Bay of Islands

Bay of Islands

The Bay of Islands is a superb inclusion to a tour of New Zealand. Arrive into Paihia (gateway town to the Bay of Islands) and you will instantly feel completely absorbed in holiday mode. Why? The Bay Of Islands is situated at the top of the North Island (where sun and warmth is plentiful) and boasts all things swimming, sun and sand! We spend two nights here including one full day which gives you plenty of time to immerse yourself in summer on a yacht sailing around the islands, a scenic bike ride or take a map and get your walking shoes on; you’ll find an array of outdoor pursuits here to take advantage of.

Optional activities:

  • Sailing day trip
  • Parasailing
  • Cape Reinga day trip (gets you right to the very top of the North Island)
  • Dolphin swimming
  • Scuba Diving
  • Maori Culture - Maori concert and Treaty of Waitangi guided walk
  • Paddle boarding
  • Twilight and Mangrove Guided Kayaking tours

Walk options:

Haruru Falls walk is an absolute must do on your first afternoon here and only 1.5 hours one way, it’s a great introduction into the Bay Of Islands. Starting at the birth site of New Zealand’s history to strolling on boardwalks through amazing mangroves that thrive underwater and then finishing up at a miniature version of the horseshoe Niagara Falls!

On your full day, we can recommend a multitude of peaceful walks ranging from short 30 minute viewpoints of the Bays through to a full day hike around the Island of Russell. Expect breathtaking harbour views, cafes and quaint shops to ponder en-route, maybe even a few dolphins playing in the nearby shores. If you’re seeking some shade, leave the coastal walks and hit a forest trail in Russell where you’ll be sure to find many of our iconic silver ferns.

Cycling options:

Instead of walking the Haruru Falls on the first day, you could jump on a bike and hit the Waitangi bike Forest. Lucky for us, it’s a relatively new cycle track which means a lot of people still don’t know about it - we know it’s there though and if you’ve hired a bike we recommend you try it out as it’s got a bit of everything to keep you entertained. Our bus will meet you at the end point which finishes exactly where the walkers finish at the Haruru Falls. Expect a bit a hill peddling but suitable for all levels as the trail is fairly wide. You’ll ride through forest landscape and can also expect sneaky openings giving you panoramic views of the Bay of Islands harbour (you’ll thank us for making you ride up a couple of hills to get this incredible view!).

On your full day we can recommend a bike option which is a full day out of discovery. You’ll need to take some money for two ferry crossings (very cheap day out) but you’ll see so so much coastal, islands and points of interest that you wouldn’t be able to conquer by foot!