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Slip through the famous 'Hole in the Rock' in New Zealand’s Northland during a 3- to 4-hour Bay of Islands cruise by high-speed catamaran. Pass rocky outcrops, sandy beaches and an array of islands as you make your way out to the Cape Brett Lighthouse, Motu Kokako Island and Grand Cathedral Cave. During warmer months, you’ll make an island stopover on Urupukapuka Island.


  • Navigate the famous 'Hole in the Rock'
  • See dolphins, penguins and other marine wildlife
  • Island stop-over

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Bay of Islands Cape Brett 'Hole in the Rock' Cruise

Cape Brett Hole in the Rock

Meet your guide at the Maritime Building in Paihia or The Strand Wharf in Russell for your 3- to 4-hour Bay of Islands cruise. A high-speed catamaran whisks you away to Motu Kokako — also known as Piercy Island — and expertly navigates through its famous Hole in the Rock, located at the northern tip of Cape Brett.

Search the waters for an array of seabirds and marine life including whales, seals, dolphins and penguins. Your crew points out the Grand Cathedral Cave and discusses local ecology and Maori history. In warmer months, you’ll visit Urupukapuka Island, where you can swim, snorkel or relax on the beach for an hour before your cruise ends in Paihia or Russell. 

Please note: during the winter months (May to October), the afternoon departure is approximately three hours in duration and does not include a stopover on Urupukapuka Island.

Customer Reviews

Leslie S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2017

Highly recommend

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.

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!!

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.

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.


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

Lorna C

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2016

It was absolutely wonderful even though we couldn't go through the hole because of the currents. We were lucky enough to have a wonderful sunny day. The captain was terrific - warm and informative and she found dolphins for us which was an absolute highlight!! I had 3 friends from overseas and they thought the whole experience was magical - one from the USA had wanted to come to the Bay of Islands for many years and she was totally bowled over. Thanks for a lovely experience.

Vicki H

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2016

Loved it - I was a bit disappointed that helicopters are able to land on the hole in the rock - spoils the experience and what about the cultural implications? Nevertheless, the trip was wonderful and the whole area is absolutely amazing. Our skipper was hilarious and also extremely informative. Had a lovely day - thank you so much :

Robert P

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2016

What a memorable time we had and we actually sailed through the Hole in the Rock. This was our first time in New Zealand and the Bay of Islands is just amazing. So many memories. The young man who sailed us through was great. He had a great sense of humor and extremely informative and good looking as well! What more can I say. Well done and thank you.

Clare M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2016

This trip was very good and was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone.
I would highly recommend this trip.

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