With thousands of kilometres of coastline and a temperate climate, New Zealand is an island nation with a passion for getting out on the water. 

Be it at a beach, on a lake or sailing in the harbour, kiwis are renowned for their love of enjoying water. We’re a country of keen sailors, fishermen, kayakers and swimmers – all with a passion for the coastline and lakes New Zealand is famous for. We’ll spend a long summer’s day throwing out a line in the hope that we’ll catch a snapper – our favourite eating fish – for dinner. Surfing, sunbathing and sandcastles are constantly sought after during the summer months. What’s more, we love showing off our beaches and our lakes to people visiting New Zealand.

Many of our MoaTrek tours incorporate boat cruises on beautiful alpine lakes as well as time to enjoy perfect sandy white beaches. The Cook Strait Ferry – included in many of our itineraries – makes its way through the beautiful Marlborough Sounds before arriving in Picton. What’s more, relaxed catamaran sailing, a Milford Sound boat cruise and lakeside picnics are other highlights included on our tours.

But where are the best places in New Zealand to enjoy the water? Here’s our top picks. 

The Bay of Islands, Northland

Made up of 144 emerald islands dotted within a huge harbour, the Bay of Islands is the perfect place to get out on the water. Its mainly sunny, temperate climate and wealth of marine life – including dolphins, orcas and whales – makes exploring by sea exhilarating. What’s more, during certain times visitors can swim with local wild dolphins, an experience that’s often on the bucket list. Embark on a voyage of discovery here with a boat cruise to view or swim with dolphins in the harbour, explore the unique hole-in-the-rock or enjoy the boat ferry from Russell to Paihia. 

Relaxing on a yacht on Lake Rotoiti - New Zealand

Lake Rotoiti, Rotorua

Land-locked Lake Rotoiti in Rotorua is home to beautiful coves, bays and tiny beaches, as well as naturally heated hot springs that are accessible only by boat. The lake’s serpentine shape means that there are new vistas around every bend – relax and enjoy the scenery on a sail boat where the only sounds are the light whistle of the breeze, the whoosh of water underneath the hull and the pretty melody of native birdsong.

Southern Lakes, Queenstown/Wanaka

The Southern Lakes of the South Island are spectacular to see by boat. Here, mineral deposits make the water a bright turquoise colour that contrasts dramatically with the towering mountains of the Southern Alps. Here, choose to take a thrilling jet boat ride or a relaxing boat cruise – or simply relax with a picnic beside one of the beautiful lakes. 

Here at MoaTrek, we offer small group tours in New Zealand. We’re a family owned kiwi business, and we include many of the above destinations in our itineraries. Whether you’re boarding a ferry, enjoying a boat cruise or relaxing lakeside, there’s plenty of ways to enjoy the water on a MoaTrek tour. We’d love to say G’day and have a chat to find out how we can help – contact us now or take a look at our tours here.

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