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Kayaking & snorkelling cruise to the Poor Knights
See our video. Tutukaka near Whangarei is the gateway to a unique marine and island reserve. Due to a warm Australian current the Poor Knights Islands are home to the best subtropical diving in the world, but also a snorkelling trip and boat cruise is highly recommended. It is a true nature sanctuary and there are enough similarities to conjure up a taste of Galapagos.
Poor Knights snorkelling under an archway
Once inhabited by the local Ngatiwai (“people of the sea”) tribe, they were never resettled after a massive slaughter by enemies, and declared tapu (sacred/prohibited) thereafter. The islands are one of the few places where Tuataras (similar in shape to the Galapagos lizards), Wetas (the heaviest recorded insect ever was a pregnant female Weta at 71 grams), Kaka parrots (relatives of the Kea), Little Blue Penguins, 2m wingspan Australasian Gannets, Buller's Shearwaters, Grey Ternlets, Bellbirds and many more rare species can survive. Beautiful Pohutukawa trees cover the main island (allegedly they are covered with seabird skeletons who nested underneath and got tangled up). The volcanic islands lost contact to the mainland millions of years ago, allowing for a slightly different evolution of the species. Boats are resolutely prohibited to land on shore to prevent rats and predators from jumping over.
Poor Knights Gannet Colonies
The relaxing ocean cruise to the Poor Knights Islands will take you out through Tutukaka harbour towards breath taking scenery, you’ll pass through giant sea arches (no, not just the 1 hole in the rock...), circle around most of the islands, sightsee while hearing about Maori history, with a chance to see wildlife like dolphins, whales, seals or even killer whales, plunging gannets and their colonies and other birds on the way.

You’ll probably enter the biggest sea cave in the world (Rikoriko) where you can listen to an amazing echo. You can kayak along the cliffs and arches until the boat calls you back. Snorkel or swim in sheltered bays in crystal clear blue water amongst thousands of curious fish in the marine reserve. As they stick to the colourful surface and cliffs anyway you won’t regret that you are not diving.
Poor Knights: inside Rikoriko Cave
We are happy to organise your bookings (no surcharge), just tell us at breakfast at the latest. Pick up is direct from our bed and breakfast , the price includes a great buffet lunch, tea, coffee and hot soups, kayaks, masks & snorkels ! 11.00am until 4.15pm  Adults cost 129 NZD, children under 12yrs 65 NZD.

There is an adrenaline alternative: a 750hp jet boat takes you on a crazy ride on the open ocean to the Poor Knights Islands, visiting the biggest sea cave and a variety of holes in the rock. Adults 90 NZD (under 12: 45 NZD).
Poor Knights - the boat
 Snorkelling at the Poor Knights Islands by Whangarei Views B&B:
 

 
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