Hole in the Rock Dolphin Cruise

Join us on board Dolphin Seeker for the best half day in the Bay. Family passes now available!

Hole in the Rock Dolphin Cruise

Adult ($ nz)


Child ($ nz)



4 hours

Tour description

This is the most popular dolphin watching cruise in the Bay of Islands, and for good reason! Board your cruise in Paihia or Russell and take in the stunning views as we glide out through the islands and along the Rakaumangamanga Peninsula to Cape Brett, where a historic lighthouse keeps watch over Piercy Island/Motukōkako, or as it is popularly known the ‘Hole in the Rock’.

This four-hour cruise includes an island stopover, dolphin viewing and the Hole in the Rock. Morning cruises depart daily and afternoon cruises are available on Saturdays and Sundays.


Dolphin and whale viewing
Cruise around the Bay of Islands
See the Hole in the Rock
Island stopover at Otehei Bay
Free island extension on morning cruise
Free Russell/Paihia ferry ticket
Informative commentary
Friendly, local crew

According to Māori legend, local warriors used to paddle through the Hole in the Rock in their canoes before departing for battle. Drops of water from the cave roof above were a good omen. If conditions permit, your skipper will expertly guide the ship through the narrow space... and if you get dripped on, consider yourself lucky!

Keep an eye out for dolphins, whales and other marine life during your cruise, and have your camera ready as we get you up close to the action. Our purpose-built catamaran is licensed by DOC (the Department of Conservation) for dolphin viewing and our crew have years of experience locating dolphins in these waters. Please note that during our morning cruise we are permitted to interact with common dolphins only.

Cruises include an island stopover at Otehei Bay on Urupukapuka Island. Stroll along the white sand beach, or walk to the top of the hill for scenic views over the entire Bay of Islands. On our morning cruise you can choose our free island extension – stay longer, explore the island’s walking trails and beautiful beaches, and return with us in the afternoon. 

Dolphin Seeker has indoor and outdoor seating available, and the largest outdoor viewing decks in the Bay of Islands. Hot and cold refreshments are available for purchase on board, or you are welcome to bring your own.

Useful Info


    Paihia Wharf or Russell Wharf

  • BRING:

    Hat, sunscreen, sunglasses and your camera.

  • HEAR:

    A full commentary is provided by your skipper. A limited number of multi-lingual headsets are available in German, French and Mandarin Chinese. Translators must be pre-booked. Printed multilingual maps available in Chinese, Japanese and German

  • EAT:

    You can buy hot and cold refreshments on board, or bring your own.


    Interacting with common and bottlenose dolphins, orca, whales and other marine mammals is subject to DOC regulations.

  • Pricing:

    Adult $120, Child $60
    2 Adult/1 Child Family Pass $245
    2 Adult/2 Child Family Pass $295


MORNING (daily) Departs Returns
Paihia 9:00 am 12:50 pm
Russell 9:10 am 1:00 pm
AFTERNOON (weekends) Departs Returns
Paihia 1:30 pm 5:30 pm
Russell 1:40 pm 5:20 pm

Easy Cancellation

Cancel or change your booking any time before 6pm on the day before departure  - no cancellation fees!

See full booking terms


"Awesome tour with a great commentary - kept us all entertained. We saw a pod of dolphins and the skipper was so gentle about making sure not to get too close or move too quickly during the encounter. Plenty of sights to take in and an awesome stopover at one of the islands in the bay. Would definitely recommend."

Amazing Tour

March 2021
Alec P, Tripadvisor

"It was a great trip. Plenty of variety with an excellent commentary from the captain. Seeing a group of dolphins out by the Hole in the Rock was a highlight!"


May 2021
Susan A, TripAdvisor

"We had a great day with perfect conditions. The captain was great. I loved his sense of humour thrown in amongst some informative history of the area. Really worthwhile!"

Perfect day in the Bay of Islands

March 2021
Danielle R, TripAdvisor

"Must do Bay of Islands experience! Loved the commentary too. We took our 2 year old and 2 month old in our stroller. It was perfect!"

Must do! Family friendly

February 2021
Brittney G, TripAdvisor

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