Island & wildlife Day Cruise

Respectful and Responsible Wildlife Cruises

Experience the Best of the Bay of Islands with Our Eco-Friendly Cruise

Welcome aboard our island and dolphin watching day tour in one of New Zealand’s most beautiful maritime and wildlife sanctuaries.

As you join us on this day trip, we will take you through the magnificent Bay of Islands, You will have the opportunity to witness the diverse marine and bird life that call this place home, all while being mindful of their habitat and well-being.

Our knowledgeable guides will provide you with insightful commentary, giving you a deeper understanding of the area’s history and conservation significance.

Watch for dolphins, penguins and seabirds in their natural habitat, stop at a beach on a island sanctuary, for an hour or so for exploring, snorkeling, walking and relaxing.

Your Day Sailing Itinerary

Step Aboard – 9am

We depart directly from Paihia Wharf and after a wildlife briefing, you will sail into the beautiful waters of the Bay of Islands.

Breathe in the fresh sea breeze, relax and enjoy the spectacular scenery of the historic maritime park of the Bay of Islands, under sail. The crew will chat to you about the history, conservation projects and diverse wildlife in the Bay of Islands.

Be on the lookout for our local little blue penguin (the world’s smallest penguin), our crazy diving gannets, other ocean birds and other marine mammals like common dolphins and whales.

Island sightseeing

We have about 144 islands to choose from and the captain has a few favorites.  Where we stop depends on the wind and sea conditions, don’t worry, all are wildlife sanctuaries and all have stunning views.

Every beach has short hiking tracks which lead to wonderful views, along the way you can listen to the sounds of the native bird song and maybe even get a glimpse of some endangered natives, like the New Zealand Saddleback.

Snorkel or swim at the beach in one of the world’s most beautiful coastal locations.  All Snorkeling equipment is supplied. Snorkeling is safe and easy, in coastline rock snorkeling. Fish you may see include, snapper, banded wrasse, parpore and maybe a sting ray.

After immersing yourself in this wonder-filled nature reserve, head back to the boat for an optional delicious BBQ lunch, cash bar for a cool drink. Then relax on the deck and soak up the sun.

Dolphin Watching

We are proud to be a certified responsible dolphin watching operator and adhere to DOC regulations to protect endangered dolphins and their environment. We take great care to ensure our interactions with the wild dolphins are based on their behavior to ensure they remain undisturbed in their natural habitat. It is important to remember that these dolphins are completely wild and we must respect their home.

The Bay of Islands is a unique location for endangered bottlenose dolphins, as it provides them with abundant food and security for resting and breeding and is part of their large home territory.

Unlike any other tour operator, we are the sole licensed yacht that is authorized to observe and study the dolphins in this area. We believe that this gives us a unique responsibility to ensure that our tours are conducted in a manner that is both respectful to the dolphins and informative to our guests.

Our crew has a wealth of knowledge about the local dolphins and we even have names for them. During the birthing season, from late spring to summer, you may get an incredible opportunity to observe baby dolphin calves as they learn to swim. You will be amazed by the wonders of nature as you watch these beautiful creatures in their natural habitats. Our highly knowledgeable crew is always ready to answer any questions you might have about these magnificent creatures and their natural habitats.

Please note that all our interactions with dolphins are regulated by the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Our skippers and crew are trained to recognize signs of avoidance or disinterest by dolphins to ensure their safety and wellbeing.


Guest are more than welcome to help us set the sails as we cruise and discover more of the picturesque Bay of Islands’ historical and geographical points of interest.

We will return to Paihia wharf with salty feet and sun-drenched smiles around 3.00pm

Cruising with us means contributing to marine conservation and research programs. A portion of each fare is donated to the Carino Marine Explorers Trust, which is a registered charity focused on marine education programs. Our goal is to provide opportunities for local children to become marine kaitiaki (guardians) of the beautiful Bay of Islands.


So if you’re looking for an unforgettable adventure that combines the very best of the Bay of Islands with a commitment to responsible tourism, look no further than our tour.

Childrens education programs


More Information