Target Shooting (Classic and B&B overnight options)
Take one ducking and diving target attached to the back of a moving vessel and what have you got? A tricky shot for even the best marksmen. 'Lee' the plastic duck jives in our wake as we head to the islands providing the perfect challenge for target shooting. Everyone’s in with a chance and if you make the mark, you could win a little prize. Never shot before? Not a problem, we can talk you through the basics. You might get a nice surprise!
Fishing (available on all our cruises)
Fishing is a traditional way of life for many New Zealanders. There is nothing more satisfying than catching your own supper, cooked kiwi style on the barbecue.
From the moment we start cruising, there are lines out ready for a hungry fish. Troll for New Zealand sea trout, or Kahawai, guests help by keeping their eyes out for birds “working”, which is a sign of fish feeding.
Once we drop anchor for the evening we drop baited lines to attract snapper an if you’ve never fished before, don’t worry, our crew will help! We only ever keep what we need to make a tasty addition to dinner, and all the small ones go straight back in the ocean after a kiss goodbye.
Kayaking (available on all our cruises)
Kayaking is an amazing way to immerse yourself in the stunning scenery of the Bay of Islands. In the evenings after dinner, guests can kayak under a starry sky: we’ll often hear kiwi calling, see the Milky Way, and experience phosphorescence - paddling through this sun-charged algae is like an underwater fireworks display, or “fairy dust”. Our crew never tire guiding you through this magical experience.
Daytime kayaking lets you explore the coast line in your own time. In the silent stillness you will often see rare native birds and pass over eagle rays in the sandy shallows. If you are a beginner you won’t miss out – the crew is happy to help you master that paddle; they have taught many first timers in the clear waters that surround these islands.
Snorkelling (available on the Classic Overnight Cruise & Day cruise)
Aboard The Rock NZ we’ll show you one of our favourite reefs. Resident fish are used to our visits and will feed on mussels straight from your hand – an exhilarating experience. We provide mask, snorkel and fins and guide you into the clear water. Crew members will snorkel with you and point out the abundant sea life hiding amongst the rocks or swimming beneath you. Octopus, crayfish, starfish, moray eels, snapper, rays and many more species of marine life can be seen in the water surrounding the Bay of Islands.
Gathering “kai moana” or seafood on New Zealand’s shores and reefs is a way of life for many kiwis. As you drive our coastal roads you will see many local families along the sand or rocks gathering their seafood. When sea conditions allow, our crew and you can search the reefs and collect green-lipped mussels from the rocks and also sea urchin (or kina). This seafood becomes afternoon tea and you can try Kina which is a delicacy both here and in Japan, where it sells for up to $500 a kilo.
Exploring the Bay of Islands (available on the Classic and Day cruises)
The 144 islands that make up the Bay of Islands are steeped in history, making the Far North a culturally rich place to visit. Captain Cook first came to shore in the Bay of Islands after his ship struck a rock not far from our sheltered waters. Before the Europeans arrived the islands made easily defendable sites for Maori, known as pa sites. During the second day of The Rock Overnight Cruise we will explore one of the larger islands. Each island has its own set of stories and landmarks created by both cultures.
Photographers love our walks which take us to stunning scenic lookouts: a great chance to orientate yourself within the coastal landscape and an opportunity for capturing memories on camera. From these lookouts we can point out the famous “Hole in the Rock” and identify the larger islands and watch the sailing ships enjoy this idyllic cruising playground.
We took a group of 25 international students from a high school on the overnight cruise. This is the second time we have done the overnight cruise, as the first group we took also thoroughly enjoyed it. When you leave Paihia you travel out to one of the Islands to anchor overnight. You get to shoot paint balls at a fake duck they tow behind the boat, go fishing, go night kayaking and swimming. The night kayaking was the students favourite part as we got to see the Bioluminescent Algae which was amazing and a once in a lifetime experience!Nicole
I went on The Rock with friends from school and we had a great 24 hours! There were tons of fun things to do on the boat from playing pool, fishing, and even night kayaking! The captain and crew were very knowledgeable about the Bay of Islands and very friendly! It felt like I was hanging out with friends instead of the crew. I would 100% recommend this to anyone who wants to see the Bay of Islands. Visited May 2016TSanders904
The Rock was one of the first things I had the pleasure of experiencing when I moved to Paihia in January and I have been raving about it ever since!Charlotte
Would do it again without a doubt! I did this on Wednesday and had the best time!Beeb93