Do I need to make a booking online?
Because our tours can fill quickly during peak times, we recommend booking online in advance to guarantee your Glass Bottom Boat Tour or Kayak & Snorkel Hire. Bookings can be made online using a credit card up to one hour prior to the scheduled activity. For beach walk-ins or if you are unable to book online, we accept cash, EFTPOS and credit cards on the beach. Please note: We do not take day-of bookings over the phone because we cannot hold seats without payment.
Why was my tour cancelled?
The weather looks okay.
We operate in the open sea, so please understand that our tours can be cancelled due to poor weather (rain, wind or deteriorating conditions) or sea conditions (rough water or poor visibility). To avoid disappointment, check the Glass Bottom Boat sailing report (posted daily on our website) at 9 a.m. on the day of your tour.
What should I do if my tour is cancelled by the operator?
It is advised to check our website at 9 a.m. the day of your tour to ensure we are operating. If your tour was cancelled, you will be notified via text message at 9 a.m. on the day of your tour. We send a text to the number you provide in your booking and can only send texts to New Zealand phone numbers. If you have an international phone number, we will send you an email notification.
After a booking is cancelled, you have the option to re-book for another day or to receive a full refund. Refunds are processed by us within 48 hours of a cancelled tour, and funds generally appear on the card used to make the booking within five business days.
What if I need to cancel my pre-booked tour?
We provide full refunds for tours cancelled 24-hours in advance. If a tour is cancelled less than 24 hours in advance, and refund is at the sole discretion of the operator. If you need to cancel your tour for a personal reason, please contact us by phone or email.
How far away is Goat Island from Auckland?
Goat Island Marine Reserve is located in Leigh. Depending on where you are in Auckland, it will take you about an hour and a half to get to Goat Island … if there’s no traffic. However, on busy summer weekends and during public holidays, it can sometimes take up to three hours to get to the Reserve from Auckland – please plan accordingly. We also ask that guests arrive 30 minutes prior to their tour for beach check-in – you must check in with us before boarding the boat. If you are running late, we will do our best to accommodate you, but please note: We do not provide refunds for missed bookings and cannot guarantee a seat on another tour during peak times.
What should I bring to the Reserve?
If you’re taking a tour during the cooler months, it’s advisable to bring a jacket or jumper to stay warm throughout the trip. If you are susceptible to motion sickness, take or bring medication with you. If you plan on enjoying more than one activity, or spending time on the beach, bring food & beverages for an onshore picnic (there is no food available for purchase at the beach). Please note, as this is a protected marine reserve, dogs are not allowed at the beach or in the carpark.
Where does the Glass Bottom Boat go during the tour?
The Glass Bottom Boat loads passengers directly from the beach at Goat Island. From there, the boat tours areas in the Reserve known to have a high population of marine life. The tour also takes guests to the back of Goat Island to view its caves and the outlying islands surrounding the Reserve. Please note, the tour route can change due to sea and wind conditions. The boat does not stop at Goat Island, and passengers are not allowed off of the boat during the tour.
Do I have time to do more than one activity?
Yes! If you’ve got a half-day to spend at Goat Island, we recommend doing two activities … and if you’re spending a full day at the beach, you’ll have plenty of time to do all three!
Is there anything else to do at Goat Island?
Yes! Beyond the activities we offer, the Reserve offers many opportunities for exploration! There is a walking trail (a moderate walk, 1.5 hour return) to Cape Rodney, as well as the University of Auckland’s Marine Discovery Centre.
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Watch Video of Goat Island Marine Life
Discover New Zealand’s underwater world