Boating, Fishing, and Diving
Cave Cruzer. The Cave Cruzer gives you an unusual spin on an ex Navy rescue boat, exploring Cathedral Cove, blowholes, and sea caves, with time for snorkeling if you wish. At one point, you'll head into a cave and your guides will provide a surprising acoustical demonstration. Lots of personality on this trip. 07/866–0611 or 0800/427–893. www.cavecruzer.co.nz.
Dive Zone Whitianga. The place in Whitianga to go for diving gear, training, and trips (by kayak or dive boat), this company runs PADI courses right up to to five star instructor development level. 7 Blacksmith Lane, Whitianga, 3510. 07/867–1580. www.divezonewhitianga.co.nz.
Glass Bottom Boat. Glass Bottom Boat cruises take you to Te Whanganui-A-Hei Marine Reserve, where you can see multitudes of marine life through the bottom of their boat. Informed guides discuss the formation and history of the land, Captain Cook's explorations along this coast during the 1700s, the Ngāti Hei, the Māori tribe who were the earliest settlers of the region, and more recent history of Narnia film locations. A Marine Mammal permit allows the boat to check out any dolphins or orca that might be visiting the bay when you are. Daily trips year round (10.30 am and 1.30 pm) plus 8am and 4pm, December to February (weather permitting), all leave from Whitianga Wharf. The trips take two hours and cost $95. When the water's warm, they'll also stop for a snorkel. Bookings are essential. 07/867–1962. www.glassbottomboatwhitianga.co.nz.
Water's Edge Charters. This highly experienced operator charters fishing trips, specialising in half and full day outings, from Whitianga Marina. 07/866–5760. www.watersedgecharters.co.nz.
Whitianga Sports Centre. You can rent both diving and fishing gear from the Whitianga Sports Centre. 32 Albert St., Whitianga, 3510. 07/866–5295.
Ocean Leopard Tours. Explore the drama of the volcanic coastline from the comfort of this sleek craft purpose-built for the task at hand, skippered by former superyacht sailor Justin. The boat is also covered—great to keep the rain and sun at bay without spoiling the amazing views. The boat can get right up close against towering sea cliffs, blow holes, and even into sea caves. Trips leave from Whitianga Wharf and include "The Full Monty" (two hours, NZ$70), with options to add a snorkeling component or, by request only, "The Whirlwind Tour" (one hour, NZ$50). Bookings available online. 0800/843–8687. www.oceanleaopardtours.co.nz.
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