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Explore Bay of Islands

Bay of Islands Hole in the Rock Dolphin Cruise with Lunch

Help code: 1F07-2646

  • 4 Hour Cruise
  • Island lunch at Otehei Bay
  • Viewing dolphins
  • The iconic Hole in the Rock
  • Nature Guides on-board providing in-depth commentary
  • Short Nature Walk hosted by Nature Guides
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What you need to know
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Explore the picturesque Bay of Islands region with Explore's combination sightseeing and lunch cruise to the famous Hole in the Rock formation. The Hole in the Rocks formation is a popular attraction in the region, and if weather permits you will have the chance to cruise through it. However, it's not the only must-see in the area, the resident dolphins are also a great drawing card for visitors and this cruise encompasses the best natural sites and wildlife encounters on offer in the region. Come lunch time, you'll dock at Urupukapuka Island to enjoy a delicious meal at Explore's Otehei Bay.

The four-hour cruise departs Paihia at 10am and Russell at 10.10am to embark on a great journey amongst the Bay of Island's 144 islands. With additional commentary from your skipper, you'll learn all about the region and its natural inhabitants. The chance of spotting playful dolphins on the cruise is very high, with 90% of Explore's trips seeing pods or solo dolphins. The boat isn't overpacked with guests and is only filled to 80% capacity to ensure guests have enough space to comfortably snap the perfect photo.

A small portion of your ticket goes towards marine mammal research and conservation in the region to help preserve the beauty you see on your cruise. All you're asked to bring is suitable clothing and a camera to capture the memories. In addition to lunch and the cruise, guests will also receive a free Russell Happy Ferry ticket to allow return trips to Paihia if you choose.


  • 4.5 - 5hr Cruise of the Bay of Islands
  • Lunch stop at Otehei Bay
  • Visit the iconic Hole in the Rock
  • Short guided Nature Walk to view the environment and scenic views
  • Informative talk at the Conservation Centre by your Nature Guide
  • A free Russell Happy Ferry ticket to return from Russell to Paihia (if required)


  • Hotel transfers


  • Island lunch at Otehei Bay during your stop at Urupukapuka Island, weather permitting
  • Cruising among the 144 islands with skipper's commentary
  • Fully licensed bar on board for drinks and light snacks
  • Viewing dolphins on over 90% of the trips with a lifetime viewing guarantee. Capacity kept to a limit of 80% to keep our trips photo friendly
  • A visit to the iconic Hole in the Rock and when conditions permit, travel through it
  • Nature Guides on-board providing in-depth commentary
  • Informative talk in the Conservation Centre by the Nature Guide
  • Short nature walk hosted by Nature Guides
  • A free Russell Happy Ferry ticket to return from Russell to Paihia at a later time if you choose


  • From November-April, departs Paihia Wharf at 8.30am & 2.00pm daily and Russell Wharf at 8.40am & 2.10pm daily
  • From May-October, departs Paihia Wharf at 10am and Russell Wharf at 10.10am
  • Check in for your trip 15 minutes prior to departure

What To Bring

  • Wear suitable clothing including flat soled footwear
  • Sunscreen
  • Hat
  • Jacket
  • Camera

Additional Information

  • Children under 5 yrs travel for free

Booking Information

  • Confirmation in the form of a tour voucher will be received at time of booking
  • Upon completion of purchase, please print the voucher and present on day of the experience
  • Mobile Vouchers are accepted! - Vouchers can also be presented on your mobile device for this attraction
  • For your information, complete Tour Operator Information including contact details is included on your tour voucher
  • Cruise vessel subject to change without notice
  • Availability was accurate at the time of booking however, is subject to change due to circumstances out of our control
  • We strongly suggest reconfirming your booking with the tour operator within 24 hours of making your booking and prior to making other travel arrangements
Experience the spectacular scenery in an area rich in culture and history. Encounter diverse wildlife in their natural surroundings!
Need help with your booking? Contact Us Help Code: 1F07-2646

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