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Waitemata Harbour
Waitemata Harbour

Waitemata Harbour

Free admission

The Basics

You can clearly see why Auckland’s nickname is “City of Sails” once you glimpse Waitemata Harbour. Landmarks around the harbor, include the Auckland Harbour Bridge, Bean Rock Lighthouse, Devonport, Mission Bay, and volcanic Rangitoto Island. These can be seen from many high points around Auckland, particularly from the Sky Tower in downtown Auckland, as well as closer on a boat or walking tour.

Tours of and around Waitemata Harbour take many forms. From active water sports, such as kayaking, to the more sedate, such as ferry crossings and cruises, all travelers can spend some time enjoying the beauty of Waitemata Harbour.

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America's Cup Sailing on Auckland's Waitemata Harbour
America's Cup Sailing on Auckland's Waitemata Harbour
star-4.5
US$137.17 per adult
Traveler Favorite
The real deal!
This excursion was magnificent and memorable from start to finish. Happily, exactly as advertised! The expertise and knowledge of the crew proved to be very interesting and informative along with their friendliness which was sincere and delightful. We would highly recommend to anyone and everyone who enjoys sailing and being on the water!
Bruce_W, Mar 2020

Recent reviews from experiences in Auckland

star-5
Well worth it
Tina_W, Jul 2021
Auckland Harbour Sailboat Cruise Including Three Course Dinner
Great night, well worth the money Food was good Even got the chance to steer the yacht Great experience
star-5
The perfect date night
Bronwyn_S, Apr 2021
Auckland Harbour Sailboat Cruise Including Three Course Dinner
Wonderful experience. Great company, lovely gentle sailing with an experienced confident skipper. I booked the dinner cruise for my husbands birthday. We headed out with 2 other couples celebrating an anniversary and another birthday. It was lovely to see the lights and enjoy the sights of Auckland and the food was great.
star-5
Exciting, active experience- just...
Stephen M, Dec 2014
America's Cup Sailing on Auckland's Waitemata Harbour
Exciting, active experience- just what we wanted! It wasn't really clear, but the race is just between two boats owned by the operator. Opportunity to grind on deck almost as much as we wanted- gave a whole new appreciation for racing. Safety emphasized and crew made it fun. We would have enjoyed more explanation on what we were doing, when and why (tacking, raising and lowering spinnaker, etc.). But that doesn't take away from a fantastic and memorable experience.
star-5
Great day out! The guys on our boat...
Thomas M, Jan 2014
America's Cup Sailing on Auckland's Waitemata Harbour
Great day out! The guys on our boat were very efficient and got the safety drill across in a timely manner before heading out. Everyone should try grinding (ladies as well) as it is bit of a workout and good if everyone pitches in. From being behind at first we caught up and overtook so there was a great spirit on board. Lots of time for photo opportunities and to enjoy the beautiful Auckland scenery. Fantastic for tourist and also locals to enjoy time on the Harbour.
star-5
Awesome experience
Ashwini_D, Nov 2020
Auckland Harbour Sailboat Cruise Including Three Course Dinner
Must to try in Auckland.. it was amazing experience, friendly team to on board us. Lovely view and we were able to drive the ship was definitely plus point
star-5
Wonderful Auckland Harbor Sail
ssbaum54, Feb 2020
Auckland Harbour Sailing Experience
Wonderful sail around Auckland Harbor. Boat had plenty of room for everyone to enjoy. Great sailing experience. Crew was very nice. Everything as described. Highly recommend!
star-5
Sunset delight
Betty, Mar 2020
Auckland Harbour Sailboat Cruise Including Three Course Dinner
We thoroughly every aspect of the cruise. From the minute you step on board you're made very welcome. Captain very knowledgeable and had a sense of fun as did the crew. Food was also very good. The sunset was fabulous and the view of the city from out at sea was stunning. A must do experience
star-5
The sail of a lifetime
Helen_S, Mar 2020
America's Cup Sailing on Auckland's Waitemata Harbour
I enjoyed this experience much in 2015 that I wanted to repeat it, This time my husband joined me. It was a fabulous 2 hours, exhilarating and challenging with a great crew, and fellow sailors. I especially enjoyed steering the boat: I felt apprehensive, having sailed only dinghies before, but I am so very glad I did it. An experience not to be missed.
star-5
Veena
prabhushiva, Jan 2020
Auckland Harbour Sailing Experience
Excellent service We were very pleased. Captain had our boys steer the wheel and explained on the city highlights.
star-5
Relaxing cruise and good food!
DaphneDW, Mar 2020
Auckland Harbour Sailboat Cruise Including Three Course Dinner
This was a great cruise and wonderful way to see the harbor area. The hospitality and efficiency of the crew was excellent. The captain had great information shared in an entertaining fashion. It was a very relaxed atmosphere. We were pleasantly surprised at the quality of the food! A great excursion I highly recommend.
star-5
Amazing sail
John_P, Mar 2020
America's Cup Sailing on Auckland's Waitemata Harbour
Great excursion, the crew was great, if your so inclined you can participate in the sail by helping raise and lower the sails. Would rerecommed if you want a unique experience on the water
star-4
Fun, unique experience
Jacob_A, Mar 2020
Auckland Harbour Sailboat Cruise Including Three Course Dinner
This is a unique dinner cruise experience, but not a gourmet dining experience. You will spend most of your time huddled next to your fellow passengers. The crew has the service in tight quarters set up down pretty well, and the food is designed to be eaten on your lap. Everything comes in a bowl, and it was pretty good. We enjoyed the crew and the sailing experience, but it was not quite what we had expected.

Things to Know Before You Go

  • Waitemata Harbour offers an excursion for every kind of traveler, so find a trip that best suits your desired level of activity.

  • If you don’t want to go out onto the water, harbor views can be enjoyed from a high spot, such as Sky Tower’s viewing platform or One Tree Hill.

  • You can easily get burned with New Zealand’s notoriously strong sun, especially from the glare on the water. If you’re heading out on a boat, wear plenty of sunscreen and a wide-brimmed hat to prevent sunburn.

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How to Get There

Tours around the harbor start from various points and usually include round-trip transportation from central Auckland. Ferries to the North Shore and islands in the Hauraki Gulf (which is the water body just beyond the harbor) depart from the Downtown Ferry Terminal, as do some cruises.

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Trip ideas


When to Get There

Despite a generally warm climate, Auckland experiences frequent rain at any time of year. Summer is best for water sports, such as kayaking and sailing, but cruises can be enjoyed year-round. Although temperatures in the winter aren’t too cold, the chance of rain and cold winds is high. The harbor hosts a number of festivals, including the Tamaki Herenga Waka Festival and Auckland on Water Boat Show.

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Motu Manawa Marine Reserve

Active travelers wanting to experience Auckland’s natural treasures will enjoy a kayak or other small-boat tour of Motu Manawa (Pollen Island) Marine Reserve. Southwest of the harbor, the 1,235-acre (500-hectare) protected reserve, including salt marshes and mangrove swamps, provides a habitat for numerous varieties of wading and sea birds.

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