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Waitemata Harbour Tours

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144 Reviews
Waitemata Harbour
Waitemata Harbour is the real name for what is often just called Auckland Harbour. It means “sparkling waters” in the Maori language, which is a very fitting name. Numerous islands dot the harbor, and a day spent on the water, with city views in the background, is a memorable way to tour Auckland.
 
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.
 
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.
 
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.
 
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.
 
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.
Address: New Zealand
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11 Tours and Activities to Experience Waitemata Harbour

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America's Cup Sailing on Auckland's Waitemata HarbourDay Cruises

America's Cup Sailing on Auckland's Waitemata Harbour

star-4.5
Join an America’s Cup sailing experience aboard an authentic racing yacht on Auckland's Waitemata Harbour. Feel the exhilaration of yachting as you take the helm and participate with the professional crew, or just sit back and soak up the harbor views. No experience necessary.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$128,24 
From  
US$128,24 
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Tiritiri Matangi Island Day Trip from Auckland with Optional Guided WalkDay Cruises

Tiritiri Matangi Island Day Trip from Auckland with Optional Guided Walk

star-5
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.
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  • 8 hours
From  
US$52,64 
From  
US$52,64 
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  • 8 hours

Auckland Dolphin and Whale Watching Eco-Safari CruiseWhale Watching

SPECIAL OFFER

Auckland Dolphin and Whale Watching Eco-Safari Cruise

star-4.5
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.
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  • 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
US$67,86 
US$130,50
US$62,64 savings
From  
US$67,86 
US$130,50
US$62,64 savings
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  • 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Auckland City Small-Group Morning Discovery TourNature and Wildlife

SPECIAL OFFER

Auckland City Small-Group Morning Discovery Tour

star-4.5
With limited time to explore Auckland, this morning discovery tour takes in all the highlights. Visit sights including The Domain, Waitemata Harbour, and Queen Street; cross the Harbour Bridge to the beaches of the North Shore, explore the vibrant neighborhoods of Devonport and Ponsonby, and take in the views from Mount Victoria.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$51,02 
US$56,69
US$5,67 savings
From  
US$51,02 
US$56,69
US$5,67 savings
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Auckland Shore Excursion: Small-Group Auckland City TourHalf-day Tours

Auckland Shore Excursion: Small-Group Auckland City Tour

star-4.5
See the sights of Auckland on a 3-hour small-group shore excursion in the ‘City of Sails.’ A knowledgeable guide takes you by mini-coach across the Harbour Bridge to tour the city center. You’ll drive along Queen Street and the suburb of Ponsonby, take a stroll at Devonport’s Narrow Neck Beach, visit the Auckland Fish Market and see the city spread out before you from the summit of Mt Victoria. Numbers are limited to 18 people to ensure personalized attention.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$56,69 
From  
US$56,69 
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Helicopter Sightseeing Tours Auckland and WaihekeHelicopter Tours

Helicopter Sightseeing Tours Auckland and Waiheke

star-5
See Auckland from the sky on this helicopter sightseeing tour. Choose the tour that fits your schedule and your interests – grab stunning aerial photographs of the city to show your friends back home, or take the longer tour and get unique views of hard-to-access islands in the Hauraki Gulf. This tour is a great way to get acquainted with Auckland: your pilot doubles as your guide, pointing out highlights that you can visit once you’re back on the ground.
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  • 45 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$275,82 
From  
US$275,82 
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  • 45 minutes
  • Free Cancellation

Bay of Islands Transfer Pass from AucklandBus Services

Bay of Islands Transfer Pass from Auckland

Get from Auckland to Paihia in the Bay of Islands the easy way with this bus transfer pass. The handy pass will save you time and hassle in Auckland, so you can maximize your stay in the beautiful winterless north. Plus, enjoy guided commentary on board the bus, which will tell you all about the history, nature, and culture of the Bay of Islands.
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  • 2 days
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$71,99 
From  
US$71,99 
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  • 2 days
  • Free Cancellation

5-Day Bay of Islands, Waitomo Caves, Rotorua & Hobbiton Tour from AucklandMulti-day Tours

5-Day Bay of Islands, Waitomo Caves, Rotorua & Hobbiton Tour from Auckland

star-5
A five day independent tour departing Auckland daily and taking in most of the key tourism destination in the North Island of New Zealand. You will visit the Bay of Islands, with a tour of the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, the historic township of Russell, and a cruise to the famous 'Hole in the Rock'. Your day in Auckland includes a full day sightseeing with both a harbor cruise and admission to the Sky Tower. On day four travel to Rotorua, via Waitomo Glowworm Caves, with a guided tour of the glowworm grotto. Day five includes admission to the main attractions in Rotorua, including Te Puia, the Agrodome, and Rainbow Springs along with a tour of Hobbiton on your return journey to Auckland. The tour includes four nights in 4 star accommodation and all transport and tours listed.
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  • 5 days
From  
US$1 198,00 
From  
US$1 198,00 
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  • 5 days

Auckland Shore Excursion: City Sightseeing Tour, Harbor Cruise and Sky TowerDay Trips

Auckland Shore Excursion: City Sightseeing Tour, Harbor Cruise and Sky Tower

star-4
While your ship is in port in Auckland, combine sightseeing, a boat cruise and sky-high views from the Sky Tower so you can see the city from all angles. A professional guide points out popular attractions such as Quay Street, the Auckland Museum, and Dominion Parks and Gardens. You’ll visit the Tamaki waterfront and glide under the Harbour Bridge during your 90-minute cruise on Waitemata Harbour. This shore excursion shows you the many sides to Auckland, New Zealand’s premier city.
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  • 6 hours
From  
US$114,23 
From  
US$114,23 
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  • 6 hours

Auckland Waterfront Guided Bike TourMountain Bike Tours

Auckland Waterfront Guided Bike Tour

star-5
Pedal along Auckland's scenic waterfront during this bike tour, with your choice of morning or afternoon departure. Leave Auckland's bustling city center and head for the quaint seaside village of Mission Bay, riding on cycle paths past golden sandy beaches en route. Relax on the beach while taking in the salty air and sunshine before following your cycling guide back the way you came. Use of bicycle and helmet is included on this small-group tour of 10 guests.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
US$102,45 
Price varies by group size
From  
US$102,45 
Price varies by group size
Learn More
  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Jet Boat Ride on Waitemata HarbourJet Boating

Jet Boat Ride on Waitemata Harbour

star-4.5
Experience 40 minutes of heart-pumping action during a jet-boat ride on Auckland's Waitemata Harbour. Spot the Sky Tower, Auckland Harbour Bridge and other iconic landmarks from a unique perspective as you power through the water in a supercharged jet boat. You’ll feel the thrill of on-water tricks while the driver expertly maneuvers through 360-degree spins and fishtails.
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$67,31 
From  
US$67,31 
Learn More
  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What's the best way to experience Waitemata Harbour?

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