Bay of Islands Tour from Auckland + Cruise (2 Days)

Bay of Islands Tour from Auckland with Cruise

Searching for the best Bay of Islands tour from Auckland? Join the award-winning team at Cheeky Kiwi Travel on a fully-guided, small group tour from Auckland to Paihia – complete with a magical cruise of the Bay of Islands!

Led by our famously passionate guides, this tour combines the best of both coasts of subtropical Northland. You’ll be treated to the legendary Cheeky Kiwi experience with unforgettable stops along the journey, including the famous Hole in the Rock, Urupukapuka Island, Treaty of Waitangi Grounds, Kauri Museum and a visit to Waipoua Forest to see the largest known living kauri tree, Tāne Mahuta.

Urupukapuka Island, Bay of Islands Tour with Cruise
On the Hole in the Rock Cruise, Bay of Islands Tour
Paihia Beach, Bay of Islands
Treaty of Waitangi Grounds, Bay of Islands Tour
Tane Mahuta, Bay of Islands Tour
Kauri Museum, Matakohe

Key details

Tour overview

Highlights: Kauri Museum, Treaty of Waitangi Grounds, Tāne Mahuta (Waipoua Forest), Paihia, Hole in the Rock, Urupukapuka Island

Tour starts icon
Starts Auckland
Ends Auckland
Tour Duration Icon
2-day tour
Optional Tour Add-Ons
All Ages Tour


$769 adult / $669 child

  • Fully-guided tour led by an experienced guide
  • Bay of Islands cruise departing from Paihia
  • Hotel accommodation (twin share) in Paihia. Extra $125 to upgrade to single occupancy.
  • Kauri Museum entry tickets
  • Treaty of Waitangi Grounds complete guided tour and cultural performance
  • Small group size for a more interactive experience
  • Modern, comfortable minibus equipped with airconditioning and USB charging ports
  • Thoughtfully planned itinerary featuring stops at listed destinations
  • Free snacks and bottled water
THree dolphins swimming in blue water at Kaikoura

Tour itinerary

Day 1: Auckland to Paihia

Depart Auckland

Your tour starts in Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city. As we drive over the iconic Harbour Bridge, your guide will set the scene for your Cheeky Kiwi adventure and introduce you to some of the city’s top attractions.

Kauri Museum, Matakohe

Exiting Auckland, we travel west and follow the road through the kumara capital of New Zealand, Dargaville. Our first stop sees us visiting the Kauri Museum, to understand the remarkable story of New Zealand’s largest and most famous native tree. Celebrating everything to do with kauri and the people of the north, we discover how kauri have supported lives and livelihoods for centuries. Despite their immense size and strength however, these giants are also fragile, so you may even take the opportunity to help in the survival of this mighty taonga (treasure).

Tāne Mahuta, Waipoua Forest

Continuing north the beautiful scenery does not stop and our guide will entertain you with interesting information and stories of the area before we enter the majestic Waipoua Forest. As the drive swoops and turns, embraced by New Zealand’s famous ancient forest, we are finally rewarded by the presence of Tāne Mahuta, the Lord of the Forest, and the largest known living kauri tree.

Lunch at Opononi Beach

Enjoy a lunch break in the beachside settlement of Opononi with views over the Hokianga Harbour.

Opononi was made famous in the mid 1950s by the tame dolphin Opo, who delighted visitors with its friendly antics.



Treaty of Waitangi Grounds, Waitangi

After enjoying free time for lunch on the beautiful Hokianga Harbour, we journey further north towards the ‘birthplace of our nation’, Waitangi, where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840.

Here we will be treated to a complete guided tour and cultural performance at Aotearoa New Zealand’s most important historic site.

Explore New Zealand’s Māori heritage through interactive museums, traditional performances and historic buildings, including the Treaty House and the beautifully carved Whare Rūnanga.

Arrive in Paihia and check in to your hotel

Arrive in the beachside town of Paihia and check into your hotel, before taking a relaxing walk along the beach and ending the day with dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 2: Cruise & Return to Auckland

Breakfast at the hotel or local café

Enjoy breakfast at your hotel or a local café in Paihia.

Bay of Islands Cruise

After breakfast, we embark on a magical cruise to explore the area’s extensive islands. During the cruise, the guides will share the rich history and natural beauty of the Bay of Islands while we search for the marine life that makes these cruises so famous. With a bit of luck, we might spot some playful doplphins and whales for you to enjoy!

The cruise runs for 4.5 hours, taking your on a scenic journey through the Bay of Islands and along the Cape Brett Peninsula.

Hole in the Rock, Cape Brett

The cruise continues with a visit to the iconic Hole in the Rock at Cape Brett (weather permitting). This massive ocean archway has been thrilling guests for decades.

Otehei Bay on Urupukapuka Island
No Bay of Islands cruise is complete without spending some time at the beach on one of the islands. We’ll be stopping at Otehei Bay on Urupukapuka Island, where you can swim, stroll along the white sand beach, hike to the top of the hill for scenic views over the entire Bay of Islands, or simply relax at the island’s fully licensed bar and café.
Depart Paihia for Auckland

Sadly after this day in paradise we must start to head south again but your day is not over with a fully guided return trip to Auckland with secret stops along the way.

Arrive back in Auckland

As we arrive back into Auckland, our guide will drop you off to your hotel, marking the end of your Bay of Islands tour with us.

If you’re exploring more of New Zealand, we’d love to welcome you back on another Cheeky Kiwi tour. Check our full range of North Island and South Island small group tours.

Why book with Cheeky Kiwi Travel?

TripAdisor Traveler's Choice

Top rated tours

3,000+ five star reviews on TripAdvisor

Tour Group

Small group size

Enjoy a more interactive and personalised tour experience

Famously Passionate Guides

Famously passionate tour guides

Our authentic and knowledgeable guides go the extra mile to make you smile

Comfortable mini buses

Complete with air conditioning, USB charging ports and good vibes!

Extra Surprises on Tour

Extra surprises

Surprise stops, wildlife viewings and other little delights along the journey truly set our tours apart

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Customisable NZ tour packages

Explore our full-range of tours and add-ons to customise your New Zealand adventure

About Our Guides

About our guides

At Cheeky Kiwi Travel, our famously passionate guides are the heart of your adventure. Each guide is an engaging host who brings rich knowledge, enthusiasm and a personal touch to every tour. All Cheeky Kiwi guides have clean, passenger-endorsed driver licenses, are trained in first aid and receive comprehensive training before they hit the road with you. Whether it’s revealing hidden gems, sharing fascinating stories, or ensuring your comfort and safety, our guides go the extra mile to make your journey truly unforgettable.

Guest reviews

Smaller and more intimate

“This was one of the highlights of my trip to New Zealand. I’m glad I specifically went with this tour as it is smaller and more intimate. Driver Ben was hilarious, informative and enthusiastic throughout the entire day.”

Ryan F

Knowledgeable and very passionate

“Such a great tour guide, extremely knowledgeable and very passionate about his country, people and culture. Absolute champion.”

Fiona S

Fantastic day trip

“We had a fantastic day trip with Cheeky Kiwi. From pick up to drop off we never felt rushed. We enjoyed sitting back and relaxing while our trusted driver took us on our very long journey.

Leanne C

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