in one day by combining several North Island highlights: Waitomo Caves, Hobbiton, and Rotorua. Ride a boat through the Waitomo Glowworm Caves to see these radiant lights. Take a guided tour of the Hobbiton Movie Set, where you find the Green Dragon Inn, the Mill and the home of Bilbo Baggins from ‘The Hobbit’ and ‘The Lord of the Rings.’ Enjoy lunch at Te Puia, home to Pohutu Geyser. You can start and finish your tour in either Auckland or Rotorua, traveling one-way or round-trip.
The fictional, yet globally famous, village of Hobbiton and the Waitomo Caves rank among the most popular sites of interest in New Zealand. On this tour, visit both sites in one day—see the home of Bilbo Baggins and explore Waitomo’s subterranean caverns—and enjoy personal attention from your guide on this small-group tour—limited to 12 people.
Visit a pair of New Zealand's must-see attractions with this combo tour from Auckland to the Hobbiton Movie Set and Waitomo Glowworm Caves. Peek into Hobbit Holes, frolic in the Shire, and get a drink at the Green Dragon Inn on a guided tour of Middle-earth, followed by a Kiwi-style lunch. In the afternoon, explore Maori myths and history on a boat ride through mesmerizing caves lit by thousands of glowworms, and finish with a drive through some of the North Island’s most majestic scenery.
Price varies by group size
Price varies by group size
Take in the highlights of New Zealand’s largest city on this half-day tour of Auckland and benefit from an expert guide and small group size. Admire views of Auckland Harbour and drive over the Harbour Bridge; gaze out over the city from the top of Mt Eden; visit K Road, the Auckland Domain, and the Mission Bay beaches; and explore atmospheric neighborhoods such as Parnell, Ponsonby, and Northcote Point.
This Rotorua zipline tour takes you soaring through a centuries-old forest canopy as you switch between the six zipline cables suspended 72 feet (22 meters) above the ground. Get a bird’s-eye view as two expert guides suit you up with safety equipment and teach you about the forest environment. Bonus: you can later download photos taken of you during your treetops adventure. Round-trip hotel transport is included on this small-group tour, limited to 10 people.
Explore subtropical islands, Maori heritage sites and golden beaches on this cruise around the Bay of Islands from Paihia. Soak up the scenery as you float between the bay’s 144 islands, sail straight through the iconic Hole in the Rock (weather permitting) and tuck into a BBQ lunch or dinner at the stunning Otehei Bay on Urupukapuka Island. Along the way, spot dolphins swimming and playing alongside the boat.
For fans of the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films, visiting the official Hobbiton Movie Set is a truly unforgettable experience. On this tour, enjoy comfortable round-trip transport from Auckland and extra attention from your guide thanks to the small group size. On arrival, explore the famous film set on a guided tour, hear behind-the-scenes stories about the making of the movies, and see the Hobbit Holes, The Mill, and the Double Arched bridge. There will also be free time to shop for souvenirs or purchase lunch at the Shire’s Rest Café.
What people are saying about Whale Watching in North Island
Glass Bottom Boat Whitianga Cathedral Cove Cruise"We enjoyed seeing so many fish in the reserve during the “dry snorkelling” experience. The commentary was well done and informative. We recommend taking this trip."..."
Hobbiton, Rotorua and Waitomo Caves Day Trip in Luxury Minibus from Auckland"The guides were very knowledgeable and accommodating. There was a lot of driving but it was a good way to see a lot in a small amount of time. There are definitely places I’d like to return to on my next trip to NZ."..."
Hobbiton & Waitomo Caves Small Group Tour from Auckland"Our group through Cheeky Kiwi was absolutely phenomenal. If there was an opportunity to leave more stars I would’ve done it in a heartbeat. Can’t say enough about this amazing experience. Not just a highlight of our trip to New Zealand but in indelible memory for all time"..."
Hobbiton Movie Set and Waitomo Glowworm Caves Guided Day Trip from Auckland"Our Matt guide was a skilled driver and tour lead who took care of everyone on the tour and made sure that we got to places on time. It's a nicely condensed schedule to get you to two beautiful and experiential places in New Zealand"..."
Ziplining Forest Adventure - The Original Canopy Tour Rotorua"The tour guides were fantastic. Great bunch of people. Very well organised morning. We were amazed at the forest and the construction."..."
Half-Day Bay of Islands Discovery Tour from Paihia"Really enjoyed the scenery. However on booking details it should tell you what to bring eg.... packed lunch, towel for swimming and stopping at the island of Otehei bay."..."
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These hidden gems in North Island may have limited interaction with crowds:
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