About the Bay
The Bay of Islands is home to an eclectic group of cafes, restaurants, history, beaches and fantastic outdoor experiences. One thing they all have in common is an easy, relaxing atmosphere – chill out and enjoy the beautiful Bay of Islands.
This is your hub for boat trips to explore the dozens of islands that is the Bay of Islands. You can join an organized cruise, visiting the famous Hole in the Rock, or choose from several other islands. Or you can charter your own vessel and explore anywhere in the bay, with your own skipper to tell you all about your surroundings.
Shop, eat, relax, repeat
This busy little town has a great range of shops and eateries to satisfy your hunger. Get outdoors and explore by foot, kayak, bike or car. Waitangi has a fantastic museum, telling you all the local stories and history.
Our picks of things to do in Paihia:
- Have a great cocktail at Charlotte’s Kitchen at the end of the wharf
- Take a ferry to Otehei Bay on Urukpukapuka Island to spend a few hours or a full day during the Summer months with Explore NZ
- Learn about the area while taking in the magnificent views, there are walks for all fitness levels.
- Catch the Happy Ferry to historic Russell
- Hire a bike and try out the mountain bike trails with Paihia Mountain Bikes
- See the famous Hole in the Rock, with Fullers Great Sights
- Kayak around the bay and Waitangi River with Coastal Kayakers
- Try some uber fresh produce and tasty treats at the local Farmers Market
- Discover the story of New Zealand’s history and the story of two peoples coming together as one under the Treaty of Waitangi, Te Tiriti o Waitangi, at the award-winning national attraction – Waitangi Treaty Grounds
Full of history, Russell was once known at the hell hole of New Zealand. This once lawless town of debauchery and drunkenness now has a delightful village feel featuring magnificent 100 year old Moreton Bay Fig trees. Treat yourself to fine dining or a French café, specialty shops or museum. There are plenty of options to fill your day and learn some early New Zealand colonial history.
Our picks of things to do in Russell:
- Winetasting at Omata Estate Winery
- Visit New Zealand’s oldest Church – Christ Church. Download the Hikoi Tahi Walking Tour and help the local community at the same time.
- Step back in time at the Pompallier Mission and join a guided tour to learn what happened here
- Take a night walk with Russell Nature Walks in a privately owned forest – and see if you can see a kiwi!
- Treat yourself to some fine dining at the historic Duke of Marlborough
- Try some hand-made chocolate or divine hot chocolate at Newport Chocolates