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We were skeptical when we saw a large crowd boarding a ferry type catamaran. However, the captain was FANTASTIC! He narrated with humor. He was sensitive to all 200 aboard and the visibility from everywhere was great! We saw 100s of Dolphins, explanations of all the islands was interesting, maps of sites were distributed, and we went through the HOLE IN THE ROCK!!!! It was VERY EXCITING!!! A trip to delight all ages! I recommend this excursion to EVERYONE who visits the Bay of Islands. We saw it all and had time to walk around Russell and Pahia. The Dolphin Seeker line gave us free ferry tickets to get back and forth that day!!! Loved it! Thank you!
The boat ride out to the Hole in the Rock was fun. The captain and crew was very friendly and informative. When we reached certain islands or opening, the captain gave us a lot of information about the area as we approached. As we were making our way out to the Hole in the Rock, we saw many dolphins in the water. Every time the dolphins jumped out of the hole, all cameras were out and busy taking photos. It was tough and you had to be quick, but I got a few. Weather was great on this day. Boat ride was very enjoyable even at time when the boat speeded so we can to the Hole in the Rock even in the rough fast waters. When we finally reached our destination, I took many angles of this picturesque Hole. The captain informed that the water where the Hole was too fast moving so will not be able to go through the hole on that day. On the way back we will make a stop at Russell. We had an opportunity to walk around the waterfront , take some pictures and then walk around the town taking in some of the sites like the Church, shops, etc. and then we decided to go back to Paihia on the next ferry from Russell. Back in Paihia, we decided to take a walk around the town. Next, we saw a sign regarding an Art and Craft market that was happening there on this date. We took in the market, looked around to see the local market. There are many, many vendors selling all kinds of wares. Spent a lot time shopping for things to bring home for souvenirs. This was a lot of fun and enjoyable and the day was well spent. We had a good time shopping.
Highly recommend this excursion as there were a lot of things to do.
The amazing cruise around the bay and through the hole in the rock was the highlight of our two week visit to NZ. The commentary was informative and succinct. We would recommend this particular boat cruise with enthusiasm. On our early December cruise we made use of sunscreen, a secure hat and a waterproof coat for the wind because we liked sitting outside. Great fun.
Had a comfortable and relaxing cruise the day we went. A lot of boats/cruise ships out in the bay that day and we were the first to see and find the dolphins! Great staff as they were extremely respectful and friendly to all on board.
Sadly the sea would not allow us to go through the hole but we still thoroughly enjoyed the trip . Well organised tour with informative and interesting commentary.
Amazing though we were not able to enter the hole in the rock due to the swell.
Wonderful tour - we had a female ship captain who was fantastic with all sorts of knowledge about the local area and even a group of dolphins that swam alongside the boat. Would recommend to anyone but you may want to consider some sort of seasickness medicine if you are highly prone to that.
Great boat trip we saw dolphins on the way out and the skipper of the boat even managed to sail through the hole in the rock evne though the sea was quite choppy, an excellent trip.
This was an excellent trip. We picked a day which was overcast and damp with heavy seas. Still great, well worth it.
Wonderful tour. Captain was very knowledgeable and love company's policy of no dolphin sites a ticket is given to try again. Would well recommend to anyone
We were very lucky with the weather, as this is mid winter and there has been a lot of rain. The day of our trip was just perfect. The sea was so calm the captain was happy to take the boat through the hole in the rock. It is a big boat and not that large a hole! We were also lucky enough to come across a pod of bottle nosed dolphins with a calf within ten minutes of leaving Russell . The staff on the boat were helpful and the commentary interesting and very informative. I had made a mistake with the date of our booking but the office staff were extremely obliging and changed it with no hassle when I rang them to explain I was a week out with my dates!
Very good cruise, went through the hole but the dolphins were somewhere else! Recommend stopping off at Russell on the return journey.
The Bay of Islands trip was wonderful , there were 3 generations of our family on the boat cruise and there was definitely something
for all age groups . The weather was magic , going through The Hole in the Rock was a great experience for us all , being able to get
off the boat at one stage and grandsons rolling down the green grassy hills was a lot of fun .
We opted to be dropped off at town of Russell on way back and then get a later ferry back - no extra charge , had a wonderful late lunch
then wandered through the town - so pretty . Coffee and treats that we could buy on boat was pretty good too .
Our family had an amazing time and would definitely recommend the tour. The all female crew were brilliant, extremely attentive and the Captain had so much knowledge to pass on about the islands but in particular knew all the dolphins by name. Great to see so many dolphins up close.
Linda H USA
Wonderful day with lots of dolphin sightings on the way out. Cruised into several caves, but it was too rough to go through the Hole. The island stop off allowed us to go swimming in the incredibly clear water. Highly recommend doing this trip.
Wonderful cruise, staff were helpful in arranging water taxi to collect us in order to return in time to cruise sip.
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
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!!
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.
Beautiful and very informative tour. Would highly recommend the tour especially if you only have a short time to visit the area.
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
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.
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 :
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