Explore's new ferry service

A new Hauraki Gulf ferry service launches on Auckland Harbour this month.

Oneroa, Waiheke Island. Photo: TNZ
From October, Explore Group will run ferries between Auckland’s downtown ferry terminal to Waiheke Island 12 times a day, catering for the large number of commuters to and from the island. 

The new service will also deliver greater options for tourists wanting to get out to islands with excursions between Auckland, Waiheke Island, Motutapu and Rangitoto six times a day.

Explore has more than 15 years of experience in the local tourism market and is best known for its fleet of sailing boats on Auckland Harbour, which offers America’s Cup style racing for tourists and locals, as well as its tours and cruises in the Bay of Islands.

Explore CEO Kit Nixon says the service will allow Aucklanders and tourists to explore the islands of the Hauraki Gulf. ‘We want locals and tourists to explore Auckland’s island playground and we want to provide easy and efficient access to these beautiful places.’ Nixon says the three island destinations offer tourists and locals different experiences. ‘Waiheke has grown in reputation for having some of the best food and wine Auckland has to offer, along with many other boutique experiences. On Motutapu people have a chance to discover the historic sites, wildlife and walking tracks on the harbour’s oldest island. And Rangitoto is another world where visitors can explore the volcanic landscape and walk to the summit for 360 degree views of Auckland.’
Two boats will operate initially, led by Explore’s flagship vessel, D5, and another new boat (D6) will be added to the fleet before the end of the year to increase capability during the summer months. 
The boats also have a full food and beverage service, on board USB points allowing passengers to re-charge their mobile devices and laptops, and at a later date the boats will be equipped with wifi.