Paihia | Visit Bay of Islands

If you’re planning a visit to New Zealand’s breathtaking Bay of Islands, be sure to include enough time to explore the bustling seaside town of Paihia.

For visitors looking to stay in the Bay of Islands, Paihia has a lot to offer. As the areas main tourist hub, Paihia provides great access to the Bay of Islands’ famous water attractions, historical sites, and dining and shopping opportunities.

Things to do in Paihia

The attractions in Paihia run the full scope of what visitors can experience in the Bay of Islands. With great access to water attractions like cruises, fishing and kayaking, visitors to Paihia also enjoy easy access to sandy beaches and great cafes and dining

For visitors interested in catching a cruise, operators like Fuller’s GreatSights and Explore offer access to many of the most popular spots throughout the bay. They offer cruises for dolphin spotting, island visits with the opportunity to swim with dolphins, and charter cruises to famous natural attractions like the hole in the rock. In addition Paihia is the base of operations for leading tourism providers specialising in snorkeling, scuba diving and charter fishing activities

When it comes to things to do in Paihia, visitors are also spoilt for choice on shore. Visitors with the time available can embark on a two day sightseeing bus tour on the Dune Rider that travels to scenic locations and also includes a cruise for the complete Bay of Islands experience. Visitors can also take advantage of some of the unique shopping opportunities provided by great local stores Neptunes, Silver Star and Classique Souvenirs.

For visitors that are unsure of what to do next, you also have the Bay of Islands Visitor’s Information Centre which has information on all the best local attractions.

Places to stay in Paihia

Visitors staying in the Bay of Islands will find Paihia accommodation to fit nearly any budget or taste. Travellers can choose from anything from leading luxury retreats like Eagles Nest, to scenic holiday parks like the Beachside Holiday resort, which offers affordable camping, cabins and holiday homes.

Paihia is also home to the Scenic Hotel Bay of Islands and the Kingsgate Hotel, which both provide well priced accommodation that is conveniently located within an easy walk of the towns best shopping and dining.

Places to eat in Paihia

Paihia restaurants offer visitors some of New Zealand’s best locally sourced cuisine. Being a town in the Bay of Islands, Paihia boasts some of the best seafood dining experiences in New Zealand, but there are also great places to eat that cover international cuisine, upscale dining and casual bites to eat.

For steaks, ribs, burgers and a great selection of spirits, visitors should grab a meal at Jimmy Jacks, a steakhouse-style dining establishment. For a casual meal out, diners have the choice of restaurants like Avo Sushi or Vinnie’s Fish and Chips, a firm favorite of both visitors and locals.

However, for visitors who want to make the most of Paihia’s stunning seaside location, establishments like the Alongside Bar and 35 Degrees South Aquarium Restaurant and Bar are located of Paihia Wharf, and offer a great combination of breathtaking ocean views and fresh local seafood.


Paihia in the Bay of Islands is a popular tourist destination for good reason. With stunning beaches, exciting activities on the Bay, and fun places to visit in the town, it makes for an unforgettable New Zealand vacation. From Paihia visitors can also easily visit the historical Waitangi Treaty Grounds and it is just a short ferry ride across the bay from Russell.

For more information on everything on offer when you visit the Bay Islands, visit our online guide, featuring  things to do, accommodation and the region’s best dining and shopping.