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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.


  • 4.5-hour whale and dolphin watching cruise, from Auckland
  • Ride aboard a custom-built luxury catamaran for a superb viewing experience
  • Keep your eyes peeled for dolphins and as many as six types of whales
  • Observe gannets that hunt by plunging into the water at speeds of up to 87 mph (140 kmh)
  • Listen to entertaining and informative commentary provided by your captain and crew
  • Departs from the Viaduct Harbour, conveniently located in downtown Auckland

What You Can Expect

Auckland Dolphin and Whale Watching Cruise

Auckland whale and dolphin watching cruise

Meet the boat crew at the New Zealand Maritime Museum at Viaduct Harbour, and depart aboard a custom-built 65-foot (20-meter) catamaran, comfortably appointed so you can best view up to six types of whales as well as dolphins and other marine life.
Throughout your 4.5-hour cruise, the captain and guides entertain you with fascinating facts about the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park, home to five marine preserves and sprinkled with islands — it's considered one of the world’s most biologically diverse marine parks and home to some 23 different species.
Hear about research conducted in partnerships with local marine scientists and discover which whales the crew tracks. They’ll point out sea mammals such as frequently spotted pods of bottlenose dolphins and Bryde’s whales, native to New Zealand.
Be ready to snap photos of adorable blue penguins. Set your binoculars upon seabirds such as Australasian gannets, petrels, shearwaters and white-fronted terns soaring above or plunging into the sea.
Afterward, the boat returns to Auckland’s Viaduct Harbour, where your tour ends.
Please note: While wildlife viewings cannot be guaranteed, dolphins and whales are often swimming around these waters. In the event that you do not see any marine mammals during your trip, you can go again another day at no extra charge.

Customer Reviews

Margaret Z

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2016

One of the best trips we took in New Zealand. We got so much information, saw many, many dophins on our cruise as well. The staff was wonderful, helpful, fun. Just great.

Benjamin D

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

We went on this whale watching cruise on the 8th October 2016. All the crew were very nice and seemed to really know their stuff. The commentator had a sense of humour too which was great. We didn't see any whales but we did see a pod of 800-1000 dolphins which was incredible!! Was definitely a great experience.

Irene B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

This trip was fantastic in all respects. The dolphin experience was best ever, and I have been on many whale and dolphin trips around the world previously. Seeing the whales was also wonderful, with the whales coming towards us rather than being wary of us. Great crew, good taking advantage of captive audience to get the environmental messages across. Would not only recommend it highly, but would do the trip again on next visit to Auckland.

Corowa Y

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

The captain was an excellent commentator who extended the trip so that we could see two whales.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

Great trip...we only saw dolphins but they honored their promise to a free cruise any other day to see whales...great staff and captain!! Highly recommend as it was great fun for the whole family


5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

I heard of Viator through the Five Hundy by Midnight podcast. They raved about the quality of your tours, so I thought I would give it a try. I was blown away by this tour! The crew of the ship, were professional, cordial and guaranteed we would see Dolphins. And boy did we ever. I was awestruck by the number of dolphins we were surrounded by. There must have been 500 of them all around the boat. Fantastic tour. I would take this tour again if I was ever back in the area.

Chris N

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2016

Skip and his crew were very professional and informative. We saw hundreds of dolphins and penguins. We were told and taught many interesting facts about the ocean and the waters surrounding NZ. Skip and his crew were great at tracking where we would see the marine life. Sadly, Curious George, the whale, did not visit us. But Skip gave everyone on board a free life time pass to return to try to see Curious George.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2016

great seeing the dolphins

Randy B USA

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2016

Great experience! The crew on he boat were informative, friendly, and fun. We saw tons of dolphins, some penguin, and birds but no whales. As a result they issues everyone on the boat a free voucher to come back to try and see whales.

Jim D

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2016

The trip was fantastic, we saw dolphins........but not enough to please the skipper, so we now have a lifelong voucher to go again.
A very nice touch.
Thank you.

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