Things to do in

Paihia

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Our most recommended things to do in Paihia

  • Bay of Islands: Bay Discovery Cruise with Island Stop-Over

    1. Bay of Islands: Bay Discovery Cruise with Island Stop-Over

    Set off on a scenic 4.5 to 5-hour cruise to discover the very best of the Bay of Islands. Experience the spectacular scenery and encounter diverse wildlife in an area soaked in rich culture and history. Board the black and yellow power cat at Paihia Wharf and be welcomed aboard by the friendly crew. Your crew will deliver a full safety briefing and overview of the trip. Cruise among the 144 islands and enjoy entertaining live commentary from your local knowledgeable skipper. Visit the iconic Hole in the Rock and when conditions permit, you can even travel through it. Spot local wildlife including dolphins, birds, seals and even the occasional whale with a success rate of over 90%. Your trip will also include a 1.5-hour island stop at Otehei Bay on Urupukapuka Island. Enjoy free time to explore the island. If you wish, you can hire kayaks, or paddleboards (available during summer only) ...

    Hole in the rock and cave was best. Sorry to hear too rough to go through hole but understandable given weather

  • Bay of Islands: Island Hopper Day Sailing Cruise from Paihia

    2. Bay of Islands: Island Hopper Day Sailing Cruise from Paihia

    Embark on a magical day sailing adventure in the Bay of Islands. Experience the Kiwi barefoot culture for yourself as you step straight from Paihia's beachfront onto a modern catamaran.  Set sail through the bay's 144 islands to a remote island stopover aboard Kopiko, a 33-foot performance catamaran built for speed, comfort, and style. Lend the friendly crew a hand with sailing the boat, or spread out with plenty of deck space where you can grab a bean bag and chalk up some leisure time. Discover a wealth of wildlife from seabirds, stingrays, seals, penguins, to dolphins.  Arrive in a stunning bay, where you'll anchor close to the beach. Step off onto the island and enjoy a delicious packed lunch at a stunning picnic spot of your choice. Enjoy short walking trails, picturesque views, snorkeling, paddleboarding, swimming, or digging your toes into the sand. After your island adventures,...

    Amazing value for money. We got 4 hours sailing, 2 hours to snorkel / paddle board / take an island walk, morning tea / lunch / and an afternoon drink. The hosts are lovely, safe, and organised. Skip the big tour boats and do something different - like this. We will go again when next in the bay of islands.

  • Paihia: Bay of Islands Trike Tour Experience

    3. Paihia: Bay of Islands Trike Tour Experience

    On the scenic tour, you'll climb aboard your trike, buckle up, and settle in for one of the most exciting tours of your life. Venture out onto the open road, take a short burst out to the half moon-shaped Haruru Falls, and then continue back to Waitangi Lookout. Capture the breathtaking, 360-degree views of the Bay of Islands on your camera, plus get your picture taken behind the handlebars of the big beast.  The thriller tour includes an action-packed, 30-minute tour on the V2 Chek Trike. Zip off to the picturesque Opua and return with photos and even more adrenaline-pumping thrills as you cruise down this awesome, winding coastal road. The combo tour includes a one-hour tour around the scenic Bay of Islands. Visit the beautiful Haruru Falls before continuing to Waitangi Lookout for breathtaking views. Wind your way through the hills of the idyllic Opua before a thrilling ride back to...

    Four of us (2 bikes) met Mark and Daz at the isite centre and what an exhilarating experience from start to finish. It started raining shortly after we started but only lasted a few minutes but our clothes dried out within minutes thank goodness. We had a great tour around Paihia and district including the Waitangi treaty grounds. The guys were great and we could hear everything they spoke about very clearly.

  • From Paihia: Cape Reinga & 90 Mile Beach Day Trip

    4. From Paihia: Cape Reinga & 90 Mile Beach Day Trip

    Meet your guide at your accommodation in Paihia, Kerikeri, Coopers Beach or Kaitaia before heading up the coastal road to the northernmost point of New Zealand. Pass through rural coastal towns with beautiful beaches while you learn more about Māori culture and tradition. Your first stop is at the southern end of 90 Mile Beach where you will experience the sheer expanse of this well-known destination. After a break to get some sand between your toes, the tour continues further north towards Cape Reinga, or, Te Rerenga Wairua. At the northernmost tip of New Zealand, walk the path towards the lighthouse where the Pacific Ocean & Tasman Sea collide. Absorb the atmosphere of this spiritual place where the Māori believe spirits begin their final journey to their ancestral land Hawaiki. Heading back south towards the immense sand dunes of Te Paki Stream, you’ll have the chance to hire a san...

    Derek was a great guide - very informative, friendly and easy going. The weather was unfortunately pretty terrible but he did everything he could to keep the day interesting despite not being able to go ahead with much of the planned itinerary. He also picked us up and dropped us off with no issues at all, would highly recommend!

  • Hole in the Rock 1.5-Hour Fast Boat Ocean Adventure

    5. Hole in the Rock 1.5-Hour Fast Boat Ocean Adventure

    Fast track your journey through the iconic scenery of the Bay of Islands on a 1.5-hour ocean adventure. Experience the thrill of an open-air fast boat ride as you cruise among the bay's 144 islands and explore the bay's iconic sites. Enjoy the perfect balance of exploration and exhilaration with informative commentary and stops to observe the abundant wildlife along the way. Speed through the open waters in a purpose built state of the art catamaran. Visit the iconic Hole in the Rock, the gorgeous Cape Brett Peninsula, and enter the spectacular Cathedral Cave (conditions permitting). Ride the waves past sandy beaches, rocky outcrops, and the many varied island landscapes. Keep an eye out for wildlife including whales, seals, dolphins, and penguins. Learn about the area's unique characteristics and fascinating history from your friendly, informative skipper. This exhilarating tour is al...

    Our original booking was cancelled due to problems with the boat. Staff from the local company called us on our cruise and upgraded us to another trip on the same day. The staff were fantastic and could not have done anymore to help us. We had a great time.

  • Bay of Islands Small Group Afternoon Cruise & Island Tour

    6. Bay of Islands Small Group Afternoon Cruise & Island Tour

    Check-in at the Salt Air Office at 3.20 PM, before setting off along the sheltered coastline for a scenic cruise. Stop off at Roberton Island (also known as Twin Lagoons) for a 10-minute native bush walk to a breathtaking 360-degree lookout over the bay. After the walk, explore the tidal lagoons before climbing back on board. Cruise among the stunning islands of the Bay, keeping an eye out for wildlife.  Then, stopover at one of the Bay of Islands’ most secluded and unfrequented bays to try some new activities. Snorkel and explore the underwater reefs, stroll on an island trail, give stand-up paddle-boarding a try, relax on the beach or jump in the water for a swim. Make the afternoon your own with the activities that interest you most. Finally, board the boat for the return scenic cruise back to Paihia, arriving at 6:30 PM.

    My friends and I had an amazing experience, we got to explore two islands and were able to paddle board and snorkeling in one of them. Gear is provided. We visited Robertson Island and the views were amazing! Our friendly tour guide gave us interesting facts about the history during the tour. Highly recommend this tour :) My highlight was seeing a stingray :)

  • Paihia: Bay of Islands 30-minute Adventure Jet Boat Trip

    7. Paihia: Bay of Islands 30-minute Adventure Jet Boat Trip

    Head out on a 30-minute water adventure on a jet boat in the Bay of Islands. Feel the adrenaline as you experience 360-degree spins, tricks, and high-speed maneuvers while taking in the beautiful views of the bay. Rest assured that this is a safe experience, with all life jackets, splash jackets, and glasses provided to protect you. You'll also benefit from a guide who will be with you the whole time. Weather permitting, pass some of the Bay of Islands; iconic sights, such as Russell, Tapeka Point, Motoroa Island, and Waitangi Treaty Grounds. Get your heart going with quick turns, sweeping turns and spins, and speeds of up to 45 knots. Enjoy the experience in the only jet boat in the bay, powered by a 510 HP V8 LSX-454.

  • Bay of Islands: Late Afternoon Sailing Cruise

    8. Bay of Islands: Late Afternoon Sailing Cruise

    Board Northland’s iconic tall ship the R. Tucker Thompson for a 2-hour sail on the inner bay. Get involved and help hoist the sails or sit back and relax as you pass around a shared antipasto platter. Enjoy a drink from the cash bar and experience the beauty of a traditionally rigged vessel under sail. Ferry tickets to Russell are included in the tour price, so why not head over early and spend an afternoon exploring the historic village or dine in one of the many excellent restaurants after your sail. The ship is operated as a not-for-profit charitable trust with proceeds from sailing activities used to support youth sail training programs over the New Zealand winter.

    Delightful cruise on a genuine sailing ship. If you are adventurous, put on the climbing harness the ship provides and climb as high as you want in the rigging, even standing on the top gallant yard, or for those of less courage go out on the bowsprit. Absolutely wonderful experience.

  • The Rock Adventure Day Cruise

    9. The Rock Adventure Day Cruise

    You’ll get picked up at 8.15 am at the Paihia Wharf by sea shuttle which will take you on a smooth cruise to a remote and quiet bay where The Rock has been anchored overnight. After arrival and a quick safety brief haul anchor and get underway for an exploration of the islands. Go Kayaking, snorkelling, gathering fresh sea food, explore WWII remains, trek across islands enjoying stunning vantage points, and visit ancient Maori fortifications. If conditions allow, gather mussels from the kelp-covered outer reefs to enjoy on the way home (along with the unique experience of eating sea urchins raw if you’re brave enough). You will have time to enjoy the remote beaches - perfect for a game of beach cricket or volley ball. On the homeward cruise, enjoy those mussels, freshly steamed, and watch out for the abundant marine and bird life…hopefully you’ll even see dolphins! Arrive back at Paih...

    Impossible not to have fun on board The Rock. Great family fun. Lots of games and activities. Best boat trip available. Can’t recommend it enough.

  • From Paihia: Scenic Heli Tour to the Hole in the Rock

    10. From Paihia: Scenic Heli Tour to the Hole in the Rock

    See the breathtaking Bay of islands on this unforgettable helicopter flight. Upgrade to one of the two landing options to experience the iconic natural landmark ‘Hole in the Rock’ up close and on foot.  Departing from the Paihia Office and Helipad, you will fly over the crystal clear turquoise waters of the main island group to the world famous “Hole in the Rock.” The flight features stunning island and coastline views including the townships of Russell, Paihia & Waitangi. There is no doubt that seeing the Bay of Islands from the air is one of the best ways to experience this beautiful area and appreciate the scenery it has to offer. Your pilot will provide a detailed commentary during the flight, highlighting points of interest and historical facts about the area. You will be provided with a headset with voice activated microphone in order to communicate with the pilot and your flight...

    What a great adventure. Best way to see the Bay of Islands. Daniel was very informative and helpful, and made us feel well at ease while experiencing our first ever helicopter flight. Will def be back for another flight.

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What people are saying about Paihia

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 760 reviews

Derek was a great guide - very informative, friendly and easy going. The weather was unfortunately pretty terrible but he did everything he could to keep the day interesting despite not being able to go ahead with much of the planned itinerary. He also picked us up and dropped us off with no issues at all, would highly recommend!

What a great adventure. Best way to see the Bay of Islands. Daniel was very informative and helpful, and made us feel well at ease while experiencing our first ever helicopter flight. Will def be back for another flight.

Great flight up 90 mile beach and down over the east coast on the way back. Van to Cape reinga and surrounding beaches was fun and informative. Easily the best way to see the far north!

Great activity to end a holiday! Thank you for the lovely experience!

My partner was very happy with his ride on the trike