The Hauraki Gulf is the ultimate island playground for fun-seekers, holiday-makers, hikers, bird-lovers and fishermen. With regular ferries and airlines visiting Rangitoto, Waiheke, Tiritiri Matangi, Motutapu, Motuihi, Rotoroa and Great Barrier is... Show More
Tourist Information About Hauraki Gulf
The Hauraki Gulf is the ultimate island playground for fun-seekers, holiday-makers, hikers, bird-lovers and fishermen. With regular ferries and airlines visiting Rangitoto, Waiheke, Tiritiri Matangi, Motutapu, Motuihi, Rotoroa and Great Barrier islands - as well as the Coromandel Peninsula itself - the Gulf offers all the holiday attractions you could want. Fishing trips, water sports, motor-trike rides, vineyards, boat cruises and a huge choice of hiking and other outdoor activities. Not to mention the sheer beauty of hundreds of unspoilt beaches, glorious panoramic sea views and pristine native bush which is home to some of New Zealand's most exciting birdlife. Whatever your outdoor pursuit or interest, there's plenty to see and do in the fabulous Hauraki Gulf.
Best Attractions and free things to do in Hauraki Gulf
1. Ted Ashby Sailing
Set sail in Auckland's Harbor on our vintage scow, TED ASHBY, for an hour-long tour. From the sea, you can see the city skyline, the Sky Tower, and the Auckland Harbor Bridge.
2. America's Cup Sailing Experience
A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to serve as crew on an America's Cup yacht. Normally the property of millionaires and elite professional sailors, we now offer everybody, regardless of expertise, the opportunity to sail these grand-prix racing machines.
With the help of our trained crew, you will learn how to sail this original race sailboat as part of a team. As you sail the beautiful Waitemata Harbor, take the helm, exert energy on the grinders, or sit back, relax, and enjoy the action.
3. Auckland Harbor Dinner Cruise
With a dinner on the water, you can fully immerse yourself in Auckland's harbor setting. As you leave the pier for the open water, enjoy canapes and a welcome drink. As you sail past iconic landmarks, your friendly knowledgeable crew will take you through Auckland's unique history. There are lots of opportunities to go sailing, take the ideal photograph, or simply sit back and take in the surroundings.
Dinner is served either above deck while you enjoy the sea breeze or below deck in the well-appointed stateroom. During the leisurely sail back to the vibrant Viaduct Basin, enjoy dessert from the cockpit as the city lights up.
4. Yacht Hire
Explore the Hauraki Gulf from our base in Bayswater, Auckland. Our knowledgeable crew will gladly inform you on the best sites to visit in our beautiful Gulf and assist you in planning a fantastic sailing excursion!
Visit TiriTiri Matangi, Waiheke's wineries and coastlines, Coromandel's gorgeous islands, Great Barrier's majesty, or the history and beauty of Kawau Island, or simply relax on a vast stretch across the Gulf and take in the animals and scenery.
5. Whale & Dolphin Wildlife Cruise
Departing central Auckland on this comfortable cruise vessel, spot diverse marine wildlife in their natural habitat - The Hauraki Gulf - including whales, dolphins, seals, penguins, birdlife and more.
Operating in partnership with Ngāi Tai Te Haerenga, hear the fascinating origins and histories of the land, sea and Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki – original inhabitants of Tāmaki Makaurau as you make your way through this stunning landscape
6. Auckland Harbor Sailing Cruise
Enjoy the unique Auckland landscape from the water on this relaxed harbor sailing experience. Take in Auckland’s city highlights; sail under the Harbor Bridge, see volcanic peaks and the iconic city skyline from the best view in town. Sit back and relax or get involved and help our friendly, knowledgeable crew sail our purpose built 50 foot yachts.
Enjoy the afternoon on the water with your choice of fresh coffee, tea or a hot chocolate plus a delicious sweet treat.
7. Bird Watching
There are many other pest-free bird sanctuaries in the Hauraki Gulf, but did you know that Waiheke Island has its own collection of unique native New Zealand bird species! On the island, you can witness kaka birds, gray warblers, kereru, tui, kingfisher, New Zealand dotterel, fantail, and even blue penguins. For the best possibilities of observing birds, we recommend going for a stroll away from the towns.
8. Visit Waiheke island and admire the Art
On Waiheke Island, you can fully immerse yourself in the arts! Alison Park has art galleries and stunning sculptures you can easily spend hours admiring. The Waiheke Community Art Gallery, Toi Gallery, Kauri Art Studio, and the Red Shed Art Gallery are among the other art galleries worth seeing.
9. Beach Horse Riding
The tour begins with a pick-up from Auckland Central in one of our elegant Mercedes Vans, followed by a drive north of Auckland through the gorgeous Rodney Region roads.
Before you begin the ride, you will have some time to meet your tour guide and your horse when we arrive at our Horse Riding.
The guide will show you how to ride the horse and provide you safety instructions. Then take a one-hour horseback ride down one of New Zealand's most stunning beaches, watching the blue water embrace the white sand while soaking up the sun.
10. Rangitoto Island
Rangitoto, with its characteristic symmetrical cone and excellent placement right off the shore, is Auckland's most iconic island. The island, which is only a short picturesque ferry journey across the harbor from downtown Auckland, is a popular hiking and day-trip destination.
Emerging from the sea just 600 years ago, pest-free Rangitoto Island is the youngest volcano in New Zealand.