Head out into the sheltered Bay of Islands to experience Matariki rising! Matariki, also known as Pleiades, is a cluster of stars which is visible in the Eastern sky from mid-Winter.

Iwi in parts of our Far North rohe (region) celebrate Puanga, which is the star Rigel in the Orion constellation, as it was difficult to see Matariki from their locality. Traditionally the reappearance of Puanga followed by Matariki heralded the Maori New Year.

This is a unique opportunity to experience Matariki in the Bay of Islands. Our on-board guide and tohunga will explain the science and the traditions behind this significant event in Aotearoa, what it means to Te Ao Maori and how to identify Puanga and the Matariki cluster rising in the Eastern sky.

After time out on the water, the boat will head to the stunning Urupukapuka Island where you will enjoy a delicious light breakfast at Otehei Bay.

The boat will return to Russell and Paihia at approximately 9am or you can opt to remain on the island for a conservation walk or explore at your leisure. The next departure to the mainland will be at 1.45pm.



Paihia or Russell Wharf

5.15AM – 9.15AM

PRICE:   Adults $99 + booking fee / Kids (14 and under) $42.50 + booking fee / Infants (4 and under) FREE

Upsize my Breakfast: Add $10






  • This cruise departs before dawn! Departure times are 5.15am from Paihia Wharf and at 5.30am from Russell Wharf. Please be at the wharf 10mins before your stated departure time
  • It will be dark when we depart, please take care on the wharf and keep children safe
  • It is Winter, wear warm clothing
  • Boat returns at dawn to Russell and Paihia Wharves, arriving approx. 9am Russell and 9.15am Paihia.
  • A light breakfast is included in this tour (Continental style or bacon and eggs) There is an option for a heartier breakfast for an additional $10)
  • We can’t control the weather and visibility. In the case of weather preventing the cruise operating ticket-holders will be offered an alternative date or a refund if you are unable to make the alternative date.
  • Suitable for families
  • Boat numbers strictly limited

Cruise includes

  • 5hr boat trip to the inner islands of the Bay
  • On board guide / tohunga
  • Complimentary coffee, tea or hot chocolate on board
  • Breakfast at Otehei Bay, Urupukapuka Island

Choice of

Cooked Breakfast of Bacon / Eggs and Toast plus urn Tea and Coffee


– Continental Breakfast of Granola , Toast , Fruit Salad plus urn Tea and Coffee

 – Upgrade to a full breakfast feast with hash browns, breakfast sausages, mushrooms and  tomatoes – Add $10