The Rock's Blog

Guest Reviews - Timo & Theresa

Posted by Sarah on November 21, 2016

Timo and Theresa had a wonderful time on the cruise. Read their review or click on the video!

Hello there, we are Timo and Theresa.We are from Germany. We are on holiday in New Zealand and joined The Rock Adventure Cruise.

It was really, really amazing, especially the glowing algaes at night. It was really fantastic and we enjoyed the trip.

We felt very welcomed and the crew was very nice. 

We recommend you to do this trip!


Jonny's first fish

Posted by Jonny on October 05, 2016

My first fish

I still remember the adrenalin rush of 'catching my first fish', crouching on the rocks peering over the gently slapping waves, with my dad sitting next to me cracking open limpets and helping me put pieces on the small hook. It was a simple three piece made out of cane that I had just proudly paraded the entire length of the beach with my head held high that morning as if I was already as accomplished as I imagined I would be by the end of that day!

We were on holiday from the UK, with my sister (Rachel), mum (Frances) and dad (Francis), visiting a beach a short drive from Hennebont in Brittany on the French coast. Now, before my dad reads this, I suppose at this point I should clarify the words 'catch', as it was actually 'hooking' my first fish, that adrenalin I spoke of earlier filled me with such excitement and fear I apparently promptly dropped the rod....due to the immense power pulling on the line.....well that's how I remember it! Dad swiftly climbed down the rocks, carefully lowered himself in the waves and retrieved my rod, line and FISH!


It is experiences like these that I love to share with guests aboard The Rock, I've       seen so many smiling faces, the excitement, the shouts of joy, hoops and hollers as children and adults alike get to experience what many Kiwi's are lucky enough to consider a common childhood experience. Moments like these stay with you forever and while sitting around the woodburner, each retelling adds opportunity to add extra depth.

Stay fit,




Captain's Blog September

Posted by Jonny on September 23, 2016

Hey team - this is my second blog so here goes.
It has been a quiet winter but we are gearing up for what I think will be a very busy summer. The Rock has been up on the slip for her yearly maintenance check and she has a new coat of antifoul and a brand new drive shaft.


She loves it and is back out in the Bay! ( just like putting on makeup before going out). We have a few of my old crew coming back for the summer and some brand new ones, so as a team we are really looking forward to another great year in one of the worlds most beautiful spots. I am really looking forward to meeting new friends and sharing our part of this magnificent country with as many people from as many different countries and cultures as I can. The weather is starting to warm up and so is the water. The fish are getting ready to spawn so are getting hungry. One of the advantages we have over other tourist operations in the bay is that I have no particular route that I have to take during the cruise, so I end up going wherever I feel my guests can have the best experience. Being an ex commercial fisherman and also loving fishing, I am always trying to find a good spot so that we can catch some fish. Kai Moana {seafood} is important to the cruise so if its available somewhere than we will be trying to catch, collect it so that we can share some with our guests.


That's it for now so Kia kaha {stay strong}. See you soon, Rowan 

Rowan - Captain of The Rock

Posted by Jonny on July 12, 2016


I have been on or around the sea for my whole life and have seen many things that others will never see. A pivotal point in my life and the way I view the ocean and its many creatures happened in the mid 90's. I was Captain on a Longliner, fishing out of Houhora at the top of the north island of New Zealand. I was perhaps 16 miles offshore and hauling my line in, when we were visited by a pod of Pilot whales. There were between 15-30 in the pod and they swam right beside us just minding their own business. One of them then turned around and swam back beside the boat. It was approximately 20 metres from me. The whale than stopped swimming and sat upright in the water with about a metre of its body {head} straight out of the water. It was watching me haul my line! This was before phones that can take pictures. The whale was seriously studying me and I had the distinct impression it was trying to work out how I was catching the fish that were on my line. I stopped hauling, went into the wheelhouse and grabbed my trusty Kodak K4 camera and took a photo of it.

This creature definitely had a brain and in some way was thinking or working out what I was doing! The whale sat there watching for at least 3 or 4 minutes and then slowly sank back into the water and swam away. That was the moment I became a closet Greeny, and I still am today. We on The Rock come across Dolphins frequently and even occasionally whales. I will not change my course to follow them and rely on the fact that they know we mean them no harm. We must look after these stunning creatures, I think in time we will learn that they are far more intelligent than we think.

I'm hoping to make this a regular {monthly} blog so if you enjoy let us know. Later
Rowan {Captain of The Rock}


Five First-time Experiences You'll have on The Rock

Posted by Website Admin on March 09, 2016

For many people, travelling the world is all about new experiences and trying things you never thought you could do, from tasting unusual foods to bungy jumping off a bridge. A cruise on The Rock won’t disappoint – as you will find out, there is plenty to see, do and taste… leaving you with amazing memories and possibly the best 22 hours in New Zealand.

Night Kayaking

1. Night kayaking

A real highlight of our overnight trip is the opportunity to venture out onto the calm waters by kayak. Some of our crew will guide you across a sheltered cove where you can lie back and look up at the night sky as we tell you about the history of the area and the different constellations above you. Then for a few minutes we will float in silence, allowing you to absorb the peaceful sounds of nature around you.


2. Phosphorescence

When conditions are right, you may be lucky enough to see the beautiful phosphorescence at night, caused by the plankton in the water. Use your kayak paddle to gently provoke the magical displays of light. The Bay of Islands is one of the rare places in the world you can see this!

Tasting Kina

3. Tasting kina (sea urchin)

Depending on the day, you may be invited to try many different types of seafood whilst on board The Rock, including mussels, clams, fresh sashimi and cooked fish. However possibly the most unusual (and challenging!) is the sea urchins that we break open for you to taste.

Shooting Practice on the Boat

4. Target shooting from a boat

When you first climb on board the boat (and after initial introductions), we’ll invite you to get to know your fellow boaties with some friendly target practice! Nothing to be afraid of - we get the engine started and take shots at a wooden duck dragged behind the back of the boat.

5. Wake up to a Bay of Islands sunrise

There’s something particularly special about sunrises at sea. Wake up early and watch from the deck (or your bed!) with your morning coffee – or even enjoy an early morning wake up swim with the crew before we have breakfast.

What are you waiting for? Book an overnight Bay of Islands cruise on The Rock now!

Where to Find Bioluminescence in New Zealand

Posted by Website Admin on February 22, 2016

Bioluminescence is a natural phenomenon that only occurs in a small number of places across the world. It is the name given to when organisms have the ability to produce their own light, which in turn creates some of nature’s most magical displays.

bioluminescence ocean

New Zealand is lucky to be home to two forms of bioluminescence. Just a couple of hours’ drive south from Auckland is the quiet settlement of Waitomo, made famous by its extensive underground network of glowworm caves. The tiny glowworms are like a blanket of fairy lights across the caves, which visitors can explore in a variety of ways – on foot, by boat, abseiling or even (our favourite) black water tubing. If you are on a budget, there are some local walks that will take you past glowworms at night for free – just don’t forget a torch.

The glowworm species, arachnocampa luminosa, is exclusive to New Zealand and is actually found in places all over the country… you just need to know where to look. In the South Island, the Te Anau glowworm caves put on a glittering display - a great stop for tourists making their way to Milford Sound. The 12,000 year old caves are accessible by boat, with cruises both in the day and at night.

The second form of bioluminescence is what is found here in the Bay of Islands – the beautiful phosphorescence that comes alive in the ocean under the night skies. This is caused by plankton emitting radiation absorbed during the day, creating an amazing glow through the water.

When staying overnight in the Bay of Islands on board The Rock, you have the opportunity to go night kayaking and hopefully see the phosphorescence up close (conditions permitting). Dip your paddle into the water and watch the plankton light up around you – an unforgettable travelling experience!

I place I fell in love with NZ. The most amazing thing I did on my month trip to New Zealand.TheJills, USA

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

If you're considering it - just book it now. We had even more fun than we expected and we expected a lot. Great team, great boat, a great adventure. We've come home feeling like we had a real holiday after just 22 hours on the boat. It felt like a week in the best possible way. Thanks guys - you truly do rock! (Fellow Kiwis, get in on this - it's magic).Cara Tipping Smith, NZ

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