The Riverhead Experience

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Following the route of the ancient Maori and early pioneers, experience this unique ferry journey up the upper harbour to The Riverhead, New Zealand's Oldest Riverside Tavern. 

Experience the fantastic scenery and amazing history based around Auckland’s upper harbour estuaries on a relaxing cruise combined with the great food, drinks and entertainment at the historic Riverhead tavern.

Independent ferry operators, The Red Boats and The Riverhead Ferry, will transport you along the beautiful route to the Riverside.  The trip duration is approximately 5.5 hours, with the ferry journey taking 1.5 hours each way allowing for a leisurely 2 hours at The Riverhead itself.

Once you have booked a place on the ferry, you just need to book your dining venue to enjoy mouth watering food with a stunning riverside setting.

The Landing Restaurant:

The Landing is an a la carte restaurant with sweeping views. Warm in winter next to the fireplace, or cool in summer sitting on the cascading decks overlooking the water. This is premium pub fare with a sophisticated edge, served with the down-to-earth charm of a true rural establishment.

For larger groups over 14 people, seating will be provided on separate tables.  For groups wishing to mix and mingle, it's best to choose The Portage Bar.  Private room is also available for hire for groups of up to 20 people.

The Portage Bar

The Portage is a relaxed neighbourhood bar, serving typical bar fare with a comprehensive range of premium & craft beers, wines, spirits and cocktails.  With bar leaners & stools, pool tables, shaded veranda and a small outdoor area.  The Portage Bar is the perfect place to mix and mingle, play pool or watch a live game on the big screen.

Live Music and Event Hire:

The Boat House offers free live music most Sundays from 1.00pm to 5pm with a casual festive vibe, serving a similar same menu as The Portage.  There is no table service.  The Boat House is also available other days for private hire by large groups, weddings, functions and from Mid November for Christmas Parties.

Key Points To Note:
  • All guests on the ferry must be booked into one of the venues.
  • Access is tidal, with a window of time around high tide. Generally, the stay at the Riverhead is 2 hours, but private charters and Christmas sailing may differ.
  • There are 55 steps from the Riverhead’s Dock up to The Riverhead's restaurant/bar options. There is no food or beverage service available on the dock.


Visit the River Experience website to book your ferry time and Riverside table.   

The Riverhead / / 09 412 8902
The Red Boats / / 09 834 7337
Riverhead Ferry / / 0800 888 552


  • Moderately Priced

Best For Whom

  • All Ages

Best For What

  • A Bit of Romance
  • Alfresco Dining
  • Live Music
  • Beer
  • A View To Die For
  • Off The Beaten Path
  • The Local Experience
  • Relaxation
  • Cultural Experience
  • Waterfront
  • Wine
  • Outdoor Area

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