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Day cruise out of Auckland?

kcmo
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253 posts
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Day cruise out of Auckland?

Like many of you, we have limited time on the North Island (7 nights). Our priorities are the Tongariro Crossing, Waitomo Caves, Kauri Forest and a hangi in Rotorua.

We would like to get on the water also and thought about going up to Paihia (Bay of Islands) for a 1/2 day cruise. B ut wondering if we could get a similar experience off the coast of Auckland?

Also, if we don't go north to the Bay we might want an alternative place to see the Kauri trees, but in a forest environment would be best.

Thanks in advance for advice!

Rarotonga, Cook...
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for Rarotonga, Waiheke Island, Southern Cook Islands, Auckland Central
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1. Re: Day cruise out of Auckland?

Hi jb,

In Auckland, you could visit the Waitakere Ranges and view stands of regenerating native forest. The Arataki Visitors Centre in the ranges is a wonderful resource. The views are magnificent too. You might want to check out several of the west coast surf beaches that way as well (Piha, Karekare, Bethells).

A ferry cruise to one of the Hauraki Gulf islands might appeal to you. There is Rangitoto, Motutapu, Motuhi, Tiritiri-Matangi, Waiheke islands (regular ferry sailings and island tours, taxis & shuttle services), and also the 360 Boat to Coromandel via Orapiu (far end of Waiheke) and Rotoroa island. 360 Discovery cruises also have a general harbour and Gulf island cruise.

Waipoua Forest on the west coast of Northland is extraordinary. But if you are time-restricted and yearn to see a little more of the northern landscape a Perfect Day discovery cruise to the Poor Knights Islands marine reserve (east coast of Northland) may interest you. In Whangarei you can take in the large kauri trees located in the A.H. Reed Memorial Park near the Whangarei Falls. Tutukaka harbour (where the Perfect Day cruise departs) is approx 2 hrs 30 minutes north of Auckland city. Whereas the BOI Cape Brett cruises are a 3 hr 20 minutes drive from downtown Auckland.

Hamilton, New...
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2. Re: Day cruise out of Auckland?

There are many short cruises to choose from out of Auckland. You have a choice of inner harbour cruises with many of the sights taken in, or you may like a range of Ferry trips to the Islands in the Hauraki Gulf. I did a trip recently to Waiheke and thouroughly enjoyed it then came back to the City and caught another ferry to Devonport. A very affordable afternoon with a lot of good sights. You buy tickets for all the choices down at the waterfront.

UK
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3. Re: Day cruise out of Auckland?

We did a day trip to the island of Tiri-Tiri Metangi and for us it was the highlight of our stay in Auckland. If you like birds/wildlife and being on a remote island I can highly recommend it. We (like everyone else, although it's optional) took a guided tour which was superb - you are divided into small groups and are taken around the island by a local expert who points out the flora and fauna to you. They restrict the number of people who visit each day (so book at least the day before if possible), and there's only one trip per day so the island never feels crowded. To get there you go on a short but scenic boat trip from downtown Auckland, so no car required. When we arrived there was a whale swimming near the shore, and the local takahe came out to greet us!

Auckland
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4. Re: Day cruise out of Auckland?

Yes, if you cannot make far North, you can see [small] Kauri in the Waitakere Ranges. Try to include a visit to the Arataki Information Centre, where you'll learn more about the area and "gum and gumboots".

Birmingham
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5. Re: Day cruise out of Auckland?

How rough is the water during the ferry ride? Does the bay provide any protection? Not a great sailor. Will Dramamine take care of it? Was going to ask about lunch, but a 50 min. ferry ride might mean no need for food for the day!

What about parking at the ferry terminal? Don't know where we are staying yet, but we will have a car.

We are serious birders and would really like to do this trip. Any other birding advice would be greatly appreciated.

Birmingham
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12 posts
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6. Re: Day cruise out of Auckland?

How rough is the water during the ferry ride? Does the bay provide any protection? Not a great sailor. Will Dramamine take care of it? Was going to ask about lunch, but a 50 min. ferry ride might mean no need for food for the day!

What about parking at the ferry terminal? Don't know where we are staying yet, but we will have a car.

We are serious birders and would really like to do this trip. Any other birding advice would be greatly appreciated.

Auckland
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7. Re: Day cruise out of Auckland?

The Muriwai gannet colony is just 40 minutes [by land!] from downtown Auckland...(however there is no Public transport to the region).

Sydney Australia
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8. Re: Day cruise out of Auckland?

I dare say conditions can vary day by day. The day we went it was very calm which was lucky as my hubby is also prone to sea sickness. If you want to visit Tiri but are nervous about the boat trip, you could drive up to Gulf Harbour and have a shorter trip over. If you're a birder you should really try to visit at least one of the bird reserves. Tiri was truly excellent....even better than Ulva island for the birds.. not as good for botany though, but still very nice forested walks :o)

Birmingham
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9. Re: Day cruise out of Auckland?

Thanks so much for great advice!

Brisbane
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10. Re: Day cruise out of Auckland?

We are also interested in Tiritiri Matangi for an upcoming trip in April. I was on the 360 Discovery Cruises website and there is a space to input a promo code. Anyone know where to get a promo code?