Luxury cruising Auckland’s emerald islands

The Hauraki Gulf’s many emerald isles, located just offshore from Auckland, offer visitors a unique opportunity for bespoke cruising experiences.

Fringed with golden sand beaches and dotted with pohutukawa forests, Auckland’s islands sit in a large, sheltered harbour. Pods of dolphins and majestic whales call these waters home, drawn to the area for its wealth of all marine life. These islands are the jewels in Auckland’s crown; a pure and natural ocean landscape offering the perfect environment for luxury cruising.

Luxury cruising under southern skies

Imagine beginning your day with a refreshing ocean swim before enjoying a delicious breakfast on deck. The skies are blue and the sun is shining – the most difficult part of your day will be deciding what fun to have or which island to explore. Most of the islands in the gulf are laced with walking tracks and dotted with beaches and coves you’ll have all to yourself.

One of the most interesting places to go ashore is Waiheke Island, a haven of vineyards and olive groves. Known for its smooth pinot gris and fruity chardonnay, many of the vineyards have on-site restaurants that offer a beautiful culinary experience. Spending a day indulging in Waiheke’s culinary delights before heading back to the boat is a uniquely New Zealand experience.

The Guardian of the Gulf

Great Barrier Island shields Auckland’s inner islands and is home to a colourful history of whaling, gold and silver mining and alternative lifestyles. The melody of birdsong echoes through the island’s forests, and a myriad of walking tracks let visitors connect with the island’s beautifully wild spirit. The Kaitoke Hot Springs, located at the end of an easy one-hour walk, offers an indulgent soak in naturally-heated, pristine mineral water.

The fishing around Great Barrier Island is absolutely second-to-none – there’s nothing better than eating freshly caught fish for dinner. The ‘Barrier’, as the locals call it, offers days of unforgettable aquatic and land adventures and is a must-see on a luxury cruise of Auckland’s treasure islands.

A bird watching paradise

Representing one of New Zealand’s greatest success stories, Tiritiri Matangi offers a fascinating day ashore. A sanctuary for rare birds, Tiri offers highlights including encounters with Takahe, New Zealand’s rarest flightless bird, and kokako – brought back from the brink of extinction. The melodic calls of bellbirds and tuis ring through the forest canopy, and the network of walking tracks allows you to explore untouched natural environments. Work up an appetite before returning to the boat for a fresh, delicious dinner accompanied by the finest local wines.

Luxury cruising with Absolute New Zealand

Explore Auckland’s Treasure Islands with a luxury cruise. Offering first-class excursions led by expert guides, an onboard chef, kayaks, small boat exploration and more, you’ll enjoy one of only 10 spacious, luxury en-suite cabins aboard ‘Island Passage’. Contact Absolute New Zealand now or take a look at our website to find out more.

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