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Tauranga's Wildlife Cruise Experience

Watch dolphins, whales & marine wildlife up close in our big blue backyard!

Join us for the best thing to do in Tauranga.

Bay Explorer offers you the premium wildlife and adventure ‘Seafari’ experience in the Bay of Plenty. We’ve heard many times that it’s the BEST DAY EVER.

Your full day Island & Wildlife Cruise begins as you’re welcomed aboard the Bay Explorer at Tauranga waterfront jetty. You will spend the cruise exploring the pristine Bay of Plenty coastline and islands where we will showcase the amazing diversity of marine wildlife, including dolphins swimming along side our vessel! You’ll also watch seasonal seabirds, penguins, seals, whales, sunfish, school fish, sharks, orca… even turtles!

Our Island & Wildlife Cruise is tailored to those wanting a genuine kiwi experience in nature. It’s a story about our human intrigue with amazing marine animals and their habitat. Participate by searching on the large top deck for that once in a lifetime wildlife encounter. We have limited our passenger numbers for comfort and to enable a more personal experience. Our large spacious boat is also ideal for families.

The captain and experienced crew are passionate to share their marine knowledge with you, and will provide fascinating commentary and point out all that they see so you won’t miss a thing. A shared lifetime experience. Don’t forget your camera as we are able to get up close to wildlife, making it a photographer’s dream.

You will return to Tauranga by 2-4pm.

Includes:

  • A full day cruise on our spacious 18 metre vessel with 360° outdoor views.
  • Comfortable fully enclosed seating downstairs and a large open sun-deck for wildlife watching.

  • Some of the best marine diversity in New Zealand.

  • Close-up encounters with seasonal marine wildlife – penguins, seals, dolphins, whales, sunfish, school fish, seabirds, sharks, turtles and orca.

  • Enjoy a midday island stopover at a sheltered cove. Water activities are available, including kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, snorkeling and swimming. 
  • Water-sport lifejackets and basic training are also available for all ages.
  • Cold beer and chilled regional wines from our licenced bar and non-alcoholic beverages (Eftpos available).

  • Food options or bring your own lunch and snacks

  • Onboard commentary and references with facts on the Bay and local marine wildlife.

  • Our friendly, professional Bay Explorer Crew

  • Photos of a lifetime!

BOOK HERE

If your preferred date appears to be booked, it may be because we are running the half day cruise that day.
Lunch boxes & beverages are available at checkout.

Includes:

  • A full day cruise on our spacious 18 metre vessel with 360° outdoor views.
  • Comfortable fully enclosed seating downstairs and a large open sun-deck for wildlife watching.

  • Some of the best marine diversity in New Zealand.

  • Close-up encounters with seasonal marine wildlife – penguins, seals, dolphins, whales, sunfish, school fish, seabirds, sharks, turtles and orca.

  • Enjoy a midday island stopover at a sheltered cove. Water activities are available, including kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, snorkeling and swimming. 
  • Water-sport lifejackets and basic training are also available for all ages.
  • Cold beer and chilled regional wines from our licenced bar and non-alcoholic beverages (Eftpos available).

  • Food options or bring your own lunch and snacks

  • Onboard commentary and references with facts on the Bay and local marine wildlife.

  • Our friendly, professional Bay Explorer Crew

  • Photos of a lifetime!

“Its all about connecting people with the ocean environment, the wildlife, and providing fun activities. We have proved we run a professional crew, an awesome experience, new adventures and
memorable moments aboard our awesome vessel BAY EXPLORER.” Brandon Stone

Owner, Bay Explorer

“Its all about connecting people with the ocean environment, the wildlife, and providing fun activities. We have proved we run a professional crew, an awesome experience, new adventures and
memorable moments aboard our awesome vessel BAY EXPLORER.” Brandon Stone

Owner, Bay Explorer

Rotorua Pick-Up

Begin your BEST DAY EVER adventure in Rotorua. Our transport coordinator will collect you from your Rotorua accommodation and bring you on the scenic journey across to New Zealand’s east coast capital Tauranga.

Pick-ups in Rotorua generally occur at between 6.00am and 7.00am and return is around 4:00pm – 6:00pm.

The vehicles used range from late model sedans through to mini-coaches depending on the number of passengers for the day. The 60 minute drive will take you past a number of lakes, through forests and farmland to the Port of Tauranga.

On arrival you will join the crew aboard the vessel ‘BAY EXPLORER’ for the BEST DAY EVER.

A minimum of two passengers is required for the shuttle service to operate. If you are booking for one person the shuttle we will confirm the night prior to the tour whether any other passengers have booked and if the tour will operate. You are welcome to call us on 021605968 if you would like to check if the minimum number for a specific date has been reached.

Important

Please note that on some occasions our skipper needs to review sea and weather conditions on the morning of the tour before making a final decision, in this situation it is necessary for us to cancel the shuttle service the night before as it does not allow enough time for the shuttle to travel from Tauranga to Rotorua and back. You may still be able to join the boat tour only in this situation so we suggest you either self-drive or stay the night prior in the Tauranga area.

Please see our FAQs page for more information.

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
Tauranga
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!