For many New Zealanders, the Bay of Islands is an accessible, ideal holiday destination over the summer months. With a number of nearby attractions to visit, countless beautiful beaches to explore, warm summer weather and a friendly community, it's the perfect place to relax. Here are just a few ideas for activities and destinations to explore while you're staying in the Bay of Islands.
Take to the road
If you're lucky enough to be staying in the Bay of Islands for more than a few days, there are a number of nearby attractions you can explore. Take a rental vehicle or your own car to explore the coastline and discover secret and little-known beaches, or drive up to Ninety Mile Beach and Cape Reinga.
Visit Keri Keri
Not far from Paihia, you'll find the friendly town of Keri Keri. A must-see is the Makana Confections store, where you can sample and purchase hand-made gift-quality chocolates, using only the freshest, natural ingredients. Make sure you try their macadamia brittle and their gourmet truffles while you're there. Other Keri Keri attractions include the Chris Booth sculpture and Puteki Kauri Forest.
Take a day trip to Russell
This historic destination is accessible via ferry from Paihia and a great place for a day trip. Explore the charming village, the historical sites and monuments, shops and cafés while you're there.
The Waitangi National Trust estate in Paihia is where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed on the 6th of February 1840. The reserve offers a historic and cultural experience as well as recreational areas, a tidal estuary, mangrove forest and native bush.
There are plenty of water activities to enjoy in this sunny region - whether you'd prefer to go swimming, fishing, sailing, or on a day-cruise around the islands and to the infamous Hole in the Rock. If you're lucky, you might see some dolphins or other sea life while you're exploring the bay.
As the main township in the Bay of Islands, Paihia is a great base during your travels. Featuring a number of boutique stores, fine cuisine and cafés, ice cream stalls and swimming beaches, it's the perfect summer destination. While you're there you can swim with the dolphins, go kayaking, swimming, fishing, visit Haruru Falls, or picnic along one of the secluded beaches.
The Rock Overnight Cruise
This 22-hour overnight cruise is well known by New Zealanders and international travellers alike. Based from New Zealand's biggest, purpose-built house boat, this cruise offers warm, homely accommodation during an overnight cruise of the islands. The trip is packed with all the best activities of the region including target shooting, snorkeling, fishing, kayaking, swimming and more! Find out more about the cruise of make a booking through their website, www.rocktheboat.co.nz
With so much to see and do, it's no wonder that the Bay of Islands is one of New Zealand's most loved holiday destinations. Make sure you book your accommodation well in advance - spaces book up fast over the holiday season!
If you're planning a holiday to the Bay of Islands, you'll find tranquil, comfortable accommodation at the Bay of Islands Holiday Park in Paihia.