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Auckland National parks

Our most recommended Auckland National parks

Auckland: Coromandel, Cathedral Cove & Hot Water Beach Tour

1. Auckland: Coromandel, Cathedral Cove & Hot Water Beach Tour

Begin the tour with a pick-up from your hotel in a comfortable minibus equipped with WiFi, charging ports, and onscreen entertainment. Be taken on a scenic drive through the New Zealand countryside as you head to the incredible Coromandel Peninsula. Head to your first stop, Cathedral Cove, a spot featured in the film the Chronicles Of Narnia: Prince Caspian. Cathedral Cove is one of New Zealand's most famous and beautiful beaches, and is a must-do activity for any visitor to New Zealand. As there are no roads to this beach, take a 40-minute bush walk to get there. Upon arrival, take some time to relax, sunbathe, swim, play sport, or just soak in the spectacular views. Later, enjoy time for lunch at a restaurant where you can try some local food, and can even have a beer if you choose (food and drinks not included). Continue to your next stop, the famous Hot Water Beach, where you can dig a hole in the sand to create a naturally-heated geothermal water bath. Finally, it's time to make your way back to Auckland, but not without stopping for a quick ice-cream and some more photos.

Leigh: Goat Island Guided Snorkeling Tour for Beginners

2. Leigh: Goat Island Guided Snorkeling Tour for Beginners

Begin your tour by meeting the team at the Goat Island Dive and Snorkel Center. Here, your friendly staff will get you kitted up with a mask, snorkel, fins, and a wetsuit. You will then drive in your own vehicle 2 miles (3km) to the Goat Island Marine Reserve, where you will meet with your snorkel instructor. Learn about the history of Goat Island and the marine life you are likely to meet at New Zealand's first marine reserve. The experience starts with an introduction to using the equipment and some snorkeling and swimming techniques. Before jumping in you'll receive a full, thorough safety briefing. Everyone will make their way to the water.  The group will stay in shallow waters while getting used to the equipment and the strange sensation of breathing while looking around underwater. Once everyone is feeling confident and comfortable, the group will make their way out to sea to continue the adventure. After the tour, you will be able to use the equipment for the remainder of the day to carry on exploring at your own pace. You will be part of a natural aquarium, with many varieties of colorful fish and marine life including Blue Maomao, Snapper, Eagle and Sting Rays, Blue Cod, Octopus, Kahawai, as well as Crayfish. Sometimes Dolphins or Orca visit the reserve and will often play with the snorkelers.

From Auckland: Small Group Coromandel Peninsula Day Tour

3. From Auckland: Small Group Coromandel Peninsula Day Tour

First, enjoy the 90-minute drive to the charming town of Thames, where you will take a short break. Then, hit the road again and take in the spectacular views along New Zealand’s west coast. You will then stop in at the Coromandel Township where the renowned potter, Barry Brickell, had his studio. Ride on his personally designed mountain railway system, on a memorable journey through the rugged landscape. Next, stop for a quiet stroll in pristine rainforest and see some magnificent kauri trees, which once covered the Coromandel Peninsula. The journey continues across the mountain divide and descends towards the east coast beaches where you will stop for lunch. Visit the amazing Hot Water Beach, where hot water bubbles to the surface of the sand. Dig your own hot tub right next to the lapping waves.   Then, visit Cathedral Cove, where the water washes through a natural arch onto a white sandy beach backed by white cliffs. Next, take the 30-minute downhill walk to the beautiful beach, which was featured in the Chronicles of Narnia.   End the day enjoy the landscape during the return journey to Auckland, as you head over the hills along a different route.

Leigh: Goat Island 30-Minute Clear Kayak Rental

4. Leigh: Goat Island 30-Minute Clear Kayak Rental

Paddle through the stunningly clear waters of the Goat Island Marine Reserve and see a variety of fish such as snapper (tāmure), red moki (nanua), blue maomao, eagle rays (whai keo) and stringrays (whai). Extending from Cape Rodney to Okakari Point, the marine reserve is located only 800 meters offshore from Goat Island. Meet your hosts directly on the beach at Goat Island who will provide a full safety briefing and all safety equipment. Then, enjoy a 30-minute paddle in your "Clearyak", allowing you to marvel at the marine life that swims just below you.

From Leigh: Goat Island Advanced Guided Snorkeling Tour

5. From Leigh: Goat Island Advanced Guided Snorkeling Tour

Experience the perfect way to advance your snorkeling skills on a guided snorkel tour around Goat Island. Set off to discover a beautiful underwater world alongside a certified instructor as you practice advanced snorkeling techniques. Begin with a fitting of your snorkeling equipment, which includes a mask, snorkel, fins, a wet suit, and weight belt. You will then drive in your own vehicle 3 km to the Goat Island Marine Reserve to meet with your Instructor. Learn the history of Goat Island and get introduced to the marine life you are likely to see in New Zealand's first marine reserve. After a full and thorough safety briefing, head down to the water and begin the tour. Start in the shallow waters and, once everyone is comfortable with their equipment, begin to explore the rest of the reserve. Stop and put new learned techniques into practice, like duck diving under the surface, equalizing your ears, and clearing your snorkel. After the tour you will be able to use the equipment for the remainder of the day, so you can keep practising and enjoying the reserve on your own.

From Leigh: Goat Island Introductory Diving Experience

6. From Leigh: Goat Island Introductory Diving Experience

Experience the perfect way to try diving for the first time on a half-day trip from Lehin to Goat Island. Learn the basics of diving with expert instructors, practice breathing and diving techniques, and set off to discover a beautiful underwater world. Begin with a class theory lesson where you will learn about the equipment and safety of diving and get fitted into your gear. Once at the dive site, do a final check with your instructor who will make sure you're feeling ready for the dive. In shallow water, learn how to breathe and how to use the equipment. Become comfortable with safety skills before heading to deeper water to explore the colorful marine life and unique seascapes.

From Auckland: Coromandel Peninsula Full-Day Tour

7. From Auckland: Coromandel Peninsula Full-Day Tour

Explore the pristine white-sand beaches, lush native forests, and breathtaking natural formations of the Coromandel Peninsula on a full-day tour from Auckland. Hike through beautiful forest to the rugged coastline and marvel at the views of Cathedral Cove. Get up close to this cathedral-like arched cavern, featured in the Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. Dig your own shallow thermal pool in the tidal area of the beach and let yourself soak in a 60-degree bath on Hot Water Beach. Marvel at the spectacular views and the ever-changing landscape and stop en route to take magical photos. Travel throughout in air-conditioned Mercedes-Benz vehicle, on a small group tour and accompanied by a knowledgeable guide. Make full use of your day as you hike, soak and swim and explore Hahei, Hot Water Beach, Cathedral Cove.

Leigh: Goat Island Guided Diving Tour for Certified Diver

8. Leigh: Goat Island Guided Diving Tour for Certified Diver

Join a guided diving tour for certified divers around Goat Island and set off to discover the beautiful underwater world of New Zealand's first ever marine reserve alongside an experienced dive master. Begin with a fitting of your diving equipment at the dive center. You will then drive in your own vehicle 3 km to the Goat Island Marine Reserve to meet with your dive master who will be your guide for the day. Learn the history of Goat Island and get introduced to the marine life you are likely to see in New Zealand's first marine reserve. After a full and thorough safety briefing, head down to the water and begin the tour. Do one long dive in a shallow reserve with the opportunity to stay underwater for 70 to 80 minutes, dependent on individuals' air consumption. Explore further out into the bay and see the true beauty this magical place has to offer. Swim amongst huge snappers, red moki, goat-fish, triple fins, and schools of parore, kahawai, sweep, silver drummers, trevally. There are also crayfish, octopuses, stingrays, and, on lucky occasions, dolphins, seals, and orcas can also be seen.

Goat Island Marine Reserve: Full-Day Dive Charter

9. Goat Island Marine Reserve: Full-Day Dive Charter

Join a full-day scuba dive charter and dive in the beautiful marine reserves of Goat Island or Te Hāwere-a-Maki, New Zealand's first marine reserve established in 1975, on a small-group tour. Discover the bustling marine life beneath the water's surface, including jack mackerel, crayfish, red moki, eels, blue maomao, and much more on two dives at different depths.  Marvel at the variety of marine life habitats from rocky shores exposed at low tide to deep reefs, underwater cliffs and canyons, as well as sand flats. Watch the seaweed forests sway with the waves and the light playfully touch all that surrounds you beneath the sea. Goat Island and the Tawharanui Marine Reserve, off the North Island's northwest coast, are both excellent sites for certified divers, whether you are a beginner or an experienced diver, there is something for everyone here. 

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What people are saying about Auckland

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 18 reviews

This was a wonderful excursion! The sites were absolutely breathtaking and there were plenty of photo stops and potty breaks to break up the trip. TONY is the best!! Such a wonderful tour guide and personable human being altogether. The tour guides we had with our Bush & Beach excursions were easily the best and one of the most memorable parts of our trip - definitely recommend booking with them for anything you can :)

We had a great trip and really enjoyed the beaches and walking trails around Coromandel. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and supportive. We hadn't anticipated the challenging walk to Cathedral Cove, but it was well worth it.

The tour guide was really knowledgeable and helpful to everyone. We enjoyed it a lot. I would strongly recommend visiting these two places. Overall, our experience with the tour agency was smooth and satisfying.

My partner and I really enjoyed this tour. It was beautiful, fun, active, and with lots of interesting facts.

incredible way to get out of Auckland CBD and learn and see about the native bushes and beaches