The Bay Explorer, Tauranga's favourite boat

About our Vessel

Bay Explorer is the largest charter boat in Tauranga at an impressive 18.3m (65ft).

Operating within the Te Awanui (the Tauranga Harbour), Bay Explorer has a capacity of 140 passengers, but we prefer to keep the numbers much smaller for the BEST DAY EVER Cruise so that everyone is comfortable, with ample space to view the wildlife and interact with the crew.

Because of its size, the Bay Explorer is stable and seaworthy, and big enough for you to spread out and enjoy your time at sea.


The vessel started its life as a passenger boat in the Abel Tasman National Park as a passenger boat named Abel Tasman Explorer (we purchased it in 2015 and completed a refit of the interior and the engine in the same year).  The Bay Explorer crew then took the boat from Motueka through French pass, Cook Strait and up the East Coast of the North Island, to its new home in Tauranga.  it now operates as part of the successful business alongside its sister vessel, the KEWPIE (

Our BEST DAY EVER Cruise has been described as awesome, rewarding and memorable – come and join us and enjoy the BEST DAY EVER with us!

Key Information for the BEST DAY EVER Cruise:

  • Enjoy 360 degree views of never-ending ocean, islands and wildlife from the safety and comfort of our viewing platform on the upper deck.
  • You can expect to see seasonal wildlife including, seals, sunfish, birds, fish and even the occasional shark and orca.
  • Dolphins frequently swim along with us and even ride the bow waves, a fantastic chance to see them up close.
  • If you’re feeling adventurous, grab one of the kayaks or stand up paddle boards we have available on the deck. We’ll lower these into the water for you using our davit crane at a beautiful, quiet and restful bay.
  • If you prefer to spectate, you’re welcome to stay on board and enjoy a cold beer, wine or soft drink from our licenced bar. We’re the only boat in Tauranga with a licensed bar on board, which is reason to celebrate in itself.
  • The Bay Explorer comes complete with a huge BBQ – the biggest on any boat, or so we’re told. Lunchtime is the most sociable part of the trip, with the regular exchange of good-humored stories, and delicious, fresh food cooked on board. Who doesn’t love a BBQ at sea?

Over and above this, our crew are qualified professionals who take your safety and enjoyment very seriously. We look forward to extending their knowledge and skills to you and your friends and family. If you’re looking for fun and unique activities in Tauranga, come and join us for the BEST DAY EVER.

Head Turner

Our massive deck offers amazing 360 degree views!

Hot Stuff

We have the biggest BBQ of any boat in the Bay!

Bottoms Up

Grab a wine chilled beer from our licensed bar.


A range of non-alcoholic drinks and snacks are available.

Book Your Adventure

Come join us on the water to experience the BEST DAY EVER in the Bay of Plenty!  Use our easy online booking system to secure your spot now!

The Bay Explorer

Bay Explorer are local boat tour specialists who are passionate about all our region has to offer. We are proudly Kiwi owned and operated, with plenty of experience running day trips from Tauranga.

Departure Point

Corner of Wharf Street & The Strand
New Zealand 3110

Ph: 021 605 968
Intnl: +64 21 605 968

footer-doc-100pxEndorsed by Department of Conservation New Zealand to interact with marine wildlife.

footer-qualmark-100pxAccredited by QUALMARK Tourism New Zealand’s proud mark of excellence.

footer-trip-100pxCheck out the Bay Explorer reviews on Trip Advisor New Zealand!