Riverhead Tavern Cruise | Charters & Cruises | Riverhead Ferry

Riverhead Tavern Cruise

Grab your group together and cruise up to the Riverhead Tavern, New Zealand's oldest riverside bar and restaurant. Hire the whole boat to yourself with our private Riverhead Tavern Cruise, or book individual tickets through the Riverhead Experience.


Riverhead Tavern Calendar Availabilities

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Best for

Everyone! But a great way to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, work parties, hens and stags do, family day trips, long lunches, or just dinner and drinks.


Total 5 1/2 hours. The historical Riverhead Tavern is nestled on the edge of the upper Waitemata Harbour. It takes about 1.5 hours to get there. You will spend 2 hours ashore, and then cruise back to Auckland City. This cruise is tide dependant.


Go ashore and eat at the Portage Bar, Landing Restaurant, or Boat House for approximately 2 hours (venue booked at the same time as your cruise). The total return trip is 5 1/2 hours.


Public charters — $43 adult return, $22 child return (under 5's free). $35 for seniors.  Private charters — from $1,290.


Licensed bar, flushing toilet, Eftpos, sound system, indoor and outdoor seating, dance floor. Please wear soft, comfortable, and supportive shoes — no gumboots, penny heels, and work boots. 

Boat capacity

The Riverhead Ferry can comfortably fit up to 40 passengers.

Book a private return trip to the Riverhead Tavern for your group of family & friends.


Just over 5 hours of a Classic Kiwi Experience.

The sheltered waterways of the upper Waitemata Harbour will take you back to another era when you arrive at The Riverhead. For over 150 years, it has seen people come and go and holds many stories within its walls. The à La Carté Restaurantis connected to an outside deck surrounded by 100-year-old oak trees overlooking the river, while the classic kiwi neighbourhood bar makes a wonderful place to unwind with a cold beer and a game of pool. On your journey back you will see the beauty of Auckland's captivating city and Harbour Bridge.


Which venue should you choose?

At the time of booking, you can choose your preferred venue at the Riverhead Tavern. The Boat House (Sunday Live) is open to the public in the summertime, however please reach out to enquire for private functions.

View availabilities

The Portage Bar

A classic Kiwi neighbourhood bar. A place to unwind with a cool beer and good old chin wag. Here you’ll find tales being told, pool balls being shot, live sport on big screens and hearty food being savoured. On the walls you’ll see Riverhead’s history – stories about people who lived here way back when. Now it’s up to you to make a few stories of your own.

Families are welcome, and when the sun is shining you can make the most of our outdoor courtyard.

Learn more

The Landing Restaurant

The Riverhead's a la carte restaurant is ideal for groups of up to 20 people. Connected to an airy outside deck surrounded by 100 year oak trees, Talented chefs insist on using only the freshest, premium quality, local and regional ingredients. These creations are matched with a handpicked cellar of fine wine & a wide range of refreshing premium & craft ales. Whether you’re settling down for a romantic meal, catching up with friends or treating the family, The Landing is a place you’ll love, and love to return to.

Learn more

The Boat House

The Riverhead's wedding and function centre. This architecturally designed space flows out to expansive decks and extensive lawns. It’s a versatile space that can be arranged to suit most gatherings. Weddings are a specialty, plus big birthdays, corporate events and community events.

And of course, they make it happen with our highly polished service and top-notch food and beverage. So simply sit back and let them take care of everything.

Learn more

The Cruise


What you'll see

You’ll cruise the route of the early settlers, leaving the city behind as you slide under the Auckland Harbour Bridge, cruise past the Chelsea Sugar Factory, and leave Herald Island to port venturing up the sheltered waterways to the top of the harbour. 

Drop off & pick-up.

Your pick-up location is Z Pier, Westhaven Marina. Find out how to get to us here.

Onboard the ferry.

Enjoy the beautiful harbour scenery with a drink in hand while relaxing on our indoor and outdoor seating in the back and front of the boat. For private charters, you can play your own music using our AUX sound system.

Food & Drink

We have a licensed bar on board for drinks (alcoholic & non-alcoholic) during your cruise. At the time of booking, you can choose your preferred venue at the Riverhead Tavern, but will need to confirm this with The Riverhead by emailing functions@theriverhead.co.nz.

Health & Safety

Your safety is important to us. To ensure that your journey is smooth sailing please make sure you; use handrails when moving around the vessel, remove luggage/bags from seats and aisles, ensure you listen to safety announcements on departure, familiarise yourself with the location of the life jackets on your particular vessel, climbing, jumping or running on board the vessel is not permitted at any time, and do not stand on seats or sit on railings. Please note: doorways on our vessel are 45 centimeters wide (0.45 meters). Please wear soft, comfortable, and supportive shoes — no gumboots, penny heels, and work boots. 

Refunds & Cancellations

All our cruises are designed with your safety and comfort in mind. In the event of unsafe sea and weather conditions, we may have to cancel the charter in the interests of your safety. If we need to cancel your trip due to bad weather, we will re-schedule your cruise for a new date or offer a full refund. A pre-warning will be provided 3 days before your departure time, but our owner & skipper will make a final call on the day. If for any reason you cannot make this trip, you will receive a refund minus a $3 booking/admin fee per person only if you give more than 48hrs notice (28 days for Christmas Cruises). For private charters, the date and time you've requested are still available to others until the deposit or the total amount is paid. Your booking is confirmed when we receive the deposit amount. A refundable deposit is required for up to 28 days before departure. Full payment is due 28 days before the date or paid in full if booking within 28 days before your chosen date. Once full payment has been made, it will not be refunded if the charter is cancelled. If you need to cancel the charter due to unforeseen circumstances we can reschedule the charter to an alternative date.

Terms & Conditions

To ensure the safety of our guests, if anyone turns up intoxicated and is not fit for travel, the intoxicated guests will be left behind, or the charter will be cancelled with no refund. If while you are on board and anyone participates in inappropriate or disorderly behaviour, the charter will be cancelled and we will return back to the marina. BYO alcohol is not permitted on the boat as we have a licensed bar on board. Drinking in the Westhaven Marina car park before and/or after the charter will not be tolerated. If you bring your own alcohol onto Riverhead Ferry we will have to cancel the charter with no refund. No drugs or illicit substances are permitted onboard any of our charters. For private charters, if any of the previously specified behaviour is seen during the charter, or any damages are made to the boat due to drunk or disorderly behaviour, Riverhead Ferry holds the right to charge $500 to the credit card on file as a bond. However, we do love to have a good time, so make sure you dance the day or night away! Riverhead Ferry is not responsible for loss of personal items, or external costs, e.g., accommodation or restaurant bookings. For group charters, increasing the number of passengers is possible but not changing to a lesser number after four weeks before departure.


The Destination

Where is it?

The historical Riverhead Tavern is nestled on the edge of the upper Waitemata Harbour.

How long should I stay?

The total trip time is 5 1/2 hours. It's the perfect day or night out.

What are the food options?

See the delicious menus at each of the venues at The Riverhead: The Portage BarThe Landing Restaurant, or The Boat House. Please let us know where you'd like to dine when you book with us, but make sure you also confirm with The Riverhead by emailing functions@theriverhead.co.nz


How do I book?

Click here to book a shared cruise to the Riverhead Tavern, it is here you choose your venue of choice too. For private charters please email info@riverheadferry.co.nz.

What can I do?

Celebrate any occasion with a drink as you cruise under the Harbour Bridge, watch the beautiful scenery go by as you float up the river, and spend quality time with friends or family while you dine at New Zealand's oldest riverside tavern. All your group needs to do is soak in the views, enjoy a drink or few, and be merry!


  • “Went out yesterday (our second trip) with Holger and Hannah to watch the Prada Cup racing. Once again fantastic and friendly; an entertaining day out. They both go out of their way to ensure you are well looked after. I have also been on the Riverhead pub trip and again have nothing but praise for these guys. Highly recommend this trip and these great people. They really add something special to a great day out, 10/10.”
    Keith W
  • “Wow, what a perfect day. Captain Holger and Mate Harry offer the experience of a lifetime. The classic vessel is in tip-top shape and is beautiful. Capt. Holger is knowledgeable, charming and engaging. Harry was our helmsman and maneuvered the vessel like he has been doing this all his life. The scenery and weather helped in making our voyage memorable. The topography and landscape of the secluded coves and beaches are beautiful beyond words. Wow - the only superlative I can think of. Thank you Captain for giving my family a wonderful adventure and one of the best experiences during our visit to New Zealand.”
    Wow – A Perfect Day
    Anne D
  • “What a great day out. I wasn’t expecting to enjoy the boat ride so much, but it was a real highlight. If you’ve never been up the harbour to Riverhead you really must. So beautiful meandering up there, and also getting a different perspective of the CBD was good! The boat was delightful and the captain very welcoming. Highly recommend as a must-do.”
    Best Day Out in Auckland
    Michelle Behrens
  • The communication from Riverhead Ferry was excellent - confirming booking and keeping us up to date. We were greeted by the Captain who is a very friendly, very knowledgeable and very capable driver. He went around all his passengers making sure we were all happy. Other boats can be so crowded with no shelter - Riverhead Ferry offered inside and outside seating with shelter from the sun. 5 STARS – Thank you for a very memorable day.
    Fantastic, Friendly, and Extremely Enjoyable
  • Highly recommend. Fantastic service and commentary. Well stocked bar and the potato chips were a nice treat. Thank you for a wonderful day.
    Great Family/Group Day Out
    Erica G
  • We had a fantastic trip to the Riverhead Tavern with friends yesterday. Great commentary and humour from Captain Holger and professional, caring crew Zoe. I would highly recommend this experience to anyone wanting a great day out on the water.
    Great Experience
  • Holger, the captain, is a legend! We had such a great afternoon sailing up to the Riverhead Tavern. The weather wasn’t fully on our side but luckily most of the boat is under cover. You can play your own music and buy drinks from the bar on board! 10/10 would recommend, such a fun activity with a group of friends.
    Such a Fun Activity with Friends
    Millie Johnson
  • Amazing experience with wonderful attentive staff! The views on both the journey there and back were beautiful and the staff bent over backwards to assist us, including dimming the lights and putting on fairy lights for the night cruise back and also allowing us to play our own music through the speakers. We couldn’t have had a more perfect evening, thank you very much. 
    The Best Experience
    Catherine Smyth
  • We privately booked the Riverhead Ferry up to the Riverhead Tavern on Saturday with 40 of our friends for an early Christmas get together and it was incredible — such a fun day/evening out! On the way home on the boat, the sun was going down, the fairy lights came on, and we cruised under the harbour bridge that had a light show! 100% recommend privately hiring the Riverhead Ferry for a party, its epic!
    Epic for Groups of Friends!
    Lauren Baker
  • We had a fantastic trip last Thursday. Awesome friendly crew and a super relaxing boat trip. We all loved it. I cannot wait to do it all again with hubby & the kids.
    What a Fantastic Trip!
    Sarah Price

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