About Explore Group

About Us

Welcome to Explore Group, we're a unique and exciting company. A company that through the efforts of its employees and selection of products, delivers once in a lifetime experiences to our customers everyday in four amazing destinations - Auckland, Bay of Islands, Hamilton Island and Airlie Beach.

Starting with one America's Cup yacht based in Auckland New Zealand in 2001, we've expanded to become a successful multi-region and multi-product operation, and we're still growing.

We are a New Zealand owned company and the products we offer range from sailing to diving to dining, with each product being thoughtfully designed to showcase the location it's in. Operating in Auckland, Bay of Islands in New Zealand, and Hamilton Island and Airlie Beach in Australia, we're really proud of our portfolio of experiences on offer.

We are a multi award-winning company recognised for our commitment to responsible and sustainable tourism, and our Auckland and Bay of Islands experiences have become a must-do for many people visiting New Zealand. Our staff are incredibly proud of the place they live and are ready to show why. Their passion and enthusiasm is what sets us apart and through their input and enthusiasm we continue to share surroundings in very special and unique ways.

 Our Vision Statement

Unique Experiences in Amazing Places

Our Mission

We are passionate about, responsible for and act with integrity towards:

  • Our passengers and their experience
  • Our staff and their well-being
  • The environment we operate within
  • The community we operate within
  • Our company and its success 

Our Values

Responsibility means to us;

We are socially, culturally, and environmentally responsible. We take care of the marine environment to pass on to future generations. We ensure all our customers take home lasting memories of their experience. We take responsibility for our customers and fellow staff always being safe. We are accountable for our roles and deliver on our responsibilities. 

Passion means to us;

We are passionate about our products, the marine environment and its wildlife. We share our passion and knowledge as part of a professional team delivering superior value to our customers. We are proud to be a part of Explore Group and our unique history, identity and development. 

Integrity means to us;

We are consistently fair, honest and respectful to others socially and culturally. We are conscious of and respect our place of work, the marine environment. We are always striving to do our best.

Our Awards

Qualmark - Gold Sustainable Tourism Business Award

A Gold Award recognises the best sustainable tourism businesses in New Zealand. This award is something we work hard to achieve by delivering exceptional customer experiences and putting sustainability at the center of everything we do.  A Gold Sustainable Tourism Award identifies tourism businesses that are leading the way in making the New Zealand tourism industry a world-class sustainable visitor destination, and that is something we are incredibly proud to be a part of. 



COVID Clean Approved

Covid Clean approved represents that a Qualmark awarded operator has declared they are implementing health and hygiene measures to help protect against COVID-19, in accordance with government guidelines.

It allows customers to book knowing that not only is the operator a recipient of a Qualmark award but also that their business operations are maintained in line with the changing COVID-19 environment.



TripAdvisor - Excellence Award 

Certificate of Excellence honors hospitality businesses that deliver consistently great service across the world. This designation is presented to approximately 10% of total businesses on TripAdvisor that have consistently achieved great reviews over the past year. We aim for our experience to be remembered with fondness and gratitude by our customers and receiving this award proves that we are achieving this goal. 



Our Sustainability Efforts:

Explore Group is committed to caring for New Zealand, for the benefit of both present and future generations. As a company, we are socially, culturally, and environmentally responsible in how we engage with the world around us.

Sustainable Initiatives we are proud to support are:


  • Commercial composting - we compost all eligible waste with We Compost
  • Sustainable supplier model: We have moved away from using suppliers that don’t align with our values
  • Re-usable drink bottles: We gifted these to all employees so they no longer use single-use water bottles
  • implementing a digital rostering system which has reduced paper by eliminating hard copy timesheets within the company
  • We outsource our Auckland Dinner Cruise catering to Coops Corner Pub, which eliminates transport emissions, and also allows the dinnerware to be reusable
  • Sea bin project: We have had New Zealand’s first Sea Bin located between our America’s Cup Yachts
  • Low carbon footprint: We use wind power whenever possible
  • Moving to a digitally lead strategy which encourages fewer print materials

Community & Partnerships

We give back to our community through a number of sponsorship's & donations.

We are also committed to helping projects like Project Island Song, to restore parts of New Zealand to the pristine wilderness they were before human habitation.

In 2009, Project Island Song removed all invasive pest mammals from these island sanctuaries. Native birdsong is returning to the Bay of Islands – note by note. Step inside the Otehei Bay Conservation Centre to gain an insight into Project Island Song’s work to protect and restore the unique natural habitat and wildlife on these beautiful islands. When you explore the islands, you will understand why Explore is so proud to support Project Island Song.

For more information on the conservation work being done, visit: projectislandsong.co.nz

Tiaki Promise

Tiaki means to care for people and place. The Tiaki Promise is a commitment to care for New Zealand, for now and for future generations. 

As a company, we are working hard to care for New Zealand, and we encourage everyone, no matter where home is, to do the same. 

How to care for New Zealand: 

  • Be prepared
  • Drive carefully
  • Keep NZ clean
  • Protect nature
  • Show respect