Read what other Viator.com travelers think about the Bay of Islands Day Tour from Auckland. What they loved, what they liked and what they think could be improved, it's all here to help you make the most of your next trip.
While the tour itself was very interesting, I would not recommend using Viator to book it. It turns out that the tour is actually run by two different groups: one handles the coach trip and another the ferry ride in the Bay of Islands. My friend and I tried to organise for pickup from our hotel in Auckland on the morning of the tour but were given a massive run-around. The number provided on our Viator docket was for one company, who said that they had no idea about the particular trip we were talking about. We then spent a very long time on the phone to another number provided to us by the lady at the first company - eventually she said that she had to call Australia to confirm the details of our trip and to organise for us to be picked up at our hotel. The hotel pickup did not run smoothly either, with a cab having to be sent twice as the first driver could not find our hotel! My advice would be to see if you can book this trip or a similar one directly through an actual tour company rather than going through a third party.
I enjoyed this tour. It was another one day but a good way to see the countryside. I thoroughly enjoyed the tours of the Treaty House and Russell and learnt a lot. The weather wasn't great but this would probably be a wonderful tour in summer.
Pleased we did this trip to the Bay of Islands & experienced some of NZ history.
beautiful islands, worth the visit if you are in north island.
Bay of Islands tour is a long day – would recommend doing the 2 day tour so that you have time to enjoy northern New Zealand . We did hit some good lookouts! The trip to the Māori Reserve was unnecessary and LONG. Would have preferred to have more time out on a boat in the bay of islands. Don’t get the lunch – there are plenty of places and a time to eat on your own at one of the local restaurants.
tour was good, bus driver was very arragant, we missed a segment of the tour once we got to the bay of Islands because of miss understanding (Waitangi Treaty House Tour) which he said was worth $35 if anyone booked it, would have liked to have a more friendlier guide
The tour is well organized and everything went smoothly. Our criticism is of the commentary on the way up to the Bay of Islands. The driver spoke too fast for foreigners to understand (I am seeing New Zealand with a German friend who speaks good English but needs it spoken clearly). The volume was high. The content was very mixed in quality. Information on life in NZ was mixed with useless information about his own family. It would be preferable to have a taped commentary that can be switched on at the appropriate place.
Bit of a long trip there and back, but Russell Island was fabulous
Really enjoyed the trip, even thought the weather was bad. Would recommend you pack food though... Not enough if any time for lunch!
The door-to-door service was great. I chose to do the Russell highlights tour. If I could do this excursion again, I would opt for a boat tour around the bay, maybe dolphin watching.
A lot of driving for a short time there. Lunch was a problem as there was no time to get anything and the tour in Russell ran over so missed the boat and arrived back too late to eat or get anything worth while.
little bit boring tour and too much to travel by bus.
The tour is a long day however it gives you a good insight to the Bay of Islands.
Arriving at the Bay of Islands you discover the historic sites of Waitangi and Russell. The Waitangi Treaty Grounds was rushed in order to catch the ferry from Paihia to Russell, more time could have been spent here.
The ferry to Russell was excellent and the bus tour around Russell was informative even when the weather was rainy.
We were not happy with the long drive and poor defined itinerary offered. We didn't really know what we were doing and the driver/tour guide never answered our questions for clarity. It seemed he was making it up as he went along. He also gave some commentary along the way that was offensive to most of the passengers. When someone is giving a tour to show people how great a site or attraction is, I feel they should avoid political or contentious statements that make the guests feel uncomfortable. Not a tour we would take now that we know what it is about nor would we recommend to a friend.
As we were travelling off - season, we did not have a " discrete tour". A mixed group of visitors all with different bookings and different agendas were parcelled into one bus, with an elderly driver, who had difficulty in managing the mixture of tours that his passengers had booked.
As the driver didnt know what tour and activities his passengers had booked, he was very uncertain in giving help, and lost some of the party.
We got through the day, but some on the bus were less fortunate. The bus was used as a vehicle also to deliver some passengers to the Bay of Islands for the start of a 3 day tour, and to collect other passengers who had already completed 2 or 3 day tours in the northlands.
The tour organisers were clearly making economies during the winter/spring season.
The tour is good but everything is too rushed. Would have liked to see a lot more and spent most of the time being driven to and from the three sites.
Too much time on bus...3 hours each way....didn't see the islands. Pick up and return to/from hotel was not direct. Lunch was ridiculous ! Never again !!
The trip itself was beautiful, however it seemed unorganised. The German audio guide was missing and as some people were late the tour started later and seemed rushed all the way home. As we booked a lunch with the main ticket we expected a more substantial lunch for the price. The view however and route itself was fantastic
Too far for the schedule. No time was allowed for lunch or shopping at Russel.
Tour was rushed due to the distance from Auckland, but good.
Unfortunately the taxi did not pick us up from the Hotel and when we ordered another Taxi by the time we got there the bus had gone. Both of us were so disappointed as we were both looking forward to the trip to the Bay of Islands. Perhaps next time when we are in New Zealand.
Over priced incomplete tour, we never got to tour the bay of islands, go to the Waitangi treaty grounds, did not have a tour of the Waitangi treaty house or go to the Maori meeting house to see a Waka war Canoe, we spent 4 hours in a bus to be dropped at a ferry terminal and told to go that way, when we got to the ferry we asked the lovely ferry driver about our pre paid lunch,he ran back to retrieve it for us, we were then ferried to the island of Russell with a paper bag containing our lunch and left there for the duration of our trip, we were expecting to actually see some islands during a cruise,$500 out of pocket and I still don't know. "The Bay of Islands" complete waste of money and very misleading
Very disappointed. The driver was good, the scenery beautiful but 3-4 hours each way on the bus was awful, I felt like it was a rush rush rush sort of Clayton's tour; two loud chattering young people behind us for the whole journey didn't help. It was nice of the driver to tell us that "to the right, is a beautiful town etc etc", fine, IF we had stopped there. I think next time I will start at the bottom of the reviews rather than the top that give five stars!! I think we would have been MUCH better off hiring a car with a GPS and doing our own thing, in your own time, however, it was our first trip to New Zealand, and we had no idea. I would have preferred to stop at a different café rather than the same one in both directions. The tour of Russell pointed out houses and how much they were, something I really didn't even care about. Sorry Viator, this time I felt the tour was way overpriced, will not fall into that trap again.
The Tour guide was soo BAD. This trip could have been so interesting