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Popular onshore activities in the Bay of Islands
- Visit Waitangi Treaty Grounds where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840. Catch an authentic Maori cultural performance at the Visitors Centre there.
- Look around Pompallier in Russell - a Catholic missionary house made from rammed earth.
- Walk to Haruru Falls from the Treaty House (about 6km or 3.2 miles). Here, the water falls in a horse-shoe shape - very rare and quite spectacular.
- Choose between a sedate 'Hole in the Rock' cruise or an exciting speed boat ride to the tip of Cape Brett.
- Encounter nature up close by swimming with dolphins in the wild.
Cruise ships will tender at Waitangi Wharf for all shore excursions. The wharf is on the Waitangi Treaty Grounds and it's just a 10 minute walk from there to the Treaty House.
At Waitangi, free shuttles can take you to Paihia i-SITE Visitor Centre, which is less than 5 minutes' drive or 2.1km (1.3 miles) away. From here, you can explore the town of Paihia or take a short ferry trip to Russell. Ferries to Russell cost NZ$6 one-way and NZ$10 return; they depart every 20 minutes from 7am to 10pm daily.
A number of cruise ships also tender to Russell. This is for independent travellers only. Russell is 50 metres (164 feet) from the tender pier.
The townships of Paihia and Russell are small and easily explored on foot. You will need to have a vehicle if exploring other parts of the Bay of Islands.
Taxis are available in the maritime precinct.
In the Bay of Islands, freephone 0508 3425 2 7433 (0505 DIAL A RIDE)
Not all taxis accept credit cards. Please ask your driver before boarding.
We recommend rental cars to be booked in advance. Find a rental car in the Bay of Islands.