Add dates
Waikato

Cruises & Boat Tours

Our most recommended Waikato Cruises & Boat Tours

Waitomo: Glowworm Caves Guided Tour by Boat

1. Waitomo: Glowworm Caves Guided Tour by Boat

Discover New Zealand's natural wonder of Waitomo Glowworm Caves on a guided boat trip. Glide by boat through this underground complex, watching millions of tiny bioluminescent insects lighting up the rocky limestone. Explore this cave complex, including a chance to visit the Cathedral Cave on foot. The caves were formed over 30 million years ago and comprise 2 levels. The upper level is dry and includes the entrance to the cave and formations known as the Catacombs, the Pipe Organ, and the Banquet Chamber. On the lower level are stream passages and the Cathedral. Begin on foot as your local guide brings the caves to life with stories about their history. Then, board a boat and marvel at the light display as you glide silently through the starry wonderland of the Glowworm Grotto.

Waitomo Caves: Labyrinth Black Water Rafting Experience

2. Waitomo Caves: Labyrinth Black Water Rafting Experience

Float down an underground river, slip into fast waters, jump off a small waterfall and take in the magic of the glowworm grotto of Ruakuri Cave on this Black Labyrinth adventure. Put on your gear and learn from professionally trained guides that will take you ziplining, rafting, and caving.  Check in for your black water adventure in Waitomo. Get all your equipment and instructions from your guide before you begin the subterranean journey. Leap over cascading waterfalls and weave and climb through a glowworm-studded wonderland. After an energized trip, float serenely down the underground river. Enjoy the glow worm show on the vaulted limestone galleries up above. Ride a stream that twists and turns through a canyon, and tumble down a hidden waterfall and rock slide before emerging into the sun-dappled Waitomo forest. The rafting base is located a short distance outside Waitomo Caves village. This is the booking and assembly point for all black water rafting expeditions. It is also the home of the Long Black Cafe, where you'll find delicious food, coffee, and friendly Kiwi service. 

Lake Taupo: Maori Rock Carvings 1.5-Hour Scenic Cruise

3. Lake Taupo: Maori Rock Carvings 1.5-Hour Scenic Cruise

Cruise through the crystal-clear, turquoise waters of Lake Taupo, taking in the vibrancy of Maori culture all the while. After boarding your cruise, explore the stunning surroundings of the lake, surrounded by rugged mountains and lush trees on the banks. As you glide through the lake on your deluxe Catamaran, you’ll come to a massive carving depicting the traditional facial tattooing of the Maori people. Inspired by centuries of rich Maori tradition, artist Matahi Brightwell carved the elaborate relief into the side of a cliff directly above the lake’s pristine waters in 1980. Depicting one of his grandmother’s ancestors, the carving represent a triumph of Maori artistry, and the continued preservation of indigenous culture. Perfect for the whole family, after taking in the carving, you can feed the ducks, and maybe even catch a fish. After 1.5 hours, you’ll head back to the dock to disembark.

Lake Taupo: 1.5-Hour Māori Rock Carvings Scenic Boat Cruise

4. Lake Taupo: 1.5-Hour Māori Rock Carvings Scenic Boat Cruise

Admire beautiful Māori rock carvings set against a stunning mountainous backdrop on a 1.5-hour journey around Lake Taupo's waters aboard a boat that features live audio commentary. Relax and enjoy coffee or tea and a homemade muffin as you admire panoramic views of New Zealand, picturesque mountain tops, and historic rock carvings inspired by centuries of rich Māori tradition and art. Explore the open decks that allow you to feel the cool outdoor breeze or cozily snuggle into one of the indoor booths, and enjoy a trout fishing demonstration by the crew — you may even get a "taste of Taupo" if all goes well.

Hukafalls: 30-Minute Jet Boat Experience

5. Hukafalls: 30-Minute Jet Boat Experience

Your thrilling adventure will take you along the beautiful Waikato river environment, lined with native bush, sheer rock cliff faces, and natural hot springs. Enjoy the best water-level view of Huka Falls from the unique vantage point on the jet boat. The manoeuvrability of the Hukafalls jet boat is legendary. Be in awe at the speed and precision in which you torpedo gracefully down the river to play in the tail of the mighty whitewater of the Huka Falls. Pass by clouds of steam rising where a hot stream joins the river. See the Huka Prawn Park, the Wairakei Geo-Thermal Power Station, and the Aratiatia Dam. Zoom past sheer rock cliffs with just centimeters to spare, exhilarated and secure in the knowledge that your driver is an expert.

Whitianga: Cathedral Cove 2 Hour Boat Cruise

6. Whitianga: Cathedral Cove 2 Hour Boat Cruise

Based in Whitianga, this scenic boat cruise showcases Mercury Bay’s stunning coastal paradise at its very best. Embark on a 2-hour journey across the rugged volcanic shores of the bay and explore its beautiful beaches including Hahei and Lonely Bay. The highlight of the tour is the world-famous Cathedral Cove at Te Whanganui a Hei Marine Reserve. The site has a rich Maori heritage, attracts around 150,000 visitors per year, and was used as a filming location for the blockbuster movie Narnia. Sit back and relax as you sail around the bay, and marvel at its stunning natural landscapes that stretch across the peninsula. Along the way, listen to your guide share entertaining live commentary about the bay and the wildlife that lives here. Make sure to keep an eye on the water too, as there's always a chance to see dolphins, whales and orcas in their natural habitat.

From Auckland: Hobbiton Movie Set Full-Day Small-Group Trip

7. From Auckland: Hobbiton Movie Set Full-Day Small-Group Trip

Make the most of your time in Auckland with a small-group tour to the magical and enchanting Hobbiton, Lord of the Rings Movie Set. You will have the movie set almost entirely to yourself. See how this beautiful piece of farmland has been transformed into the Shire from Middle Earth. Start off your adventure with pickup from your centrally located hotel or the Auckland Sky Tower. Travel south in an air-conditioned Mercedes-Benz. Look out the van's extra-large windows on the scenic drive to Matamata over the Bombay Hills and through the beautiful Hauraki Plains. Listen to facts and anecdotes from your guide clearly via a hi-tech audio system. When you arrive at Hobbiton, take a 2-hour tour with a knowledgeable guide. Take plenty of time to explore the locations you’ve seen at home. Pose for photos in front of your favorite places like the Hobbit Holes and The Mill. At the end of the tour, enjoy a specially brewed drink at the Green Dragon Inn. Afterward, visit the Shire Store, which features an extensive selection of souvenirs to remind you of your visit to the Hobbiton Movie Set. On the drive back home, follow the amazing Waikato river and drive past the Taupiri Maori burial ground. Finish your fun day trip from Auckland with convenient drop-off at your hotel or back at the Sky Tower in Auckland’s city center.

Whitianga: Cathedral Cove, Small Caves & Snorkel Boat Trip

8. Whitianga: Cathedral Cove, Small Caves & Snorkel Boat Trip

The only boat tour to combine thrills & small caves experiences to Cathedral Cove and beyond. Experience the thrill of small cave adventures where others can't take you. Discover magnificent views, see New Zealand's 2nd largest sea cave, regularly going to the places seen in online videos & pictures, get up close to aquatic life in the marine reserve. Leaving Whitianga Wharf, stop to view Shakespeare's Cliff then, pass the stunning Lonely before exploring inside Cooks Beach Blowhole and gazing out through the top. Be amazed at the panoramic scenery at Cathedral Cove. Head south getting close in along the coastline in and out of bays, caves, and blowholes. Take in the mesmerising volcanic landscape of towering pinnacles and rock sculptures. Marvel at the size of New Zealand's 2nd largest sea cave "Orua" before visiting offshore islands with more caves. Have the option to snorkel and witness sea life in the marine reserve before heading back to Whitianga.

Whangamata: Whenuakura Island Guided Experiece

9. Whangamata: Whenuakura Island Guided Experiece

Embark on a short kayaking tour to Whenuakura Island, an area which is beginning to assume iconic status alongside other regional attractions in the Coromandel. The stunning Whenuakura Island, is one of a group of islands off the coast of Whangamata which have wildlife sanctuary status. As Guardians of the islands, this tour encourages you to treat the islands with respect to preserve their future. Because of the island’s geography, access is limited due to swell and wind conditions, and only kayaks or paddleboards can squeeze through the narrow entrance. The island is a wildlife sanctuary and opens up into a beautiful lagoon which is rather out of this world. Join the experienced team on an adventure that takes you 600m off the coast of Whangamata Beach, to a secluded turquoise lagoon surrounded by native fauna and volcanic cliff rock.

Lake Taupo: Sailing Trip to the Maori Rock Carvings

10. Lake Taupo: Sailing Trip to the Maori Rock Carvings

Enjoy a true sailing experience onboard a classic sailing boat with a sailing tour of Lake Taupo. Explore the beauty of the largest freshwater lake in Australasia, its breathtaking clear waters and stunning surroundings of mountains, hidden bays, and the lush green of bushes and trees. Learn from your local and experienced guide about the history of the lake, the Maori Rock Carvings, and their cultural significance. Get involved in the sailing side and give the crew a hand or just sit back, relax and enjoy the comfort and space on this classical sailing boat. Listen to some music and the sound of the water when gliding through the lake, only using the power of wind whenever it is possible. Stop for a swim in the fresh waters before snuggling up under some blankets on the way back to shore.

Frequently asked questions about Waikato Cruises & Boat Tours

What are other things to do than Cruises & Boat Tours that are worth visiting in Waikato?

The other unmissable things to do in Waikato are:

Other Sightseeing Options in Waikato

Want to discover all there is to do in Waikato? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Waikato

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 24 reviews

Was picked up on time, delightful driver Matt gave us interesting facts, gave us space to rest and shot lots of photos of me. It was a lovely day and Hobbiton was a treat, better than I expected. Ginger beer at the Green Dragon in front of the fire made me feel like a proper Hobbit.

It was a beautiful experience. Staff were informative and friendly. We’ll worth the trip. The only down side was the cost. At the ticket booth the cost was half what we paid through this company.

So much fun - jumping down waterfalls and riding in total darkness in parts to see the glow worms. The tour operator was hilarious and we felt so safe.

Gorgeous views of the rock carvings. Māori people have great skills and talents. Thank you for the free coffee, muffin, and friendly staff!

Corey was a wonderful guide, kept us entertained and well informed. Funny too!