Top 5 Ways to Discover Auckland's Hauraki Gulf Marine Park

With whale watching, dolphin encounters, sailing and kayaking there's plenty of reason to relish in Auckland's wild-side.


Auckland hosts the busiest port in New Zealand with both recreational boaties and commercial ships coming in and out of the Waitemata harbour each day. Jump on America’s Cup racing yacht or take a sail around the harbour on an old maritime boat and lap up the sights of the City of Sails.

Diving and Snorkelling

The Hauraki Gulf Marine Park hosts five marine reserves which makes for some great snorkelling and diving. Goat Island Marine Reserve was one of the first marine reserves established in the whole world and has a safe and sheltered environment for the young and old to enjoy.


Feeling a bit adventurous? Hire a kayak and take in some of the coastal waters of the Hauraki Gulf. If you’re feeling like a bit of action, kayak over with a guide to pest-free Rangitoto Island and climb up the volcano’s summit!

Pest-free and Historical Islands

Many of the islands in the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park are either pest-free or on their way to becoming pest-free. A day trip to Tiritiri Matangi will show you a shining example of how New Zealand’s native birdlife can flourish in the absence of pests.

Whale and Dolphin Watching

Head out past the islands to discover one of Auckland’s best kept secrets – whales and dolphins! Did you know that over 1/3 of all marine-mammal species have been seen in the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park? A half-day eco-safari will allow you to discover the marine park’s unique ecosystem and learn from the on-board Marine Biologists as to exactly why there are whales and dolphins seen year-round on Auckland’s back doorstep. Researchers from local universities are also regularly on-board conducting studies on the animals that you see! For more information visit Auckland Whale and Dolphin Safari.

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