These Terms and Conditions apply to all services operated by Waikato Explorer Ltd

Please read these Terms and Conditions carefully before purchasing a ticket or boarding any Waikato Explorer vessel. By purchasing a ticket or using our services in any way, you agree to be bound by these Terms and Conditions. Nothing in these Terms and Conditions is intended to limit your rights under the Consumer Guarantees Act 1993. Waikato Explorer may vary these Terms and Conditions at any time by updating them online.

General tickets

  • All customers must have a copy of their booking confirmation to present to crew upon arrival. .
  • All cruise bookings are non-refundable unless Waikato Explorer cancels that service. In the case of a cancelled service, a full refund is available if an alternative suitable date isn’t found. If, pandemic restrictions disrupt sailings, this is deemed to be out of WRE’s control, and those bookings are non-refundable. In all cases, a Gift Voucher valid for 12-months will be offered as an alternative.
  • All bookings must be used in accordance with any time, date and/or special conditions indicated on the booking confirmation, and in accordance with these terms and conditions.
  • Customers must arrive prior to the departure time and board the vessel promptly. Gates will close at least two minutes prior to the departure time.
  • All services, sailings and itineraries are subject to change at Waikato Explorer’s discretion. Reasons may include but are not limited to operational and safety requirements.
  • Unused portions of concessions will not be refunded.
  • Advance bookings are recommended for Waikato Explorer tour products and tourist services and there are discounts online for all daytime cruise options. Full payment is required at the time of booking to confirm your booking.
  • Any bookings with outstanding payments will be treated as unconfirmed.
  • Tickets for Waikato Explorer tours may be exchanged or refunded up to 48 hours prior to the time of travel. A 2% Admin fee will be charged for all refunds. No refunds will be given for cancellations within 48 hours of travel time.
  • A deposit may be requested to confirm your reservation or booking for a charter or large group in which case it will be a non-refundable payment. Payment of a deposit forms part of the final payment and means you have read and accepted these Terms and Conditions.
  • Waikato Explorer may sell services of other operators who are not connected with Waikato Explorer and whose operations are outside the control of Waikato Explorer. Waikato Explorer accepts no responsibility or liability for the service provided by those operators except as required by law.
  • Tickets and passes remain the property of Waikato Explorer and we may request any expired or fully used tickets or passes be surrendered.
  • If a customer is using a Waikato Explorer service for business purposes, the provisions of the Consumer Guarantees Act 1993 do not apply.
  • All prices are in New Zealand Dollars and include Goods and Services Tax.

Standard Terms and Conditions

Non-Exclusive Cruise bookings

  • Payment in full is required to secure the booking although we recommend only paying for those who have confirmed. NB, Additional bookings many not be possible if the vessel has exceeded it’s loading limit.
  • In the event that the booking is cancelled by the customer, if that cancellation is not less than 48-hours from the scheduled departure, or an alternative date is not able to be found, a refund is available however a 2% Admin fee will be charged on any refunds due. If that cancellation is less than 48-hours from the scheduled departure, all payments made are non-refundable.
  • In the event of a cancellation by the operator, a full refund is available however if the cancellation is the result of pandemic, operational requirements by The Regional Council or Power Company (flooding), the above conditions apply.
  • Electronic payments are preferred.
  • There are no refunds for no-shows.
  • As the vessels are fully licensed, we are unable to permit BYO food or beverages

Liability of Waikato Explorer

  • Customers travel at their own risk and Waikato Explorer will not be responsible for any loss, damage, cost, expense, or injury suffered by customers or loss or damage to a customer’s property.
  • Waikato Explorer will not be liable for any loss, damage or delay caused by or arising from an event beyond their control.
  • Waikato Explorer may use any mode of transport to carry customers and may substitute the mode of transport used at any time.
  • Waikato Explorer does not guarantee that services will be available at any particular time or at all, and is not liable to a customer or any other person for any consequences, loss or damage as a result of a cancellation or any variation of the time of arrival or departure from any jetty or stop of any vessel or vehicle;
  • If there is contributory negligence on the part of a customer or other person, Waikato Explorer’s liability is subject to the law relating to contributory negligence.
  • Waikato Explorer may vary or cancel wholly or in part the scheduled services shown in their timetables or may vary the point at which vessels/buses will pick up and drop off customers.
  • Whilst Waikato Explorer will make every effort to maintain it’s departure schedule, it does not guarantee the time of arrival or departure of its services at the times published in its timetable.
  • Waikato Explorer will not guarantee the availability of any seat or any specific area within a vessel to any Customer.
  • Tickets are subject to any alteration which Waikato Explorer may make to the service to which that ticket relates during the currency of the ticket and the holder of the ticket is not entitled to any allowance or compensation due to any change in the time or location of the service or any reduction in the service.

Waikato Explorer is not required to refund money or to make any other allowance to a Customer:

  • for delayed, rescheduled, or relocated services; or
  • who changes their mind or has a change in circumstances; or
  • for any unused portion of concession or periodic tickets; or
  • who has lost or mislaid his or her Ferry Ticket, who has a damaged Ferry Ticket or who presents a stolen or expired Ferry Ticket;
  • who wishes to take advantage of any reduced rates online; or
  • because of a subsequent reduction in the Rate for that Ticket Type; or
  • who is unable to fully utilise their Ferry Ticket for any reason; andwho is unable to provide proof of purchase.

Any refunds will be subject to Waikato Explorer Terms of Use. Nothing in these Conditions is intended to limit or replace any rights Customers have under the Consumer Guarantees Act 1993.


The Customer will indemnify the Operator at all times against any loss, damage or cost suffered or incurred by the Operator as a direct or indirect result of a breach by the Customer of its obligations under these Conditions.

Public holidays

  • Waikato Explorer operates public holiday timetables on services.
  • Waikato Explorer has limited services over the Christmas New Year holiday period, please contact Waikato Explorer for further details, or refer to our Christmas timetable when available.


Commercial use of video, photography, or audio recording equipment without permission of Waikato Explorer is prohibited. For enquiries or permission to film, please contact: [email protected].

For commercial use of video, photography, or audio recording equipment on or around jetty areas, please contact Hamilton City Council or Waikato Regional Council.

Advertising or literature

Distribution or posting of any literature or advertisements on Waikato Explorer vessels without permission is prohibited. For enquiries about advertising, please contact: [email protected]

Accessible travel on Waikato Explorer

Waikato Explorer strives to offer accessible and affordable transport to all our customers travelling with access challenges and those with limited mobility. When travelling with Waikato Explorer, we recommend you contact us on 0800 139 756 in advance to ensure the service you will be travelling on can provide you with additional assistance and is accessible to your needs.

PLEASE NOTE: The Museum & Pukete Jetties are temporary and may not currently be suitable for passengers with mobility issues.

Tickets & passes terms and conditions

Age Entitlement: (i) Under 5’s: Travel free when accompanied by a fare paying customer. (ii) 5-14 years inclusive: Child fare. (iii) 16-19 years: Student Fare. (iv) 16-64 years inclusive: Adult fare. (v) 65 years and over: Senior’s Fare.

For some charters and services, child discounts will not apply, and a full adult fare will need to be paid to secure a booking. This will be advised at the time of booking.

Adult Monthly passes:

  • A Waikato Explorer Monthly Pass is available for commuter services. The pass is valid only for one month from the date of purchase.
  • Renewals can be purchased online

Waikato Explorer gift vouchers:

  • Gift Cards may be purchased online but cannot be redeemed on-board vessels.
  • Gift Cards will expire 12 months from the date of purchase. Any unredeemed balance on expiry cannot be redeemed after this date.
  • Gift Cards can only be redeemed for tour products.

Last Updated: May 2020