5 marvellous marine adventures in Auckland

Ideally positioned between the Manukau and Waitemata harbours, Auckland is a water-lover’s paradise. From leisurely harbour cruises to action-packed sailing voyages, experiencing the beauty of Auckland by sea is easy with many activities accessible within easy reach of the city.

Here are five of the best marine adventures Auckland has to offer.

Sail an America’s Cup Yacht

Lovers of sailing can jump on a real America’s Cup yacht and head out for an adventure across Waitemata Harbour. Departing from the Viaduct, adventurers can take turns crewing the boat or simply sit back and enjoy the views and the thrill of sailing in a genuine racing yacht.

Catch a ferry to Waiheke Island

Located off the coast of Auckland, Waiheke Island is a hugely popular tourist destination where visitors can experience all that is marvellous about the region. Take in views of the spectacular coastline and beautiful neighbouring islands on the 40-minute ferry ride to the island. On arrival, continue your marine adventure with one of the many water-centric activities on offer; swimming, kayaking, kite surfing, paddle-boarding and sailing around the island and nearby Gulf Islands are some popular choices.

Kayak to Rangitoto Island

Visitors can jump on a sea kayak and head out to iconic Rangitoto Island, the largest volcano in Auckland’s volcanic field. Located in the picturesque Hauraki Gulf, explorers can paddle across Waitemata Harbour, then leave their kayaks at Rangitoto wharf and hike up to the volcano summit for picturesque views of Auckland city and the Waitakere and Hunua Ranges. Hot tip: aim to be atop Rangitoto as the sun sets to capture some true postcard-perfect moments.

Take a dinner cruise on Waitemata Harbour

The twinkling lights of Auckland city provide the perfect backdrop for a dinner cruise aboard a sailing yacht on Waitemata Harbour. Enjoy scrumptious fresh local produce and a spectacular sunset as crew point out Auckland’s land marks, before taking a turn at the helm and helping crew winch up the sails.

Experience a whale and dolphin safari

Auckland Whale and Dolphin Safari offers visitors a unique opportunity to venture through the stunning beauty of the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park, where almost a third of the world’s population of marine mammals have been identified. Departing from Auckland’s Viaduct Harbour, this 4.5 hour cruise features encounters with a variety of New Zealand’s marine life, including the dolphins, orcas, seals and seabirds which call the Hauraki Gulf home.

Words by Rebecca Walker. Image by Maryann Turner - Published 28 January 2019
Quick Facts 
Population 1.415 million
Area 1,086 km2
Time Zone GMT +12
Languages English (official)
Currency New Zealand dollar (NZD)
Electricity 220 – 240v 50Hz
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