Waikato
Boat Tours & River Cruises

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Our most recommended Waikato Cruises & Boat Tours

  • Whitianga: 2-Hour Scenic Glass Bottom Boat Tour

    1. Whitianga: 2-Hour Scenic Glass Bottom Boat Tour

    Hop onboard this 2-hour guided boat cruise to explore stunning volcanic coastline, the amazing marine life as well as learn more about what you see and the history of the area. Visit Cathedral Cove, sea caves, towering rock formations and more. View an abundance of the marine life through the glass panels throughout your cruise. Meet the crew at the Whitianga Wharf to board the Glass Bottom Boat, then cruise out the harbour and learn about the history of Whitianga and abou Captain Cook's arrival. Once out the harbour hold onto your hats as the boat speeds up on the way to the stunning Shakespeares Cliff and Cooks Beach Blow hole.  Continue on into the marine reserve to get a first look at Cathedral Cove and to explore the surrounding bays. Enjoy some fantastic marine life viewing through the glass panels such as schools of snapper, reef fish, stingrays, crayfish and more. Learn all abo...

    Mark and Neve were friendly and chatty putting everyone at ease. They knew the area well and had lots of background knowledge to share. It was well worth it. A gorgeous sunny autumn day out on the water seeing everything so clearly from the water that would remain unseen from on land. The glass boat allowed a wonderful view of the fish and sea floor, seeing how much of a pest Kina have become outside the marine sanctuary was an eye opener. Mark did a fantastic job of positioning the boat to allow for great photos. Thanks guys.

  • Lake Taupo: Maori Rock Carvings 1.5-Hour Scenic Cruise

    2. 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 di...

    It was really amazing experience. We enjoyed a lot and cruise crews explained all the beautiful places and there history clearly. They are very helpful all the time. Thank you for giving opportunity to express my feelings.

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

    3. 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.

    Genuine kiwi welcome guidance and hospitality on arrival. Correct local history on both tribal boundaries both Maori and pakeha influences. Great geothermal information in regards to changes within the landscape. Excellent pronunciation of Maori words in regards to forecasting history. Staff well equipped for delivering a top of the range experience. Felt safe on board and understood evacuation and health and safety procedures delivered by skipper over loud speaker. Awsome work team

  • Whitianga: Cathedral Cove 2 Hour Boat Cruise

    4. 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.

    The driver on the boat informed all the travellers on the boat about the area and wild life etc

  • 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.

    Fantastic fun. Kids and the parents loved the 360 turns, expert driving and getting up close with the falls.

  • Lake Taupo Maori Rock Carving 2.5-Hour Sailing Cruise

    6. Lake Taupo Maori Rock Carving 2.5-Hour Sailing Cruise

    Discover Taupo's Maori Rock Carvings, possibly the largest of their type in the world and only accessible by boat. Enjoy sailing Lake Taupo at its best (and quietest) with New Zealand's only commercially operated fleet of electric yachts. Set off with a friendly and experienced crew who have been sailing to these carvings since 1983. Make yourself at home on a lovingly restored classic white sailing yacht, which set the scene for a wonderful experience on stunning Taupo Moana (Lake Taupo). Sit back and relax as your fun and experienced guides explain the 800-year-old cultural significance of the 14-metre high Mine Bay Maori Rock Carvings.  Soak up the sun or roll up your sleeves; you can take the wheel, help hoist the sails or just sit back and enjoy the view. Equipped for all conditions - if the wind dies down, the eco-friendly electric engine will kick in, moving you noiselessly thro...

    Safe trip, well organized, nicely guided, we have learned a new informations, enjoyable

  • Whitianga: 3-Hour Sailing Trip to Cathedral Cove with Swim

    7. Whitianga: 3-Hour Sailing Trip to Cathedral Cove with Swim

    Delight in a 3-hour sailing trip from Whitianga and see the iconic sights of Mercury Bay and Cathedral Cove. Lend a hand with the sailing or simply sit back and relax on comfy beanbags and admire the picturesque scenery. Meet your guide in Whitianga just before 9:30 AM and board the Fully Charged, a fully-equipped cruising catamaran. After a short introductory session to the boat's main facilities and safety systems, set sail out to the calm waters of the bay. As you sail, spot the area's most notable sights with the help of your guide before dropping anchor for 30 minutes at Cathedral Cove. Swim or snorkel in the marine reserve with the wonderful sea life, or simply chill out onboard and soak up the scenery. The tour concludes back at the starting point in Whitianga. The morning tour option includes freshly-brewed coffee, chilled organic juice, and a freshly-baked snack. The afternoo...

    This was such a lovely adventure. Friendly crew and we were so relaxed, hanging out on the bean bags and enjoying the magnificent scenery around us. The quick dip and snorkel was so cool, saw the most beautiful fish. And a hot cup of coffee with delicious home made banana bread to top it of...

  • Whangamata: Whenuakura Island Guided Experiece

    8. 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.

  • Cambridge: Waikato River 45-Minute Extreme Jet Boat Ride

    9. Cambridge: Waikato River 45-Minute Extreme Jet Boat Ride

    Take a hair-raising ride on the Waikato River, and reach speeds of up to 80 kilometers (50 miles) per hour. Enjoy fast and furious slides, make 360-degree spins, and stop at historic and sightseeing locations. Meet and greet your local, professional guide at the boat ramp meeting point. Complete a small amount of paperwork, and fit yourself up with a spray suit to keep you dry, as well as a life jacket to keep you safe. After receiving a safety briefing from your guide, hear the roar of your high horsepower V8 jet boat as it comes into life once fed with air, fuel, and fire. Head off on the first leg of your tour, and feel your adrenaline pumping. Enter into a 360-degree spin before coming to a stop at historic locations. Listen to your guide's commentary about the places you visit and learn about the fish, birds, and wildlife in the area. Sites you will see include the Cambridge Gorg...

    One of the best jet boat experiences I’ve done. Aaron is an extremely talented guy navigating the boat through narrow stretches and 360 turns. He is very knowledgeable on the local area as well and provided a good commentary. Would thoroughly recommend and will return in our next trip to NZ.

  • Lake Taupo: 1.5-Hour Maori Rock Carvings 5:00 PM Cruise

    10. Lake Taupo: 1.5-Hour Maori Rock Carvings 5:00 PM Cruise

    Enjoy a summer evening cruising on Lake Taupo. Chris Jolly has been entertaining guests for 40 years, and his tour to the Maori Rock Carvings is known worldwide. Recently restored, these rock carvings were created in the 1980s and still tower above the water, truly a sight to behold.  With family friendly activities on board and split level comfort, this tour is a must for those visiting the region. Enjoy the full bar as you cruise around the Lake Taupo bays, learning onboard from the live commentary. With views of Tongariro National Park and spectacular scenery, this is one evening to be enjoyed by all.

    Had a really great trip out to see the Maori carvings. Beautifully smooth cruise on a sunny late afternoon. There was a choice of lower and upper decks with us preferring the lower deck, sitting inside but able to venture outside to take photos. We used this fully to take photos of the beautiful surroundings and the carvings. Drinks were available making for a pleasant trip. Wonderful value.

Other Sightseeing Options in Waikato

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What people are saying about Waikato

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 24 reviews

Genuine kiwi welcome guidance and hospitality on arrival. Correct local history on both tribal boundaries both Maori and pakeha influences. Great geothermal information in regards to changes within the landscape. Excellent pronunciation of Maori words in regards to forecasting history. Staff well equipped for delivering a top of the range experience. Felt safe on board and understood evacuation and health and safety procedures delivered by skipper over loud speaker. Awsome work team

It was really amazing experience. We enjoyed a lot and cruise crews explained all the beautiful places and there history clearly. They are very helpful all the time. Thank you for giving opportunity to express my feelings.

Had a great trip. Calm, loved the fishing experience. Fun for kids. Nice food and drink provided. Great, funny tour guide

Fantastic fun. Kids and the parents loved the 360 turns, expert driving and getting up close with the falls.

The driver on the boat informed all the travellers on the boat about the area and wild life etc