Bay of Islands

Bay Of Islands

Paihia is the gateway town to the Bay of Islands, situated at the top of the North Island where sun and warmth is plentiful, you will instantly feel completely absorbed in holiday mode. The Bay Of Islands screams sun, sea and sand! We spend two nights here and one full day giving you plenty of time to immerse yourself in summer. Sail around the islands on a yacht, take a scenic bike ride or get your walking shoes on; you’ll find a full array of outdoor pursuits here to take advantage of.

Time spent here on tour: 2 nights in Paihia - the winterless North!

Tours covering thhs area:

Ultimate Explorer - 27 or 28 days    Hot Rocks - 9 or 10 days
Total Aotearoa - 24 days Northern Wanderer - 8 days
Overland Explorer - 21 days  Beach It - 4 days
Reverse Traverse - 14 or 15 days  

Where we stay: 

Waitangi Holiday Park – The campsite is located on the banks of the Waitangi River, close to Waitangi Treaty Grounds.

- Wifi
- Laundry $4 per wash & $4 per dry
- Supermarket, beach, bush walks nearby.
- Cabin upgrade

Things to do:

Discover Piercy Island (Motu Kōkako) a Māori freehold land with great cultural significance. More commonly known as “The Hole in the Rock” this beautiful island features on many New Zealand postcards and calendars. Take a cruise or a jet boat to get there and be sure to keep an eye on the ocean, if you are lucky you might spot whales or dolphins on the way.

This beautiful bay of 144 islands is also rich underneath the water. Why not try a bit of snorkelling or diving? The reefs are home of stingrays, bottlenose dolphins, moray eels and many fish species. Explore this accessible area’s deep canyons, large kelp forests, volcanic reefs, caves and pinnacles.


Cape Reinga Product

Free Things to Do:

Take the esplanade walk to the Waitangi Inlet and view the Te Tii Marae, the signing place for the Treaty of Waitangi.

Or just explore the beaches, waterfalls, native forests and more! You are spoilt for choice.

Insiders Tip:

The warm, pristine ocean waters of the Bay of Islands are unforgettable! You will have many opportunities to experience it, from sailing to snorkelling, diving and swimming, immersing yourself in the tranquil waters is something not to be missed during your time in the Bay. Views of the Islands from the sea are impressive, feel what first explorers sensed when they first arrived in this astonishing land.

Hiking Options: 

urupukapuka island tourHururu Falls Walk - This 1.5-hour, one way walk, is a great introduction to the Bay Of Islands and an absolute must do on your first afternoon here. Starting at the birth site of New Zealand’s history you stroll on boardwalks through amazing mangroves that thrive underwater, then finish up at New Zealand’s miniature version of the famous Niagara Falls horseshoe!

Bay of Islands Coastal Walkway – This awesome day hike will take you to some of the best places along the Bay of Islands waterfront. It’s a full excursion day and a great way to experience the area.

Cycle Options:

Waitangi Mountain Bike Park – - Instead of walking the Haruru Falls on your first day, you could jump on a bike and hit the Waitangi bike park. This is a relatively new cycle track which remains a well kept secret. If you’ve hired a bike we recommend you try it out, it has a bit of everything to keep you entertained. Our bus will meet you after your ride which finishes exactly where the walkers finish, the Haruru Falls.

Our pick of Bay of Islands Activities:

Treaty House 

Waitangi Treaty House (Day Pass)

Valid for 2 days, explore the Treaty Grounds. Admission to the museum and grounds, a guided tour (50 minutes) and a cultural performance (30 minutes) and ‘Waitangi Birthplace of a Nation’, introductory film (20 minutes).

WTG Hangi Concert 1024x683

Waitangi Treaty House (Hangi & Concert)

Includes complimentary drink, cultural performance, hangi dinner and a Day Pass valid for 2 days. Watch the expert hangi chefs unveil your dinner and educate you on the cooking process. Prepare to be amazed as the resident performing arts group Te Pitowhenua entertain you with a high energy cultural performance.

Bay Of Islands Kayaking Cruises Paihia 1

Day Kayaking to Waterfalls

2.5 - 3hrs. Paddle through mangrove forests to where a waterfall drops into the sea. At the waterfall the fun & adrenaline starts, here even first timers can safely experience paddling in foaming white water or even kayak under the waterfall itself! Along the cruise hear about the local Maori stories & history of this beautiful area. Free transfers included.

haruru falls

The Night Kayak Safari

2.5 - 3hrs. Same highlights as the Day Cruise & Kayak but has the added punch of white water kayaking in the dark under a spot lit waterfall or glowing sunset. The scenery is captivating & waterfall exhilarating at this time of day. Millions of stars, rising moon & jumping fish, screeching Owls & Kiwi Calls. Free transfers included.


Explore by Paddle Board

2.,5hrs, 10am, 1pm, 4pm.Activity is done in calm waters and no experience required!

shes a lady 05

Sailing Bay of Islands

Crew Favourite! A full day sailing adventure. Activities included are kayaking, snorkelling, island exploring and fishing. Dolphins & penguins are often seen. Lunch included.

fullers greatsights dolphin eco 06

Dolphin Eco Tour

4hrs. Cruise the Bay of Islands in search of dolphins and whales. Get up close to these amazing creatures with the boats low viewing decks, then swim with wild dolphins in the warmest waters in New Zealand! Tour leaves in the morning and afternoon.

Hole in theRock Cruise gallery 3

The Cream Trip/Day in the Bay

7hrs. Explore the Bay of Islands, stopping for lunch on an island and travel to the famous Hole in the Rock. View and swim with the dolphins or boom net alongside the vessel. The Cream Trip is the perfect cruise for nature lovers, and the most extensive historical cruise in the Bay. Additional $30 to swim with the dolphins (pay on board).

90 mile beach

Cape Reinga via 90 Mile Beach

11hrs. Visit 90-mile beach, Cape Reinga lighthouse, surf down giant sand dunes and see the Tasman Sea & Pacific Ocean collide. Visit a 2000 year old Kauri tree. A day of adventure!