The Best Way to Spend 24 Hours in the Bay of Islands
Brie Timings and her dad came aboard The Rock Adventure Cruise for an overnight cruise. Let's find out how their experience went!
There’s nothing I hate more than sitting in Auckland traffic. It literally gives me claustrophobia and especially if my kids are joining me in the ride. This pain alone is enough for me to hightail it up north to the Bay of Islands, if only for a weekend, but I also know exactly what to do to get the most out of our short visit there.
Also, if you’re thinking, “Honey, a weekend is far too little time to get all the kids organized and in the van only to drive from place to place with twenty-million bathroom breaks, unwilling spirits and four-year-old breakdowns,” I want you to know that I know the pain of traveling with little darlings and you will not be disappointed (or stressed).
Seriously, it’s possible!
The one experience that will give you every activity you hope to achieve while in the Bay of Islands is the Rock Adventure Cruise, and it isn’t rated New Zealand’s Number One Overnight Cruise by TripAdvisor for nothing!
Just a few weeks ago I got the chance to take my dad with me for 24 hours on one of their cruises and these are the top 6 things we got up to (and you can too!):
1.Paintballing Off the Back of the Boat
If you ever thought paintballing was a challenge, try aiming at a moving plastic duck tethered to the back of a houseboat sailing through the gorgeous scenery of the Bay of Islands.
2. Discovering Phosphorescent Plankton While Night Kayaking
There are only a handful of places around the world where you can easily find the natural phenomenon of bioluminescence. Lucky for us, the skipper on the Rock knows the best places to find this anomaly in the Bay of Islands and you can do so while kayaking under the stars right from the back of the boat.
3. Watching the Sunrise from Sea
After spending the night in a cosy cabin, wake up to watch the sun climb over the islands in the Bay with a hot cuppa in hand. There’s nothing more calming than to be present in the early light of day and contemplate life in paradise.
4. Snorkelling and Diving for Kina
Kina are sea urchins endemic to New Zealand and are found everywhere in the Bay of Islands. The crew on the Rock will take you and the family out snorkeling in the beautiful crystal clear waters to look for pirate treasure or whatever else it is that the kids can imagine.
5. Paddle Boarding in Paradise
Once in a calm cove, you have the opportunity to try a bunch of different water activities including kayaking, fishing, swimming and of course paddle boarding which is a very fun and unique way to explore the coast life of the 144 islands in the Bay. The crew are extremely helpful and will teach you everything you need to know to try something new!
6. Exploring the 144 Islands
Most everyone on the boat agreed that their favourite activity was hiking the islands. Our skipper stopped at Moturua, but the amazing thing with the Rock is that it can change every trip. So this trip may have been Moturua but our next trip will be somewhere else. There are so many incredible islands to explore that can only be reached by boat, and this is the perfect way to check them out.
The best thing about the Rock Adventure Cruise is that you don’t have to pack up the kids and fork out another cost each and every time you want to do a different activity.
What I really appreciated was how relaxed I felt after the trip, like my body remembered what it was like to chill out again. My father and I also made some great memories and I cannot wait to bring the kids on board for them to experience it themselves.
If you are tired of sitting in traffic with screaming kids in the background, let their spirit run wild in the Bay of Islands and let the Rock Adventure Cruise take care of everything!
"The crew on The Rock are so friendly! The boat is an old ferry and has a lot of character. I’m sure there are plenty of other positive reviews, so...
"13/10 experience. Highly recommended for all ages and types of travelers. We all had a great time & are planning another trip soon."
"Anyone considering this, consider no more and just book it! This was one of my first experiences solo travelling up in the north after a tour and as...
"The crew are wonderful and swimming in the fluorescent algae was one of the most surreal and beautiful moments of my life. Highly highly recommended!"
"The entire tour from start to finish was incredible. There was a constant stream of activities and you could pick and choose what you wished to do. We shot...