4.5 star rating: Recommended 89 Reviews

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  • Location:Paihia or Russell, Bay of Islands, New Zealand
  • Duration:3 - 4 hours

Bay of Islands Cape Brett 'Hole in the Rock' Cruise

Slip through the famous 'Hole in the Rock' in New Zealand’s Northland during a 3- to 4-hour Bay of Islands cruise by high-speed catamaran. Pass rocky outcrops, sandy beaches and an array of islands as you make your way out to the Cape Brett Lighthouse, Motu Kokako Island and Grand Cathedral Cave. During warmer months, you’ll make an island stopover on Urupukapuka Island.


  • Navigate the famous 'Hole in the Rock'
  • See dolphins, penguins and other marine wildlife
  • Island stop-over

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Bay of Islands Cape Brett 'Hole in the Rock' Cruise

Cape Brett Hole in the Rock

Meet your guide at the Maritime Building in Paihia or The Strand Wharf in Russell for your 3- to 4-hour Bay of Islands cruise. A high-speed catamaran whisks you away to Motu Kokako — also known as Piercy Island — and expertly navigates through its famous Hole in the Rock, located at the northern tip of Cape Brett.

Search the waters for an array of seabirds and marine life including whales, seals, dolphins and penguins. Your crew points out the Grand Cathedral Cave and discusses local ecology and Maori history. In warmer months, you’ll visit Urupukapuka Island, where you can swim, snorkel or relax on the beach for an hour before your cruise ends in Paihia or Russell. 

Please note: during the winter months (May to October), the afternoon departure is approximately three hours in duration and does not include a stopover on Urupukapuka Island.

Customer Reviews


5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2016

This tour was awesome! The cruise was so well organized and the crew was very friendly. The scenery was so beautiful and the narration of the captain was fun and interesting. We saw so many dolphins and they are so much fun to watch. The sea cooperated and we were able to sail through the 'Hole in the Rock too . Ther was alot of bang for the buck.Thanks to all for a great time.

Richard W

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2016

A must do!!! Amazing scenery and well worth the cost.

Diane N

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2015

What a fantastic day!

Albert B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2015

Fantastic tour operator and had opportunity to see killer whales next to boat


5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

Brilliant cruise. This was the best excursion trip we experienced. The cruise alone was extremely enjoyable and was easily accessed from the cruise shuttle bus. The hole in the rock wasn't passed through due to weather and sea conditions but the lady Captain reversed into the hole and gave us the full view and feel for natures creation. Well done driver, a brilliant piece of boat handling skills, I'll try to remember this before criticising lady drivers.
What a bonus we had though, there was a pod of local Okra killer whales in and around one of the bays we visited. They were very close and surfacing often as they were feeding on Rays in the shallow waters of the bay. This made for an unexpected once in a lifetime experience which will be remembered for years to come. Not guaranteed on the trip but you never know your luck!
Value for money, excellent, we saved 60 two of us on this trip through Viator compared to our cruise ship excursion.

Nancy R

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

Great experience. Very professional and knowledgeable tour guides and providers. Loved the special opportunity to see tons of Orcas! Lots of information. Worth every penny!

Stephen R

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

The experience could not have been better. The crew took good care of us and we got to see dolphins, sea lions and travel through the tunnel that a boat could go through. The weather was perfect. If you are in this area you should do this.

macjim Australia

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

Picked up at motel by friendly helpful staff, saw the dolphins in three different areas, bit to rough to go through the 'hole', dropped off at Russell and free trip back to mainland.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

Awesome trip and well worth the relaxing tour, great staff and informative. Highly recommended.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

Nice big catamaran with snacks and toilets on board. Good narration. Beautiful scenery. Well worth the money. Tip: do not wait to be picked up by a bus. Go into the shop and check in at the big white desk. Boat loads at the pier out in back.

From USD $ 69.16

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Tour code: 3910_CB_B


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