Waitematā Harbour

Waitematā Harbour: Our most recommended tours and activities

Auckland: Whale and Dolphin Watching Half-Day Eco Cruise

1. Auckland: Whale and Dolphin Watching Half-Day Eco Cruise

Climb aboard a 65-foot luxury catamaran conveniently docked in the heart of Auckland. Set sail on the "Dolphin Explorer" to take in the sights and sounds of the city from the water. Enjoy a quick tour past impressive landmarks, such as the Auckland Harbour Bridge, North Head/Devonport, and Rangitoto Island. Keep a close look out for Orca and Bottlenose Dolphins that regularly visit the waters close to the city. Then explore the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park. Get up-close viewings of whales, dolphins, and sea birds. The "Dolphin Explorer" is able to get much closer than whale watching operations in other locations. Learn about the fauna via expert commentary from the ship's skipper, gained from 15 years of running trips daily in the area.

Auckland Harbour 3-Course Dinner Cruise with Welcome Drink

2. Auckland Harbour 3-Course Dinner Cruise with Welcome Drink

Dine on Waitemata Harbor for a memorable experience in Auckland. Join a 2.5-hour sailing dinner cruise for a uniquely local experience with a relaxed, intimate and engaging atmosphere. Discover the city skyline and iconic highlights as they light up for the evening. Set sail while enjoying the city highlights and engaging commentary from your captain. Assist the crew or try your hand at steering the boat. Enjoy the breeze and relax with a drink, with ample space and seating above deck.  Set anchor in Westhaven Marina to enjoy a delicious 3-course dinner, supplied by top Viaduct restaurant Degree. Complement your meal with a selection of premium locally produced wine or beer. After dinner, marvel at the city views and as the sun sets to watch the night lights of the cityscape come alive.

Auckland Harbour 1.5-Hour Sailing Cruise

3. Auckland Harbour 1.5-Hour Sailing Cruise

Enjoy Auckland, the City of Sails, as you join the yachts on Waitemata Harbor and enjoy the relaxed pace of harbor sailing. Set sail on a 50-foot cruising yacht for a spectacular sailing experience on the sparkling harbor waters. Meet your captain at the Auckland waterfront and be welcomed by the crew, who will supply you with weather-proof jackets if required. After a brief introduction accompanied by a safety briefing, depart Viaduct Habor to sail past the Sky Tower and Auckland Harbor Bridge for a 1.5-hour sightseeing tour. Enjoy engaging commentary from your skipper on Auckland, the home of the Americas Cup. Enjoy light refreshments, including a hot drink and a sweet treat, in the sunshine or below deck. Afterwards, set sail to cruise Auckland's sparkling Waitemata Harbor. If you like, help the crew sail the vessel or simply sit back and relax as you take advantage of photo opportunities. Glide past the Auckland Bridge, Westhaven Marina, the charming suburb of Devonport and the city skyline before returning to Auckland.

America’s Cup 2-Hour Sailing Experience Waitemata Harbour

4. America’s Cup 2-Hour Sailing Experience Waitemata Harbour

Join the crew on an America’s Cup yacht for a unique 2-hour tour from Auckland that gives you the chance to experience the sensation of competing in this world-famous racing meet. The America's Cup is the world's oldest and most prestigious sporting trophy and ultimate yachting regatta. Experience this first hand by sailing these remarkable vessels on the harbor that hosted the America's Cup in 2000 and 2003. Feel the thrill of the wind in your face as you tack and jibe. These powerful and highly engineered race vessels are usually the domain of billionaires and elite professional yacht owners, but this unique two-hour sailing experience offers everyone the opportunity to sail these grand prix racing machines. Set sail around Auckland’s stunning Waitemata Harbor and enjoy all the thrills of sailing in a proper racing yacht. Be transported to a world where the thrill of international sport meets the beauty of the sparkling sea. No sailing experience is required to participate. Take the helm and exert energy on the grinders, or simply sit back and enjoy the journey. Look back at the contrast of natural landscapes and city skyscrapers that line the harbour while you sail the seas.

Auckland: Waiheke Island Fast Ferry Pass

5. Auckland: Waiheke Island Fast Ferry Pass

Make your visit to Waiheke Island as easy and stress-free as possible with use of this fast, reliable and affordable ferry service. With all the comforts and necessities you could wish for, travel from the city to the island and back, while enjoying panoramic views of the stunning surrounding landscapes. With regular departures throughout the day, fitting the ferry ride into your travel schedule is no problem at all, meaning you can explore the island at your own leisure. Located in the Hauraki Gulf, Waiheke Island is a popular tourist destination just a 40-minute ferry ride from Downtown Auckland. During the sail, admire the view as the ferry cruises past Auckland’s stunning coastline. Upon arrival at the island, spend the day exploring and wandering through the unique landscapes of olive groves and sandy beaches before your return journey to the city.

Auckland Harbour: 35-Minute Extreme Jet Boat Ride

6. Auckland Harbour: 35-Minute Extreme Jet Boat Ride

Experience one of the best and most extreme adventures on Waitemata Harbour as you buckle up and get ready for the jet boat ride of your life! Climb aboard the original fastest jet boat in Auckland and go for an exciting 35 to 40-minute spin. Feel your heart rate rise and blood pump as you take quick turns and experience sweeping fishtails and spins. Travel in excess of 50 knots as the skipper shows you a different side of the iconic harbor. Stop to catch your breath at famous landmarks to take in the sights and hear local stories.  Venture under the harbor bridge or past Rangitoto Island, and spin down the harbor to catch a glimpse of the iconic pink Chelsea Sugar refinery at Birkenhead. Go to Shoal Bay and see the skyline of Auckland from another perspective. You will be provided with a life jacket, full-length waterproof poncho and sunglasses to keep the salt spray out of your eyes. Tours depart every hour on the hour (09:00 to 17:00, depending on availability) and provide some of the best thrills you can have!

Auckland: Ted Ashby Sailing Tour & Maritime Museum Ticket

7. Auckland: Ted Ashby Sailing Tour & Maritime Museum Ticket

Explore Auckland’s sparkling Waitematā Harbour aboard the New Zealand Maritime Museum’s heritage scow, Ted Ashby. Help hoist the sails or simply sit back and absorb stunning views of the city skyline as you cruise beneath the iconic Harbour Bridge. After your sailing experience, spend some time at New Zealand Maritime Museum and discover the genius of early Pacific navigation and the great voyages of exploration to Aotearoa through to Blue Water Black Magic, a gallery dedicated to our extraordinary story of innovative design, meticulous teamwork, outstanding leadership and New Zealand's international success in sailing.

Luxury Auckland & West Coast Day Tour with Maori Guide

8. Luxury Auckland & West Coast Day Tour with Maori Guide

Enjoy a unique experience in Auckland and the surrounding area with award-winning TIME Unlimited Tours. Your guide for the day will be a local, highly knowledgeable Maori, who will be able to share the region’s indigenous history and culture from a personal perspective. Auckland is the world’s largest Polynesian city and home to a variety of cultures from across the Pacific. You’ll see the best that Auckland city and its West Coast have to offer on this tour. On the first segment of the tour you’ll visit Maungawhau. From the heights here you’ll have panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea. You’ll drive to colonial Parnell, and continue along the waterfront along Tamaki Drive. See the stunning beaches along Auckland's shoreline and Waitemata Harbour, the Hauraki Gulf, the mystical island volcano of Rangitoto, and the famous Harbour Bridge. Visit Devonport, a picturesque marine village with great cafés, boutiques, and stunning views of both Takarunga and Auckland city. The second part of the tour takes you to Auckland’s West Coast. See Titirangi, or the Fringe of Heaven, an artist enclave on Manukau Harbour, and stop at the Arataki Visitor Centre - the gateway to Auckland's West Coast. From here you’ll enjoy magnificent views over the Harbour. Further along the coast you’ll marvel at views of the soaring cliffs, take in incredible ocean vistas, the roaring surf, and the unique black sand beaches. Ancient native rainforests abound, where you’ll see the amazing kauri trees as well as pohutukawa trees with their crimson flowers.

Other Sightseeing Options in Waitematā Harbour

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

What people are saying about Waitematā Harbour

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 355 reviews

The whole experience was an eye-opener for my family and I. Understand that there is a chance that we may not be able to see any whales, we are still pretty lucky to see schools of dolphins almost everywhere we went! The boat ride was also very educational and the crew were very friendly. It is definitely a must go for folks who enjoy watching marine life or folks who wished to know more about whales, dolphins and even sea birds! You don't have to be a tourist to enjoy the boat ride as it is indeed a whole new experience even for the locals.

Crew was welcoming and comedic. Me and my friend aren’t from Auckland so they told us about everything we seen from the boats, the houses, to the stars, very lovely food and company. Was gorgeous out on the water at sunset with a huge full moon rising it was a magical experience, even seen a few shooting stars! They have blankets on board for when it gets chilly although I do recommend bringing a jacket and dressing warm! You’ll thank yourself for it.

Excellent. I got to see a lot of dolphins . Crew explanation on Marin live was very informative

Had great wet weather jacket to borrow. Knowledgeable and helpful staff.

Really lovely afternoon. Very small group onboard so very personal tour.