Bay of Plenty Region Cruises & boat tours

Our most recommended Bay of Plenty Region Cruises & boat tours

Moutohora (Whale) Island Sanctuary Tour from Whakatane

1. Moutohora (Whale) Island Sanctuary Tour from Whakatane

Departing from Whakatāne Wharf, the journey to Moutohorā is just a short 15-minute boat ride aboard a comfortable catamaran “The Moutohorā Cat”. Designed to be able to nestle right onto the shore, disembarking is as easy as walking down some stairs and stepping onto the beach. Once ashore, a fully-guided tour means you can learn about the island's unique flora and fauna and the conservation effort focused on Moutohorā for the past 50 years. Since becoming pest-free, bird life on Moutohorā has flourished and there is a chance to see a number of different species including saddleback/tieke, kakariki/red-crowned parakeet, little brown kiwi, bellbirds, tui, grey warbler; many of which are endangered or seldom seen on the New Zealand mainland. The walk includes a visit to the island's saddle (the dip between the two highest summits) for spectacular views out to White Island and a visit to Sulphur Bay where geothermal hot springs come up through the sand allowing for you to dig your own hot pool on the beach. Please note there are no changing facilities or bathrooms on the island. After enjoying a swim, you will return to Boulder Bay and re-board “The Cat” where, if conditions permit, the catamaran may circumnavigate the island before returning to Whakatāne.  There may also be an opportunity to stop and spend time with any marine life encountered along the way. Due to the precious nature of this pest-free island, access is highly restricted to the general public. The only way to visit the island is with a Department of Conservation approved concessionaire. This tour operator is permitted to take a small number of visitors to the island each day. 

Rotorua: Hobbiton and Waitomo Caves Full-Day Trip

2. Rotorua: Hobbiton and Waitomo Caves Full-Day Trip

After being picked up from your hotel in Rotorua, enjoy a pleasurable and scenic drive through the New Zealand countryside and learn about the region from your professional local driver/ guide. Travel in the comfort of your modern and fully air-conditioned vehicle. Set off on a journey of discovery at the infamous Waitomo Glowworm Caves. Sit back and relax as you take a magical boat ride beneath thousands of glowworms. Discover more about the 120 years of cultural and natural history on this fully guided tour and marvel at this mesmerizing natural light display as you silently glide through the wonderland of the Glowworm Grotto.  Continuing your fantastical journey, step into Hobbiton, where an official guide will show you around this breathtaking and impressive movie set. Wander into Hobbit holes, including Bilbo and Frodo's home, and take a turn around their vegetable patches with giant pumpkins! At the end of the tour, be transported to Middle Earth as you enjoy a complimentary drink in the Green Dragon Inn. If you're looking to experience some of New Zealand's top attractions, or are an avid Lord of the Rings fan, then this is a truly unmissable and unforgettable experience! 

From Tauranga: Half-Day Dolphin and Wildlife Cruise

3. From Tauranga: Half-Day Dolphin and Wildlife Cruise

Meet at the Tauranga waterfront jetty and board your vessel. Relax as you leave the city behind and spend the cruise exploring the pristine Bay of Plenty coastline and islands. Watch seasonal seabirds, penguins, seals, whales, sunfish, school fish, sharks, orca, and even turtles. Passenger numbers are limited for comfort and to enable a more personal experience. The large spacious boat is also ideal for families. The Captain and experienced crew will be more than happy to share their marine knowledge with you and will provide fascinating commentary and point out all that they see so you won’t miss a thing. You can also enjoy a drink from the onboard bar as you relax and soak up the sun. Don’t forget your camera as you are able to get up close to wildlife, making it a photographers dream for those once in a lifetime snaps. You will return to Tauranga by 2:00, giving you the rest of the day to explore this beautiful region, the Bay of Plenty, or continue your travels.

From Tauranga: Half Day Swimming with Dolphins Tour

4. From Tauranga: Half Day Swimming with Dolphins Tour

Step aboard a purpose-built dolphin-viewing vessel and embark on a wild encounter with the ocean's most fascinating creatures. After meeting your crew at the dock, set off into the open water to several well-known dolphin spotting locations, all the while maintaining a respectful distance. With a crew filled with experience sea-farers and dolphins-watchers, trust that your experience will be thrilling, informative, and above all, humane to the dolphins.  The sunshine capital of New Zealand, the "Bay of Plenty" is home to diverse and spectacular sea life from majestic dolphins and orca to the beautiful fur seals, penguins and marine birds. As you travel from spot to spot, keep your eyes peeled for the plethora of marine life that call the bay home. With your expert crew, you’ve got a great chance to to find a pod of dolphins with which you can swim—which is, without question, a magical experience.

Tarawera and Lakes 2-Hour Duck Eco Tour

5. Tarawera and Lakes 2-Hour Duck Eco Tour

Discover Tarawera and Lakes on a unique 2-hour fully-guided adventure that takes place on land and water on-board a genuine WWII amphibious Duck. One of the best ways to appreciate the scenery of the Rotorua lakes district and learn more about the history of the land, the people, and the devastating 1886 eruption of Mt. Tarawera.  Your tour begins right in the heart of Rotorua and ventures out of town to the spectacular lake’s district where you will experience your first splash down into the sheltered calm waters of Lake Okareka. Your ConDUCKtor will then take you further, exploring the natural beauty of the lakes district with a backdrop of the magnificent volcanic domes of Mount Tarawera. After plunging into the deep blue water of Lake Tarawera, the return trip will see you viewing the sacred Lake Rotokakahe (The Green Lake) before splashing down on Tikitapu (the Blue Lake) your forth and final lake visit before the homeward journey back to the sulphurous aroma of Rotorua’s city centre. This tour is suitable for all ages and the whole family, combining fun, learning and new experiences during a once-in-a-lifetime adventure in an authentic WWII amphibious Duck.

Frequently asked questions about Bay of Plenty Region

What top attractions are a must-see in Bay of Plenty Region?

The must-see attractions in Bay of Plenty Region are:

What are the best inexpensive tours in Bay of Plenty Region?

Other Sightseeing Options in Bay of Plenty Region

Want to discover all there is to do in Bay of Plenty Region? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Bay of Plenty Region

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 9 reviews

A great trip, really well organized and friendly knowledgeable guide. Well priced for the timeframes. I recommend this trip right on our doorstep for all the locals who have never done it.

Was a great experience. I he crew were awesome and got to see something magical that is a once in a life time thing. Would happily go again to see more wonderful sea creatures

This tour was amazing the Guides were extremely knowledgeable about the area and the island was beautiful. I would definitely recommend.

Relaxing, educational, minor trek, beautiful day, couldn't ask for more

An amazing experience like no other, would highly recommend