Top 10 Things To Do

While it’s doubtful you will have trouble filling your days in the Paihia; it’s always nice to do a bit of research on what there is to do before you go. So here are our top 10 things to do in Paihia.

  1. Viewing the Dolphins while cruising the Bay of Islands. Going on a cruise out to the Hole in the Rock as well as viewing the dolphins and other marine life in Paihia is pretty much the top of most people’s bucket list when visiting the Northland region. There are a few dolphin tour options, but the team at Carino Wildlife Cruises gives a portion of every fare to marine research and conservation, so they are our top recommendation on this one.
  2. Scuba Diving And Snorkeling. Paihia is home to the famous Rainbow Warrior wreck and the HMNZS Canterbury dive experiences, a huge drawcard for the avid diver. Paihia Dive are the people to see for personalised diving experiences.
  3. Sea Kayaking. Whether you join a guided kayak tour or just rent a kayak and head out on your own adventure, kayaking in Paihia is a great way to get out on the water! There are a number of full and half-day tours available; shop around for the one that suits your budget and time available.
  4. Urupukapuka Island is the largest Island in the Bay of Islands and is popular with tourists, visitors and locals alike. You can spend as much or as little time on the island as you like. There are many activities on the island for you to enjoy including swimming, kayaking, walks, as well as the famous Otehei Bay Cafe and Bar. Explore NZ operate a ferry out to Otehei Bay or you can catch a water taxi. You can even camp overnight on the Island at the Urupukapuka Bay Campsite.
  5. The Xtreme Jet. For those who prefer a slightly faster pace, taking a ride on the Xtreme Jet is the perfect choice! Adrenaline seekers who love to hunt down the big thrills will enjoy the high-speed twists and turns (and the scenery) on this epic jet boating tour.
  6. Hike The Cape Brett Peninsula. Situated just North of Russell (across the bay from Paihia), the Cape Brett peninsula is a great way to escape the hustle and bustle and enjoy some of what nature has to offer. This 16km walk winds its way over hills and through forest along the top of the cliffs before reaching the lighthouse at the end of the peninsula. Save time by taking a Water Taxi across to the peninsula.
  7. Paihia To Kerikeri. If you are up for a slight change of scenery, then just 20 kilometers drive north from Paihia, you will find the historic little town of Kerikeri. This town is home to a number of boutique wineries, great cafes, fresh fruit orchards, historic buildings, and yes – more beaches!
  8. Paihia Cruise. Taking an ocean cruise to explore some of the Bay of Islands beaches, bays and inlets is a must-do when visiting Paihia. Whether it’s dolphins and whales you want to see, or you prefer swimming, kayaking in secluded bays, fishing or just Island hopping, the Bay of Islands Cruises and Islands Tours will not disappoint – prepare for some of the best oceanic adventures in New Zealand!
  9. Horseback Riding in the beautiful Bay of Islands around the Waitangi coastline; then after removing the saddles – you can swim with your horse in the sea! Be sure to book ahead for this popular ride, but if you miss out, other ride options are available, including a bay view scenic ride and forest ride.
  10. Visit The Waitangi Treaty Grounds. You simply can’t holiday in Paihia without taking the opportunity to visit this national icon. A Day Pass around the Waitangi Treaty Grounds will provide a fully guided tour, access to cultural performances and entry to the historic grounds and museum. Want more? Then for an extra fee, there is the Hangi and Concert where you can stay for a traditional Māori meal and entertainment.

Posted by Helen Hadfield on August 31, 2021

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