The Rock Overnight Adventure Cruise Paihia New Zealand
When you visit New Zealand’s North Island, the Bay of Islands will likely be on your itinerary. But do not just visit the beach. If you book an overnight cruise from Paihia, you have the opportunity to spend the night anchored off shore and experience the natural wonders around you.
Imagine kayaking in the pitch black, only to look up and see the milky way above you, thousands and thousands of stars, scattered across the sky, and nothing but the sound of your paddle stroking the water. As you paddle, the milky way suddenly starts to sparkle under your paddle, but it is not the reflection of the stars, it is the the phosphoresce algae, releasing their stored light right under your boat, making you feel as if you are paddling in fairy dust.
Experiences like these are just one of the many special features of taking a Rock the Boat Adventure cruise.
Check out this post for Beach Packing Lists
Rock the Boat Adventure Cruise Details
You will be picked up at the Paihia dock mid afternoon, and cruise until dinnertime. With a bar on board, a pool table, chess, plenty of room to lounge around and relax, you will never feel as if you are trapped aboard a ferry, waiting to reach a destination, the Rock the Boat cruise is so much a part of your destination and your Bay of Island’s experience.
Along the way, expect a game of paintball target shooting to start off your trip, and a few minutes to get to know each other. Yes, I hate the idea of ice-breaker activities, but you will be with these people for 24 hours and it was nice to hear where everyone was from before they had their three shots at a target off the back of the boat!
After dinner, you can go on a guided kayaking trip to experience the phosphorescence in the pitch black dark. The staff will man the bar as long as guests desire it, and you will find other guests playing cards at the tables, enjoying a game of pool, or enjoying the company of the other guests, visitors from all around the world.
Snorkelling and tasting sea urchins is another part of the trip! Check out the best snorkel gear, or borrow theirs.
The Rock the Boat staff are what make this an exceptional experience. Anyone can put a boat on the water and offer these experiences. But it is the genuine personalities of the captain and the crew, their attention to even the youngest guests and their desire to ensure your experience is memorable.
Features of the Bay of Islands Cruise
- paintball off the back deck
- pool table and chess as well as board games and cards
- dinner, breakfast and lunch aboard the boat
- hiking on one of the islands
- beach time, beach games and time to swim
Things to Bring
- bathing suit
Things to note
- those with mobility issues may have difficulty getting to the top desk where the bedrooms are. We had an older woman on our cruise who spent a lot of time in a wheelchair, but was able to walk enough to get upstairs, as well as navigate getting onto the boat.
- hostel style accommodation with private rooms and family rooms and shared bathrooms. All rooms have bunk beds, but some have a double on the bottom and single on the top which is more comfortable for couples or families with young children (We had a room with three sets of single bunks. I pulled the top bunk mattress on the floor for my youngest (he is 4) rather than worry about him on the top bunk at night.
- the bar works on a tab system. You can charge your drinks, extra snacks, wet suit rental to your tab and then pay by cash or credit card at the end of your trip.
- expect to be barefoot on board, you do not need to bring shoes, just sandals will do. Our hike was done barefoot, but was a bit rough for some people, so I would recommend sandals next time.
You can book this overnight Paihia Cruise here
If you are looking for more information on some of the things we did in New Zealand:
Lindsay is the founder and editor of Carpe Diem OUR Way. She left her career in Canada to share her love of travel with her two young boys. She is passionate about sharing adventure travel activities for families and to encourage others to explore the world. She resides in the suburbs of Vancouver when not jet setting abroad.