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Iconic Hole in the Rock cruises restart in time for the long weekend - Entrada

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Paihia-based cruise operator Fullers GreatSights will resume their famous Hole in the Rock cruises this long weekend, in a welcome boost for local tourism.

Fullers GreatSights operations manager Barry Nielson says the crew are excited to be returning to the water and sharing their stories with visitors.

"The Hole in the Rock cruise is an iconic Northland experience and the team are looking forward to showcasing the Bay of Islands to Kiwis," he says.

Cruises were suspended in late March as the country entered lockdown and the return of the weekend cruises signals a significant step in encouraging visitors to the region according to Northland Inc’s General Manager for Destination, Tania Burt.

"A visit to Northland isn’t complete without exploring the beautiful Bay of Islands and the return of this iconic cruise is a great way for us to get the message out that we’re open for business," she says.

Albert Ernest Fuller first pioneered cruises through the islands in the 1930s, taking paying passengers along with him as he collected cream and delivered supplies to island residents.

Although modern vessels now navigate through the sheltered waters, the delivery of mail is still done to this day.

"We’ve got a big sack of mail that needs to get through on the first cruise!" says Nielson.

The four-hour cruise will operate on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays from 30 May at a reduced rate of just $99 per adult and $49.50 per child.

Sailings depart Paihia at 9:00am and Russell at 9:10am and are licensed by the Department of Conservation for dolphin watching, with a dolphin sighting guarantee.

Bookings can be made online at or through local accommodation and information centres throughout Northland.

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