The Cathedral Cove Tour With A Difference

The team at the Glass Bottom Boat strive to provide an unforgetable experience with top customer service, passenger safety and environmental practices.

We offer a one of a kind experience that is a must to while in the Coromandel. The glass panels in our custom built vessels allow us to take you below the surface and explore the underwater world. This feature makes our tour unique, as we are the only tour to offer this amazing view. Our professional and friendly team have many qualifications including marine biology, environmental science and tourism degrees. With extensive knowledge of the area and history, we will provide you with a fun, factual, exhilarating Cathedral Cove tour.

The Glass Bottom Boat is run by an experienced, passionate, energetic yet professional team. With years of experience on the water, working with wildlife and within the tourism industry, everyone works hard to ensure every trip is one to remember.


Hospitality and respect between different people, groups and cultures

We are dedicated to making sure everyones experience is memorable. A high level of customer service, satisfaction and comfort are some of our core values. Let our team guide you through your Glass Bottom Boat adventure with a big smile and warm heart.

Why we are special

  • The only boat with two crew to assist you during the tour (over the summer months).
  • Our purpose built vessel is the optimum is passenger comfort and safety. Enjoy the comfort of our cabin keeping you protected from the sun or any weather conditions.
  • The only vessel without designated seating, allowing you to get up and move around the boat as pleased.
  • Very highly ranked on Trip Adviser, Gold Qualmark status and a recipient of Destination Coromandel’s Service Award.
  • We undergo and satisfy stringent quality assessment audits with Qualmark. This ensures we are providing our guests with top quality service and safety procedures.
  • Employ a team with top qualifications and excellent service skills to ensure all tours are carried out in a fun, professional and safe manner.

Owners, Mark and Hayley Jones have been working in eco-tourism since their early 20’s and have been lucky enough to work together diving with whale sharks in Western Australia, guiding humpback whale swims in Tonga, guiding dive tours in Canada and sustainable lobster farming in the Caribbean. With a passion for the ocean and marine life, they knew they wanted to run their own tourism business and so moved to Whitianga and took over the reins of the Glass Bottom Boat. They love taking guests out to see their back yard, snorkel for the first time and to share their message on conservation and sustainability.

Since then the family has grown and 2 mini skippers or guides have joined the team. Their two girls love the ocean and enjoy coming out on the boats and are excellent at spotting marine life through the glass! If you lucky enough to share a tour with them, you will enjoy their delightful commentary.

Steve has been skippering boats tours in Mercury Bay for over 13 years and has a wealth of knowledge on many different subjects. Lucky for us, he has been apart of the team for the last few years as our senior skipper. Steve says his favourite part of the job are the people he meets and the wildlife encounters he has had.

Caitie is a coromandel local who joined the team back in 2015, and has since then has become a dive instructor and skipper. She has a passion for the ocean and loves to spread our message of conservation. Caitie’s favourite thing to spot on tour are our marine mammals, she still gets very excited when there are dolphins and orca in the area!

Every summer the team grows to include some amazing crew, skippers and sales team. We have a highly experienced team who bring a large list of qualifications from the tourism industry, maritime industry and also academically. The team who consists of dive instructors, dive masters and adventure tourism guides are all passionate conservationists who enjoy being able to spread our message of sustainability.  

The team also have a large community involvement with Coastguard, the Marine Reserve Committee, volunteering at community and activity groups. 

We are dedicated to protecting The Te Whanganui A Hei marine reserve and our Coromandel coast line. We assist and work with Department of Conservation in keeping the marine reserve a NO TAKE zone. Our mammal watch permit allows us to interact with marine animals in a safe and sustainable manner. We believe education and knowledge of the reserve and the marine life in it, is the key to successful conservation of the area. We proudly sponsor conservation organisations and fundraisers plus host educational programs and schools camps.

Why we are special:

  • We are one of the original two companies in the Coromandel that have a mammal watch permit.
  • We share information on sightings with DOC and Orca Research Trust.
  • We care about our environment. We recycle, reuse and repurpose as much as possible. We use eco friendly products when possible and try very had to limit our waste.
  • We partake is sustainability courses, initiatives are committed to Sustainable Tourism and The Tiaki Promise.
  • We act as Marine Reserve Rangers while on the water always protecting the reserve and promote sustainable interaction with marine mammals.
  • We hold a DOC concession to operate inside the marine reserve.

We only have one ocean so please be kind to it. When on the water don’t throw rubbish overboard and if you come across some please pick it up. Don’t take anything from a marine reserve or when out of the reserve don’t take anything you don’t need.

Take only photos and leave only bubbles or footprints.


Guardianship, protection and preservation. The management of our environment.

Seafari Fleet

Whitianga Glass Bottom Boat
Our custom built vessels are spacious, comfortable and packed with many up to to date safety features. Built by Stabi-Craft, who have a reputation for building safe vessel with great stability and are great in all conditions. The pontoon hulls are an extensive safety feature making the vessel virtually unsinkable and a leading design in boat building, which is why it is widely used by Coast Guard.

The glass panels are fitted into our v shaped hull allowing the ride to be smooth, stable and fast when travelling distances. Both vessels are equipped with ladders to make getting on and off the vessel when swimming or snorkeling nice and easy.

The comfortable panel seats are along the side of the vessel making the deck nice and spacious, plus allows for passengers to move around the vessel to get the ultimate view and photos.

The cabin is there to protect you from the New Zealand sun and any other weather conditions that we may face. The back of the vessel is open and the large viewing windows make taking photos or enjoying the amazing Coromandel scenery very easy.

Both vessels are safe ship certified and carry all safety equipment required.

Tiaki Promise
Marie-Christine G
Marie-Christine G
Fun way to see the coast! Had an awesome ride-a bit of wind and swell! Haha! Super captain! So awesome to get in close to the coves, caves and shore-see all the fish in the reserve. Well worth it! You might have to hang on! Haha!! Reslly professional, safe and well organised!
Good Day Out Most enjoyable and informative trip around the area, seeing Cathedral Cove and various caves and blowholes. Seeing the snapper in their habitat was great, and seeing the destruction of habitat by kina was concerning... The Marine Reserve is a good thing. Went out with a nice group of people. Steve and Julian were our guides - Typical kiwi guys, but felt some of Steve’s comments were a bit on the edge of appropriateness before we left the harbour...
Vivienne M
Vivienne M
A very enjoyable experience On Mon 23 Nov we ( 2 couples) rang to see if we could book a trip. The weather forecast was not wonderful and the company was going to cancel its trips for the day. As it was still very calm they kindly decided that the morning trip would run and we had a very enjoyable morning seeing the sights and all the fish. We were well looked after by Cam and he shared his extensive knowledge of the area with us. The fact that the boat had a glass bottom with great viewing was a distinct plus. These boats are also covered to ensure that we would not get either wet in times of rain or sunburned. We would definitely recommend this company.
Recommended Amazing tour to see cathedral cove, some caves and beaches. The staff is professional and friendly. Thanks a lot
Great activity Cam our skipper was superb. Great mix of casual, knowledge and fun. Nice calm day. Enjoyed our dip at the end of the cruise and got some great shots of a part of our beautiful country. Thoroughly worthwhile. Thanks Cam you do a great job.
amazing tour - recommended ! we went out for an few hours in the afternoon. we had an amazing time; the crew were friendly helpful and informative; we learnt so much about the area and got to see parts of the coast, that we hadn't seen before. highly recommend this tour
Amazing, Well priced, Good for children 3 and above. An amazing good quality well priced experience. Very professional staff and operation from booking to end. Highly recommend. Cam and Kate our guides were brilliant and very knowledgeable. Such a beautiful part of the world where being on the water gave us a different perspective especially looking through the glass bottom of the boat and seeing the marine life. My children 3 and 6 absolutely Loved it too. Thanks Guys
Robyn Low
Robyn Low
Great trip to see above & below water A great 2 hour trip exploring another piece of paradise. Have visited this area a few times but never been fortunate enough to explore from the water, certainly a great way to see and appreciate such a beautiful coastline. Steve was our skipper & guide, very informative and knowledgable and was great at sharing this in a fun way. So pleased we chose the glass bottom trip, the highlight as a non diver was seeing the sea life through the glass bottom (wasn't snorkelling weather) and seeing what a difference a Marine Reserve makes . Many Thanks team Highly Recommend this trip and wish you well fro the upcoming season. Don & Robyn
Paul D
Paul D
Awesome It was a beautiful warm day with no wind and flat sea's. Ash was our skipper and for a young guy was informative, funny and all round a great asset to the company. I see why i can't catch any snapper where i live cause they are all in Mercury bay in the Marine reserve.? Would highly recommend this trip.
An 2 hour cruise along the coast sprinkled with islands bird and sea life. 5 stars for Ash! The rugged coast and the marine reserve . Awesome seeing the fish through the glass, the caves and blow hole was magical

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