Hauraki Gulf Islands Tours

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Located off the coast of Auckland, Hauraki Gulf’s 16 beautiful islands are ideal for outdoor activities like walking, horse riding, swimming, and dolphin- and whale-watching. From the vineyards of Waiheke to the hiking trails of Rangitoto, the birdwatching of Tiritiri Matangi to the secluded hot springs of Great Barrier, each of the islands offers something special.

The Basics
Some of the islands make for great multi-day getaways, as they offer a range of accommodations. Others are uninhabited, and better visited as day trips from Auckland. They’re especially popular in the summer months, when Aucklanders flock to them to enjoy the beaches and sea. Some have well-established tourism facilities and convenient transportation options, while others take a bit more effort to get to and offer a more back-to-basics experience. Various tours focus on whale- or bird-watching, vineyards, diving, snorkeling, kayaking, or local history.

Things to Know Before You Go
  • The 16 islands are Waiheke, Rangitoto, Great Barrier, Kawau, Tiritiri Matangi, Motuihe, Rotoroa, Motutapu, Rakino, Ponui, Pakatoa, Browns, Tarahiki, Whanganui, Kaikoura, and Moturekareka.
  • Several of the islands have a strong Department of Conservation. Information on hiking trails, campsites, and local flora and fauna can be found on the DOC website.
  • You don’t have to set foot on an island to enjoy them. Take a cruise in the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park to spot dolphins and whales.

How to Get There
Ferries to some of the more popular islands run from downtown Auckland or Devonport, including car ferries. Some islands have airstrips, so it’s possible to charter a small plane to make the trip or to take a scheduled flight with Great Barrier Airways. Organized tours make reaching the islands easy, as private boats or ferry connections are usually arranged.

When to Get There
The Hauraki Gulf Islands are at their best in the summer (December–February), when the weather is warm and conditions are perfect for beach and outdoor activities. The spring (September–November) and fall (March–May) are also decent times to visit the islands. Winter (June-August) often brings rain and wind.

New Zealand’s Youngest Volcano
The distinctive, forest-clad, gently sloping mountain in the Gulf that’s visible throughout Auckland can be found on Rangitoto Island. New Zealand’s youngest volcano, it emerged out of the sea just 600 years ago (barely a blink of an eye in geological time). Rangitoto’s also home to the world’s largest forest of pohutukawa, a tree native to New Zealand, and the island also offers great hiking and kayaking.


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Address: New Zealand
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17 Tours & Activities to Experience

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Waiheke Island Exploration and Zipline Day Trip from Auckland

Soar through the treetops of Waiheke Island on a three-course zipline tour with aerial views of Hauraki Gulf. After a quick ferry from Auckland, your half-day tour of Waiheke starts with a brief overview of the idyllic island by minivan and ends with an interpretive bushland walk. Numbers are limited to a maximum of 12 participants to ensure a more personalized experience in a small group.
  • Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes
From
$90.55 USD
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  • Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes
From
$90.55 USD

Auckland Dolphin and Whale Watching Cruise

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.
  • Duration: 4 hours 30 minutes
From
$126.35 USD
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  • Duration: 4 hours 30 minutes
From
$126.35 USD

Half-day Discover Auckland City Sightseeing Tour

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.
  • Duration: 3.5 to 4 hrs
From
$48.43 USD
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  • Duration: 3.5 to 4 hrs
From
$48.43 USD

Full-Day Scuba Dive Charter: Hammerhead Experience from Warkworth

Enjoy two dives in the Hauraki Gulf on this charter scuba diving tour from Warkworth. As you explore the waters off the coast of New Zealand's North Island, you'll have the chance to see juvenile hammerhead sharks who migrate past the outer islands on their way to the Pacific. This dive is designed for open-water-certified divers who have logged at least 10 dives; beginner divers may participate only if you pay for a dive guide (own expense).
  • Duration: 7 hours 30 minutes
From
$175.48 USD
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  • Duration: 7 hours 30 minutes
From
$175.48 USD

Food and Wine-Tasting Tour of Waiheke Island from Auckland

Sample the bounty of Waiheke Island on a 5-hour food and wine tour that visits Casita Miro, Mudbrick Winery and the Rangihoua Estate. Hop off your ferry from Auckland for lunch at the award wining Stonyridge, followed by a sampling of wine, beer and olive oils. Nestled in the Hauraki Gulf, Waiheke has the ideal micro-climate for growing grapes and olives. Discover for yourself why Waiheke is renowned for producing some of New Zealand’s most acclaimed artisan wines!
  • Duration: 5 hours 30 minutes
From
$126.35 USD
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  • Duration: 5 hours 30 minutes
From
$126.35 USD

Tiritiri Matangi Island Day Trip from Auckland with Optional Guided Walk

Secure a limited ticket to Tiritiri Matangi island, a protected sanctuary for rare and endangered bird species of New Zealand. A 75-minute ferry ride across the Hauraki Gulf brings you to the island preserve, where you have the day to stroll the trails and enjoy the coastline after a ranger orientation. Gain a deeper understanding of Tiritiri Matangi’s role in preserving birdlife with an optional 1.5-hour guided hike.
  • Duration: 8 hours
From
$52.64 USD
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  • Duration: 8 hours
From
$52.64 USD

Auckland Hop-on Hop-off Tour

See Auckland’s major sights and attractions with a hop-on hop-off city bus tour. Perfect for first-time visitors to Auckland, it’s a great way to explore the city. Complete with English audio commentary and written translations in 9 languages. The bus tour takes one hour to complete each loop with 2 circle routes to explore. Enjoy the flexibility of a 1-day or 2-day pass, and hop off at key points, such as Parnell Village, Auckland Museum, Auckland Zoo, Mt Eden or the Sky Tower, at your leisure.
  • Duration: 2 days
From
$31.59 USD
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  • Duration: 2 days
From
$31.59 USD

Rangitoto Island Tour from Auckland

Explore the volcanic terrain of Rangitoto Island aboard a 4WD tractor-pulled tram on this half-day guided tour. Depart Auckland for Rangitoto on a ferry ride across the Hauraki Gulf, and be rewarded with 360-degree views of the water and city skyline after a short walk to the island’s summit. During your 2-hour off-road adventure, hear commentary about the island’s history, geology and rich plant life, including the largest preserved pohutukawa forest in the world.
  • Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes
From
$47.73 USD
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  • Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes
From
$47.73 USD

Auckland Seaplane Tour

Explore the aerial terrain around the Auckland region and its volcanic Island’s during a 40-minute seaplane tour. Fly over Auckland landmarks such as the Sky Tower and Harbour Bridge, and take in the bird's-eye views of Lake Pupuke, Rangitoto, Motutapu, Motuihe, and Brown’s islands from above before a landing next to the Harbour Bridge. Hear live commentary from the pilot on natural features such as white-sand beaches and volcanic craters dotting the Hauraki Gulf. Select a morning or afternoon flight.
  • Duration: 40 minutes
From
$157.93 USD
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  • Duration: 40 minutes
From
$157.93 USD

Waiheke Island Lunch or Dinner by Seaplane from Auckland

Fly from Auckland to Waiheke Island on a narrated seaplane flight over the Hauraki Gulf, with aerial views of the Sky Tower, Auckland Harbour Bridge and Motutapu Island. You’ll enjoy a 3-course meal of seasonal produce and seafood with a glass of sparkling wine at the Oyster Inn, an award-winning restaurant in the charming village of Oneroa. Then return to Auckland at your leisure by ferry.
  • Duration: 4 hours
From
$329.90 USD
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  • Duration: 4 hours
From
$329.90 USD

SkyWalk Auckland

Experience the thrill of SkyWalk in Auckland, peering over an exterior ledge 630 feet (192 meters) up the Sky Tower. Take a walk on the wild side as you’re led by an expert guide while securely fastened to safety lines. Get a bird’s-eye view over the city and Hauraki Gulf, and maybe even attempt a few daredevil tricks — if your adrenaline isn’t already pumping. A ticket to the Sky Tower observation deck is included, and photos and video of your SkyWalk are available to purchase.
  • Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
From
$105.29 USD
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  • Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
From
$105.29 USD

Auckland Rangitoto Island Guided Sunset Kayaking Tour

Paddle a kayak through Auckland's Waitemata Harbour, then step on the shore for a 45-minute guided walk to the Rangitoto crater, where you'll enjoy panoramic views of Auckland's skyline. This 6-hour evening sunset tour is led by a kayaking and hiking guide, which ensures that you can focus on the scenery and the activities rather than navigation and directions. You'll learn much more about the geography, flora, and fauna of the region than you would by exploring independently.
  • Duration: 6 hours
From
$112.31 USD
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  • Duration: 6 hours
From
$112.31 USD

Coast to Coast at Auckland

Do you know, that Auckland is situated in narrowest part of the North Island? Thus calm beaches of Hauraki Gulf on the East are just in 40 minutes driving from black sands of wild and rough West Coast.Yes, these two shores are dramatically different, and this is what we will explore, together with everything inland on our way in between, including:- scenic beach and nature walks- wine tasting- coffee break- some adventure elements- great photos opportunities
  • Duration: 6 to 8 hrs
From
$84.23 USD
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  • Duration: 6 to 8 hrs
From
$84.23 USD

Small-Group Coromandel Peninsula Day Trip from Auckland

Visit the Coromandel Peninsula — renowned for its idyllic beaches, rugged terrain and pristine rainforest — on this day trip from Auckland. You’ll ride a narrow gauge railway through a native kauri forest to a viewing platform where you’re rewarded with views over the Hauraki Gulf. Your professional guide takes you to Cathedral Cove and to soak in a thermal pool at Hot Water Beach. A cafe lunch plus round-trip hotel transport are included on this small-group tour, limited to nine people.
  • Duration: 12 hours
From
$270.24 USD
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  • Duration: 12 hours
From
$270.24 USD

Auckland Shore Excursion: City Sightseeing, Harbour Cruise and Waiheke Island Wine Tasting

Explore Auckland and the yacht-filled harbours of the ‘City of Sails’ on this full-day shore excursion, including wine tasting on Waiheke Island. In the morning, an informative guide takes you sightseeing in the city center — including Queen Street and the Tamaki Drive waterfront — followed by a ferry ride across the Hauraki Gulf for a relaxing afternoon at three notable vineyards. Port pickup and drop-off are included.
  • Duration: 8 hours 30 minutes
From
$140.38 USD
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  • Duration: 8 hours 30 minutes
From
$140.38 USD

Private Waiheke Scenic Wine and Art Tour

Explore Waiheke Island without having to worry about hiring a car and missing out on wine tastings by booking this private wine and art tour. Meet your guide at the ferry terminal or your Waiheke accommodation, and spend the day exploring the island’s boutique wineries, craft shops and art galleries. You’ll enjoy wine tastings at three vineyards and a 2-course lunch with wine, as well as a visit to Oneroa Village's galleries or a private art studio. Private transport and the services of your own dedicated guide are also included.
  • Duration: 6 hours
From
$333.41 USD
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  • Duration: 6 hours
From
$333.41 USD

Full-Day Scuba Dive Charter to Little Barrier Island

Nestled in the mouth of Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf, Little Barrier Island is a protected reserve known for its undisturbed wildlife, both on land and underwater. On this full-day dive trip designed for experienced divers, sail out from Warkworth and go on two separate tank dives in the waters around Little Barrier Island. Swim with the wide range of marine life that lives in the area – you might get to see dolphins or even whales!
  • Duration: 7 hours 30 minutes
From
$178.99 USD
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  • Duration: 7 hours 30 minutes
From
$178.99 USD


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