Maori Rock Carvings Scenic Cruise

Badge of ExcellenceTaupō, New Zealand
Likely to Sell Out

From US$25.64

Select Date and Travelers

Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance.
  • 1 hour 50 minutes to 2 hours (approx.)
  • Offered in: English


Carved in the 1970s by one of Aotearoa’s master Māori carvers, the Mine Bay rock carvings are a striking Taupō attraction. They’re also impossible to access on foot, so hop on board a charming replica steamboat and take a scenic cruise out to the carvings instead. Learn all about the history and the myths behind the carvings from your steamboat crew, and along the way enjoy pristine views of Lake Taupō and beyond, including the nearby volcanoes Tongariro, Ruapehu and Ngauruhoe.
  • If the weather’s fine, summer cruisers can even take the chance to swim in Mine Bay
  • Free coffee, tea and snacks on board – and hot chocolates for the little ones
  • Upload your photos to Facebook instantly with free WiFi on board
  • Easy to find departure point near the Taupō visitor center

What's Included

  • Coffee and/or Tea

    Meeting And Pickup

    Meeting point

    • Lake Taupo Cruises
      65 Redoubt Street, Taupō 3330, New Zealand

      Please go to the black Booking Office, 65 Redoubt St Taupo Marina to pick up your boarding pass. The boat is in berth 2, just by the Booking Office. The Booking Office is by the coffee caravan at the Marina.

    End point

    This activity ends back at the meeting point.

    What To Expect

    Additional Info

    • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
    • Not wheelchair accessible
    • Service animals allowed
    • Near public transportation
    • Well behaved dogs welcome.
    • Most travelers can participate
    • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 38 travelers

    Cancellation Policy

    You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.

    • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
    • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
    • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
    • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
    • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.

    Traveler Photos

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    419 reviews
    Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
    Reviews by Viator travelers.
    Showing 1-10 of 419 reviews
    Amazing staff
    Basak_D, Mar 2023
    Amazing staff omg - such lovely people and great experience - I would def do it again. Paradise on earth
    Response from Host, Mar 2023
    Thank you very much! The pleasure has been ours :)
    Nice boat ride
    Tony_M, Mar 2023
    I was expecting more information about the lake, it’s formation, surrounding geographical features and history of Taupo. The carvings were a highlight, however it was difficult to hear the commentary on the rear of the boat.
    Response from Host, Mar 2023
    Hi Tony, perhaps it was because you were having difficulty hearing our commentary ( our sincere apologies, this is an area in which we are actively working out) but our skipper's commentary does cover all of those points you have raised. Our crew member onboard is a wealth of knowledge in all things Lake Taupo, and they are only too happy to answer our passengers questions, or relay any information :) Thank you
    Lake Taupo
    Lisa_K, Feb 2023
    We enjoyed seeing the shoreline of Lake Taupo along with the rock carvings. The captain and crew were very good so it was a pleasant trip.
    Response from Host, Feb 2023
    Thank you for the lovely feedback, Lisa! We do our very best :)
    Aydah_H, Feb 2023
    It was a beautiful boat cruise. My husband and I loved it. Maybe if you want to have a swim do so cause the water is so beautiful just looking at it.
    Response from Host, Feb 2023
    We appreciate your great review, thank you for sharing your experiences - it's great to read that you've both loved our cruise :) Thank you!
    Excellent value a must see
    Yvonne_C, Feb 2023
    Even though the weather was not great the lake was still calm and views of the carvings were great. Good commentary on way and complimentary tea and coffee and biscuits. All round it was excellent value
    Response from Host, Feb 2023
    Thank you very much, Yvonne. We are pleased you loved the cruise despite the weather!
    Eanest Kemp Steamboat trip
    Marianne_S, Jan 2023
    Beautiful sunny 10.30am sailing past Hot water beach, 2,3,4 and 5 Mile Bays, and then across to Mine Bay Maori Rock Carvings. Great commentary. Sat right at the front of boat so fantastic views.
    Response from Host, Feb 2023
    Best seats in the house we think! So wonderful to read that you've had a great experience :)
    Lovely trip
    Margaret_R, Jan 2023
    Very good service …. Friendly staff, good information provided, made sure that everyone saw the carvings, wherever they were in the boat
    Response from Host, Feb 2023
    It has been our pleasure, Margaret! Thank you very much for your support :)
    Lovely boat ride with a beautiful scenery
    Belinda_H, Jan 2023
    Spending time with my family making memories on a beautiful lake with wonderful carvings nice little snack
    Response from Host, Feb 2023
    Thank you very much, Belinda. We wonder why the review was for 3 stars, can you please email us at adi@laketaupocruises.co.nz if you had any concerns or feedback that might benefit us in future? Thank you :)
    Was really cool going out...
    Ameena_K, Jan 2023
    Was really cool going out to see the rock but did find the trip a bit uneventful. Really beautiful ride down the river though and the carving was definitely amazing!
    Response from Host, Feb 2023
    That's a shame, we always endeavour to keep our guests interested and entertained throughout. Thank you for joining us all the same!
    An interesting day without the physical exertion
    Tim_H, Jan 2023
    We did the All Day Pass which is guided tour, the cultural performance and the self guided geothermal trail. All three were good. Just be sure to have water on hand as well as sun protection as the greater portion is in the sun.
    Response from Host, Feb 2023
    Thank you, Tim!
    Kids experience on...
    Jing_Y, Jan 2023
    Kids experience on driving the cruise and able to get a certificate, also been able to get free tea or coffee & cookie is a nice experience
    Response from Host, Feb 2023
    It has been our pleasure, Jing. We are happy the young children had such fun onboard :)
    A couple of hours we'll spent
    Ashwini_B, Dec 2022
    Amazing experience with some great views and a lively commentary. The boat was clean and the captian was very experienced
    Response from Host, Feb 2023
    It has been our pleasure, Ash! Thank you for your kind review :)
    Worth the trip
    Stephen_M, Dec 2022
    Seeing the carving was worth the trip in unseasonal overcast, cold wet weather. The Ernest Kemp is a cute boat.
    Response from Host, Jan 2023
    We give our best efforts in all seasons, whatever the weather :) We are pleased that you have enjoyed our company!
    The lovely staff lady was...
    Karen_B, Dec 2022
    The lovely staff lady was so lovely friendly and welcoming. The trip on the lake was lovely had never done this before. The carvings were not quite as I expected but the lake trip was worth it.
    Response from Host, Jan 2023
    It has been our pleasure, Karen! Thank you for your support :)
    Very enjoyable outing.
    Peter_C, Nov 2022
    The crew were friendly. The boat was quirky and comfortable. The number of passengers was smaller so it was easy to move around and find a spot on deck (despite the rain- which didn’t impact on comfort or views. ) The returning-to-port music playlist was perfect.
    Response from Host, Nov 2022
    Wonderful feedback of your cruising experience, Peter! Thank you very much for your support :)
    Cousins outing
    Rachel_H, Nov 2022
    Calm waters on a warm sunny day, made for a great experience on the Ernest Kemp. Limited refreshments was ample for trip length.
    Response from Host, Nov 2022
    A beautiful way to spend a few leisurely hours of your day. Pleased to read about your enjoyable experiences aboard!
    Beautiful cruise but upsold carving
    Daniel_D, Nov 2022
    Scenic cruise on Taupo Lake. Quite rough though on my day due to strong wind.nevertheless it’s a beautiful cruise. Thought Māori carving was an ancient thing only to find out it was made about 4 decades ago - a bit of upselling to be honest.
    Response from Host, Nov 2022
    Thank you for joining us Daniel, we are pleased you've had a lovely scenic cruise despite the higher winds. I don't think we can be unfairly knocked for 'upselling' due to customers assuming the rock carvings are ancient sculptures - in no way shape or form do we promote them to be. Infact, we actively acknowledge their contemporary creation in both our brochure, website and commentary. Thank you!
    5 STARS!!!
    Yasmine_V, Oct 2022
    Great experience & hospitality- enjoyed my time with Partner. We both enjoyed the views and information that was given to us
    Response from Host, Oct 2022
    The pleasure has been ours; it is always nice to read about our valued guests experiences cruising with our team. Thank you both very much for coming along, Yasmine.
    You really do need to take this trip it is value for money
    hwg7whgxh9, Aug 2022
    This is a wonderful experience. There are a lot of interesting facts, but also the scenery is just amazing, with the snow capped mountains the gorgeous dark watered lake the trip was just amazingly calm and very restful. Value for money
    Response from Host, Sept 2022
    Thank you very much for this excellent review! The sights are a wonder to behold, we know just how fortunate we are to experience this daily :)
    Not bad but needs more content and destinations to hVe the tour more interesting
    Justin_K, Aug 2022
    Noce old boat with awesome Lake Taupo, staff friendly and professional, tour average with inly one main thing of interest and needs lots more to justify 3 hrs
    Response from Host, Aug 2022
    Hi Justin, I am unsure of some points you have mentioned. Our cruise is a maximum of 2 hours duration in total, not 3. It is intended and clearly billed as a Mine Bay Maori Rock Carving Cruise, with the incredible Maori Rock Carvings being the significant (and halfway) focal point of the journey. We cruise through many stunning bays all the way through, with a live and informative commentary given by your onboard skipper as you go. We don't agree that there is only one interesting aspect of this 2 hour cruise on the Great Lake. Thank you for joining us all the same.