With its stunning coastal scenery and languid waters, the Bay of Islands is a picture-postcard New Zealand destination. The bay is dotted with around 150 islands, reached from the mainland towns of Paihia and Russell. Getting your feet wet in this ... 

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David T

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
February 2017

Wonderful day touring the islands. The boat crew were excellent

Doing what: Best of the Bay Supercruise: Original Cream Trip

Karl P

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
February 2017

Great day out sailing around the Bay of Islands, Friendly crew, great food we would recommend this trip to anyone

Doing what: Bay of Islands Tall Ship Sailing on 'R. Tucker Thompson' Including BBQ Lunch

Carol

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
February 2017

Great trip . Plenty to see love those dolphins. Friendly crew. Excellent value.

Doing what: Best of the Bay Supercruise: Original Cream Trip

Bev B

4 star rating: Recommended
February 2017

Although it rained on and off all day we still had a wonderful time on the water. Their was the option to climb the mast, we had a wonderful chicken BBQ lunch and went to an island for a walk too cold to swim and saw lots of marine life on the trip.

Doing what: Bay of Islands Tall Ship Sailing on 'R. Tucker Thompson' Including BBQ Lunch

Kevin G United States of ... 

4 star rating: Recommended
February 2017

We really had a great time on this tour. The only thing I would change about it is having less people on the boat. Even though there were seats inside, you really want to be sitting on the top outside deck to catch all of the amazing views. On our way out to the Hole in the Rock, we went along Tapeka Point, Parekura Bay and then Deep Water Cove. Once we went thru the Hole, the captain got word from another ship about dolphin sightings. So we started heading that way and actually saw a pod of common dolphins. The captain and crew were very informative, helpful and just plain happy to assist with anything.
After seeing the dolphins, we went to Waewaetorea, Motukiekie, and stopped in Otehei Bay. Since we diverted to see dolphins, that limited our time in Otehei Bay. There were various walking tracks and if you went to the top, you had unbelievable 360 degree views. There were also free roaming sheep along some of the tracks. Once we were back in Russell Wharf, which was only a ferry ride away from Paihia where we needed to be for our cruise ship, we walked around to some of the shops, restaurants, etc. There is a free ferry ticket included in the tour so this allows you to spend some time in Russell.
We had lunch at a local favorite, the Crusty Crab, and had the fish and chips...the fish was amazing! Then we stopped off for some beers at the Duke of Marlborough Hotel. I would highly recommend this tour b/c you see some amazing sights.

Doing what: Bay of Islands Cape Brett 'Hole in the Rock' Cruise

Anthony W

3 star rating: Worth doing
February 2017

The experience was not as good as I hoped due to the captain not being able to take us to the Hole because of sea conditions. The remainder of the cruise was very good but space around the outside was limited for seeing the dolphins - you had to be quick, though I did get many glimpses of the magnificent creatures. Sadly, none of the other possible species made themselves known. The island stopover was briefer than anticipated as we had to wait for another boat to vacate the dock, so there was really just enough time to reach one viewing point and return.

One point that needs to be addressed by Viator was that the operator of the cruise Fuller's Great Sights was mentioned nowhere on the ticket or confirmation. There are two common operators, so it wasn't clear. Fortunately, we had time the day before to find out the correct operator and boarding point. But be aware that this cruise is by the Great Sights brand of Fullers.

Doing what: Bay of Islands Cape Brett 'Hole in the Rock' Cruise

Reno N

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
January 2017

Had an amazing sail out in the Bay of Islands. The rope swing off the side was fantastic. It was great to be supporting educational opportunities for local kids and to have a blast doing it. Our crew was very knowledgeable and friendly. The boat is designed to sail with a very small crew of 4 or 5 people, so while there were opportunities for the 50 odd passengers to help sail the Tucker if they wanted to, it was first-come first-serve and I didn't get a chance to participate as much as I was hoping to. That didn't matter though, because we spent a lot of time out on the bowsprit and up in the rigging just hanging out. Great time from start to finish!

Doing what: Bay of Islands Tall Ship Sailing on 'R. Tucker Thompson' Including BBQ Lunch

Lesley C

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
January 2017

We arrived in Waitangi on a cruise ship and then caught a shuttle bus to the small town of Paihia, where we boarded the boat for a tour of the bay. It was a lovely day and the view across the bay to all the islands was stunning. We first of all stopped at another seaside village called Russell Kororareka before sailing out to the Hole in the Rock on the island of Motukokako. The female skipper and crew were very informative and very professional. She very skillfully sailed through the Hole as the boat narrowly passed through, particularly with the swell of the ocean. Excellent trip, well worth doing, highly recommend this tour.
On the way back we stopped off at Otehei Bay on the island of Urupukapuka and walked up to a high point with amazing views in all directions across the Bay of Islands. We arrived back in Paihia at 1pm and after a brief walk round the town we caught the bus and tender back to the ship. It was a very enjoyable day and well worth doing the boat trip.

Doing what: Bay of Islands Cape Brett 'Hole in the Rock' Cruise

Erica D

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
January 2017

A fantastic day for the entire family, stunning scenery and fun activities too

Doing what: Best of the Bay Supercruise: Original Cream Trip

Andrew k P

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
January 2017

Book it now, you will have a truly wonderful day to treasure. Brilliant friendly crew, making all ship mates feel at ease.
At 56 it was great to have the opportunity and encouragement to climb the rigging and even take the helm of this great ship.
Ask the crew about the boats history documented in two books.
Lunch was great too.
Just BRILLIANT

Doing what: Bay of Islands Tall Ship Sailing on 'R. Tucker Thompson' Including BBQ Lunch

Craig E Australia

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
January 2017

We enjoyed a comfortable catamaran trip out to the Hole in the Rock which was awesome to go through. On our way to the rock and on our way back to Paihia we were fortunate to see quite a few dolphins, which was amazing. We also got to stop off at Urupukapuka Island where we decided to take the short climb to the top of the hill for beautiful views of the Bay of Islands. Was a great overall experience!!

Doing what: Bay of Islands Cape Brett 'Hole in the Rock' Cruise

mitchell s

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
January 2017

Fantastic cruise out to the hole in the rock!

Doing what: Best of the Bay Supercruise: Original Cream Trip

Brenda G

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
January 2017

Excellent tour from start to finish. Commentry and the guide were superb and we saw plenty of dolphins and went throug the Hole in the Rock. The stop off at Otehi Bay ideal.

Doing what: Bay of Islands Cape Brett 'Hole in the Rock' Cruise

Ashraf A

4 star rating: Recommended
January 2017

Overall, It was nice trip and bunch of friendly crew
You need to know the following before you book
The boat is slow which means you will not see all the Islands and you will not go too far
It is excellent for someone want to know more about sailing
It is a beautiful training ship for youth most of the income goes to that purpose.
Also, it will be helpful if they give a 5 to 10 minutes to tell a story about the ship, I found interesting showing how the ship was built, it was interesting.

Doing what: Bay of Islands Tall Ship Sailing on 'R. Tucker Thompson' Including BBQ Lunch

Andrew L

4 star rating: Recommended
January 2017

The crew were great. They looked after us really well and the captain gave an excellent commentary on all the sights we saw. Two highlights were actually traveling through the Hole in the Rock after the captain made sure it was safe to do so, and stopping off on one of the islands in the bay that had a short but strenuous walk to the top of a hill with 360 degree views around the bay. There were a lot of tourists on our trip so there were limited spaces on deck to get the best views, but otherwise it was great.

Doing what: Bay of Islands Cape Brett 'Hole in the Rock' Cruise

Peter N

3 star rating: Worth doing
January 2017

Enjoyed the boat trip and great to see the dolphins. We were not allowed to swim with the dolphins as there was a very young dolphin there - would be useful to know how often the tour groups are allowed to actually swim with the dolphins. So you are likely to see dolphins but it is seems 50:50 whether you are allowed to swim with them - may be it depends on the season - would be useful to be made aware in advance. Boat was packed, so lots of people trying to get to in a good position to take photos and so a number of people miss out - I would have preferred paying more and being part of a smaller group. As we were not allowed to swim with the dolphins, boat anchored so that you could go snorkelling and see some fish etc. But there are very few fish to see at the location so not quite what was expected. Overall ok - too much overstated and hyped up !

Doing what: Dolphin Encounter in the Bay of Islands

Greg

4 star rating: Recommended
October 2016

Even though the weather was not great, this was an excellent afternoon on a very comfortable boat and many great photografic opportunities of both wildlife and landscapes.

Doing what: Bay of Islands Cape Brett 'Hole in the Rock' Cruise

Kathleen S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2016

Beautiful and very informative tour. Would highly recommend the tour especially if you only have a short time to visit the area.

Doing what: Bay of Islands Cape Brett 'Hole in the Rock' Cruise

Anthony M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2016

A great day and well worth it. Getting to see isolated bays you can't approach from land.
Crew very friendly and informative.

Doing what: Bay of Islands Tall Ship Sailing on 'R. Tucker Thompson' Including BBQ Lunch

Christine P

3 star rating: Worth doing
June 2016

Great fun. Didn and #39;t get to hole in the rock due to weather but still worth it.

Doing what: Bay of Islands Cape Brett 'Hole in the Rock' Cruise

Brittany D

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better
June 2016

We had bad weather on the cruise and the captain didn't think we could make it to the Hole in the Rock but tried for about 20 minutes anyways before giving up. Wish that time had been spent on the island stopover or just given back to us at Paihia. Overall, it was just driving around for 4 hours so a bit long.

Doing what: Bay of Islands Cape Brett 'Hole in the Rock' Cruise

jacquikay

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
May 2016

Great tour - staff on the boat were great. A little confusing where to actually go to get on the boat, get the ticket etc, but worked out ok in the end

Doing what: Bay of Islands Cape Brett 'Hole in the Rock' Cruise

Mike C

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
May 2016

Great experience, fun climbing the rigging. Very good BBQ chicken lunch. Friendly and helpful crew.

Doing what: Bay of Islands Tall Ship Sailing on 'R. Tucker Thompson' Including BBQ Lunch

Micheal L

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
May 2016

Great trip. The captain went out of his normal route to find us a pod of killer whales orcas which we stayed and watched for about an hour. The experience was great being so close to these majestic mammals. The rest of the trip was great with the captain giving us a running commentary the whole way round. Well worth the money

Doing what: Best of the Bay Supercruise: Original Cream Trip

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