What’s Included / FAQ

Gulf Eco Adventures operates boat trips all year round, based just 45 minutes north of Auckland city.

During the summer season we are very focused on our in-the-water activities, such as snorkeling, kayaking & diving. Typically air temperatures are between 20degC – 28degC, while the water temperature gets up to about 23degC in Summer.

Summer Season: November 1st – April 30th

Winter Season: May 1st – October 31st

During the winter season our boat cruises focus more on sight-seeing, and wildlife viewing. During winter we see increased marine mammal activity, with whales feeding and migrating in the area, as well as large pods of dolphins, and many species of sea birds.

What’s included in my cruise?

Do I need to bring lunch / snacks?

No, but you can bring additional food if you wish. On our day trips, we supply a filled wrap, muffin and seasonal fruit (with vegetarian and vegan options), with a hot soup provided in winter. It is advised that you bring your own drinking water. We have additional beverages available for purchase on the boat.

What clothing should I wear / bring?

Sensible clothing includes light-weight shorts or trousers, sunhat, sunglasses, a warm jersey / jacket, and flat rubber-soled shoes. Bring swimwear, a towel and a change of warm clothes can be handy, and a light-weight rain jacket just in case the weather turns.

Do I / can I bring my own snorkel gear and wetsuit?

We supply a range of spring wetsuits, snorkels, masks and fins. All gear is new and cleaned thoroughly after every use. Of course we can’t guarantee we’ll have a wetsuit & fins to fit everybody on board, so if you would like to bring your own gear you are more than welcome.

Is there an extra charge for use of snorkel gear, kayaks & paddle boards?

No! All gear is supplied as part of the trip cost.

Weather and Suitability

What if I get seasick?

If you have suffered from any sort of travel sickness before, it is advised to take seasick medication first thing in the morning before the boat trip. We do carry medication on the boat as well as acupressure wrist bands.

What if the weather forecast is bad?

We constantly monitor the general & marine weather forecasts which are regularly updated. The main weather influence on our trips is wind, so if it’s strong there is a chance the trip will be canceled or postponed. If the forecast is only for rain, but light winds and calm sea, we will not cancel a trip. If the weather forecast isn’t looking good, we will let you know by email and/or text message, and a final decision on whether a trip will proceed is made at 7am on the morning of a trip at the latest.

Are the boat trips suitable for infants and / or toddlers, and is there a charge?

We welcome children of all ages on our trips, however parents must take full responsibility for them, and be aware of how long the boat trips are, that the sea can sometimes be rough, and that safety is paramount around the water. There is no charge for children under 5 years, however you must let us know when booking.

Are there any bar crossings or open-ocean travel?

We DO NOT cross any sand bars where we operate. We do however cross some open-ocean stretches of water where there is usually some sort of sea swell or chop, so expect some movement of the boat! We carry 20 lifejackets on board of varying sizes, and anyone can request to wear one at any stage. You will be given a full safety briefing prior to departure.

Sightseeing & Wildlife

Can we land on any of the islands?

Most of the island destinations we go to, including Little Barrier, are nature reserves, which mean no one can land without a special permit. However you can land on Great Barrier Island and one of the Mokohinau islands.

Will I see dolphins and whales, and can I swim with dolphins?

We can’t guarantee marine mammal sightings as they are all wild animals and it’s a big ocean! However we see dolphins very regularly (about 75% of our trips) either close to shore or out in open water, and if it is suitable, you will be allowed to swim with them. Whales are less common, but it is possible for whale and Orca sightings. Swimming with whales is not permitted.

Are there any bar crossings or open-ocean travel?

We DO NOT cross any sand bars where we operate. We do however cross some open-ocean stretches of water where there is usually some sort of sea swell or chop, so expect some movement of the boat! We carry 20 lifejackets on board of varying sizes, and anyone can request to wear one at any stage. You will be given a full safety briefing prior to departure.

Getting to the marina

Where do we leave from?

Our boat is berthed at the Sandspit Yacht Club marina, 1287 Sandspit Road, Warkworth. It is just a 50 minute drive north of Auckland city. Turn off SH1 at Warkworth and follow the signs to Sandspit.

How do I get there if I don’t have a car?

There is a regular bus service from Auckland city to Warkworth. Nakedbus.com usually has the cheapest fares for about $40 return. We offer a FREE transfer service between Warkworth town and Sandspit so just let us know your bus times and we will see you there!

Any other questions?

CONTACT US TO GET YOUR ANSWERS

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