• Location: Auckland, New Zealand
  • Duration: 10 hours (approx.)
From USD $ 210.27 View price calendar

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Experience the most popular cruise in the Bay of Islands on a full-day tour that includes the Cape Brett ‘Hole in the Rock.’ Departing Auckland, enjoy a coach ride through New Zealand’s Northland to the Waitangi Treaty House. Then board a high-speed catamaran to the Cape Brett Lighthouse and the Hole in the Rock on Motukokako Island. Includes hotel pickup and drop-off with an optional picnic lunch.


  • Full-day cruise to Cape Brett Lighthouse and the Hole in the Rock on Motukokako Island
  • Waitangi Treaty House and grounds
  • Sail through the famous Cape Brett Hole in the Rock
  • Pickup and drop off from selected city-center Auckland hotels

What You Can Expect

Cape Brett Hole in the Rock Cruise from Auckland

Exploring the many islands

After hotel pickup in Auckland, settle aboard your coach for the approximate 3-hour drive to Paihia, the starting point for your Bay of Islands tour. Your driver-guide passes over the Auckland Harbour Bridge en route to your Northland destination.

On arrival, start with a visit to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, site of New Zealand’s founding document established between invading British forces and 43 Maori chiefs in 1840. See the signed Treaty of Waitangi in the Treaty House, along with a traditional Meeting House and Maori waka (war canoe).

Enjoy a picnic lunch (if option selected), or feel free to bring your own.

In the afternoon, board a high-speed catamaran for your Bay of Islands sightseeing cruise. Zip across the waves past sandy beaches and rocky outcrops as your captain navigates toward the Cape Brett Lighthouse. Upon reaching Motukokako Island, make the thrilling pass through the Hole in the Rock at Cape Brett, and continue on to view the majestic Grand Cathedral Cave.

Focus your camera on an array of wildlife including possible whales, seals, dolphins, penguins and other marine creatures. Listen as the crew explains the local history and shares ecological features of the varied island landscape.

You’ll return to Paihia to rejoin the coach for the journey back to Auckland, ending your full-day tour with hotel drop-off.

Customer Reviews

Anthony P

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2017

A well organized day tour with prompt pick up, most comfortable modern bus and efficient transfer between bus and boat. The tour company really demonstrated its experience, everything worked like a well oiled machine. Not being able to actually sail through the hole in the rock was understood by everybody as rough sea conditions made it too dangerous. Our captain however brought us close to the rocks and the opening so we could appreciate their majestic size. Overall, a long but excellent day.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2017

Unforgettable tour.

Catherine J

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2015

Excellent tour run by Great Sights, our driver Ben took us on a couple of extra stops as all the passengers were good with the time keeping and getting on the bus on time. The Treaty Grounds was an excellent introduction to the Moari history and traditions. The Cruise also was excellent, we saw many Dolphins and we were lucky enough to be able to go through the Hole in the Rock.

Dennis USA

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2013

Outstanding tour. Highly recommended. Coach driver gave great description of the sights.

Gwenda G

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2011

Good pick up service and return from/to the hotel. Excellent commentary throughout the whole day. Provided lunch was appetizing and a change from the usual sandwiches. The cruise was out of this world and to see so many dolphins following the boat was amazing. The technical ability of the boat crew to enable us to pass through the 'Hole in the Rock' was great. Excellent day


5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2009

This is a must-do tour if you visit New Zealand! We had a funny and courteous bus driver who gave us a lot of info on NZ history, especially on the Maori influence. There were several interesting stops to cafes, a maori tree farm, the Waitomo Treaty Grounds were amazing in detail, sculpture, and history. My two children ages 11 and 9 really got a kick of the Maori war canoe; the largest one in NZ! Then we saw the most stunning water scenery you can imagine, including dolphins and seals, and went through the hole in the rock. Overall this was an A+ tour, a very memorable experience for all.

John P

4 star rating: Recommended March 2018

The boat trip thru the Bay of Islands is wonderful. If the seas are calm you will travel thru the hole in the rock we were not able to, but still worth the trip. But there are a few things to keep in mind. The drive from Auckland to the Bay of Islands is almost 4 hours long so you will spend about 8 hours of the day sitting on the bus. The tour is advertised as approximately 10 hours because of the distances involved, it is actually much longer than that closer to 15 hours. We missed a dinner reservation because of this. Finally, the seas within the Bay of Islands are usually calm, but the ride out to the Hole in the Rock can be quite rough. If you're sitting on deck, chances are you will get wet possibly very wet from ocean spray, which is something to keep in mind for that 4 hour return trip to Auckland.

Christopher S

4 star rating: Recommended January 2018

Beautiful tour, well worth the money. I would however skipped the meal option if I were to return.


4 star rating: Recommended May 2017

Long day and they mix some tours together so it gets crowded and a little confusing on the bus. However, the boat trip was great and we were able to cruise through the Hole in the Rock very light winds that day. Only saw one dolphin beautiful but the people who signed up to swim with the dolphins couldn't go government regulations require at least two so they don't feel uncomfortable. The tour on the Maori canoe was great! Nice little gift shop at the boat dock had some really good prices. I would give it a five but they must have forgot to pick us up so they sent cabs for us and we made the bus just fine in the end. At the end they put you on a smaller bus to go to the hotel which was fine.

Kat P

4 star rating: Recommended January 2017

We recommend package tours like these because it saves you the trouble of driving out to remote locations and arranging the boats on your own.

About the tour: The driver was absolutely amazing! The boat portion of the tour was slightly crowded, so it was difficult to secure great outdoor seats. Besides the actual Hole in the Rock, parts of the cape tour were a bit slow -- it was mostly waiting around to get to the good parts. However, the boat crew were complete pros!

As with any outdoor tour in NZ, you need to remember that visibility is VERY dependent on the weather. Be sure to bring rain gear and expect cool temps, even in summer.

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