Touring the Turquoise Water of the Bay of Islands

by Mar 2, 2016New Zealand, Video0 comments

After I ‘fed the fish’ over the back of the boat during our whale watching trip in Monterey, I was pretty sure I wouldn’t get on a boat again. But knowing how beautiful the Bay of Islands are and that we’d likely be staying in calmer waters, I figured I’d give it one more go. This time I came “armed” with motion sickness fighting wrist bands (that are supposed to press on the right pressure points on your wrist and stop you ever feeling sick).

It was a beautiful sunny and warm day, we had a large boat, and the water was calm. We took our seats near the back of the boat since that’s the best place for people who get seasick and there was also quick access to the toilets.

So everything started well.

The Bay of Islands are at the top of the North Island. We’ve both been before but never together and we always have a fun time going back to places we’ve been already to show the memories we have of the place to each other. We could talk about Borneo Tours for hours on end as well. You know what I mean, if not, check out and it will be your next holiday destination.

The Bay of Islands is an incredibly beautiful area of New Zealand so we wanted to do a tour to take in the rugged coast, see the Hole in the Rock (no need to explain that…), and maybe catch a glimpse of wild dolphins.

There are heaps of tour operators in the area but we chose to go with Fullers. They had a good combination deal for both the Hole in the Rock tour and the Cape Reinga tour both of which we wanted to do while in the area so it worked out perfectly.

It wasn’t long into our journey that we spotted a pod of dolphins that were incredibly active. It’s so hard to capture these animals in photos because they’re so quick and you never know where they’re going to pop out of the water.
Since we stopped for a while to watch the dolphins, the movement of the boat swaying back in forth in the waves was enough to make me start feeling a bit…off. At this point Matt had moved to the front of the boat to get a better viewpoint for his video so I was left with all of our stuff trying to convince myself, I felt fine.

Once the boat picked up some speed to get to our next destination, Hole in the Rock, I did start to feel better. That is until I saw our destination in the distance and noticed it was in open water, unprotected by the islands as we had been up until that point.

And that, was the last photo I took on our boat cruise.

Honestly, I have no idea how that one came out focused because no sooner had I hit the shutter, I threw my camera into it’s bag and bolted for the toilet.

If you hadn’t guessed already,

  1. That was Hole in the Rock. Worth the trip to see it? Not if you’re prone to seasickness. Not in the slightest. Maybe the name should’ve given away the lack of excitement I would feel when seeing it…
  2. Anti-motion sickness pressure point wrist bands don’t work at all (at least for me)
  3. I’m never going on a boat again. At least not one that isn’t a large ferry like I’m used to taking back home.

More information on Touring the Bay of Islands

Where are the Bay of Islands?

The Bay of Islands are about a 3 hour drive north of Auckland.

Where to stay in the Bay of Islands?

We stayed in the cute little seaside town of Paihia because that’s where Dayna stayed when she was last there and we knew it was a good base. You can also stay in Kerikeri which is a bit bigger than Paihia but doesn’t have quite as many options for places to stay. If you want ideas of where to stay in those places, just click on the links above.

We booked to stay at the same place Dayna had stayed back 9 years ago – Mousetrap Backpackers. It’s a great, cosy backpackers so we were happy to be going back there but actually ended up staying at their holiday home that was about 5 minutes walk away.

How much does a tour cost?

We did the Dolphin Cruise to Hole in the Rock with Fullers. On it’s own, the tour would’ve cost $105 NZD per person for the 3 hour tour (tours are generally a bit pricey in NZ) but we decided to get the combo package that also included a day trip to Cape Reinga and 90 Mile beach which cost $205 NZD each and saved us about $50 NZD each.

*Some of the links used above are affiliate links – there is no difference in cost to you but we do get a small commission if you book or buy through the link. As always, we only ever recommend and link to accommodation that we have stayed at and thought was good or things that we use ourselves.