With over a million hectares of sparkling blue waters dotted with emerald islands, the Hauraki Gulf offers countless water activities and island adventures.

And with countless water activities and island adventures so close at hand, it’s no wonder Lonely Planet named Auckland harbour and the Hauraki Gulf the best experience in New Zealand.

Jet boating, kayaking, fishing, sailing and more – you’re spoilt for choice in Auckland. Relax on a harbour cruise, leap off the Auckland Harbour Bridge in New Zealand’s only ocean-touch bungy(opens in new window) or even help race an America’s Cup yacht.

Island hopping is a favourite pastime for Auckland ‘boaties’ and ‘yachties’ and many of the islands are also accessible by ferry.

Climb Rangitoto Island, Auckland’s youngest volcano, pack a picnic and head out to Motuihe or stroll through the historical mansion house at Kawau Island.

Waiheke – also known as the ‘island of wine’ for its numerous award-winning wineries – and Great Barrier are the largest islands in the gulf, while others range from wildlife sanctuaries to volcanoes.

Bird watchers will love exploring Tiritiri Matangi Island, an open-air wildlife sanctuary – join a guided walking tour to learn about the native flora and fauna. Take a day trip to Rotoroa Island to discover its rich social history, beautiful beaches, walking trails, heritage buildings and art and exhibition centre.

The Hauraki Gulf Marine Park is also New Zealand’s largest marine reserve, protecting our precious marine and birdlife. For an unforgettable experience, jump on a whale and dolphin safari(opens in new window) and head out to see these beautiful animals in their natural habitat.

For more Hauraki Gulf travel information visit aucklandnz.com(opens in new window).

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