The Bay of Islands is a popular spot for a cruise and there is a large variety to choose from, ranging from high-speed craft to small yachts. Many cruises sail out to Motukokako Island, which is famous for the ‘Hole in the Rock’ that most of the bigger and faster boats sail through. Boats that make it out this far also sail past the picturesque Cape Brett lighthouse.
Fullers GreatSights cruises
Fullers GreatSights run most of day cruises departing from Paihia. The Hole in the Rock Dolphin Cruise (3 hours) and the Hole in the Rock Cruise with Island Stopover (4 hours) are the most popular. There are also cruises that are more geared towards spotting marine life, such as Fullers GreatSights Dolphin Eco Experience (4 hours). The all-day Cream Trip covers the lot, going to the Hole in the Rock, an island stopover with boom-netting and swimming included as well. There is not a big price difference between the short and longer cruises, so if you have the time it is worth paying the extra $20 or so for the longer cruise.
The Rock cruise
The Rock is a popular cruise for backpackers. Although this big boat gives you the option of day cruise, it is the overnight cruise that The Rock is famous for. The overnight cruise features island treks, snorkelling, kayaking and a phosphorescence swim. It gets mixed reports from travellers, but generally, if you are looking for a good time you will have a good time on this boat. It’s a good value trip and the price includes a night’s accommodation on board plus a barbecue dinner and breakfast.