The resort town of Paihia services the villages and islands of the Bay of Islands. Boasting the area’s best accommodation and restaurants, Paihia Harbour is the ideal place to base yourself while you explore this lovely part of New Zealand.  ... 

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Alan R

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
January 2017

An amazing experience. It's costly, sure, but well worth it. The area is beautiful and to get a chance to see it from above is too good to miss. The pilot provided an interesting commentary on the history and landmarks there and back to the hole in the rock, and even pointed out a huge shoal of fish for us. There are plenty of photo opportunities so make sure your batteries are charged up- you won't want to miss a moment of this magical trip.

Doing what: Bay of Islands and Hole in the Rock Scenic Helicopter Tour

Reno N

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
January 2017

Had an amazing sail out in the Bay of Islands. The rope swing off the side was fantastic. It was great to be supporting educational opportunities for local kids and to have a blast doing it. Our crew was very knowledgeable and friendly. The boat is designed to sail with a very small crew of 4 or 5 people, so while there were opportunities for the 50 odd passengers to help sail the Tucker if they wanted to, it was first-come first-serve and I didn't get a chance to participate as much as I was hoping to. That didn't matter though, because we spent a lot of time out on the bowsprit and up in the rigging just hanging out. Great time from start to finish!

Doing what: Bay of Islands Tall Ship Sailing on 'R. Tucker Thompson' Including BBQ Lunch

sirius

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2016

We were concerned with where to catch this ferry after getting off the cruise ship but needn't have worried. The cruise ship shuttled us right into town and the Ferry terminal at Paihia. The ferry then went to Russell so either port, we would have been fine.

The highlight of the day was the encounter with the dolphins on the way out to the hole in the rock. The skipper allowed our interaction with dolphins to last for a good 30 minutes and did a good job of not interfering with the dolphins or the other tours, especially the ones that were swimming with the dolphins. There were whales around with the skipper saying he'd likely find them within 30 mins but we didn't have time to search for them, and didn't see them this trip.

The scenery is spectacular, like most other places in NZ we found and we were easily able to get under the rock, which with the lighthouse backdrop, was very picturesque. The were very large schools of fish just out from the hole in the rock but we didn't have time to go out and experience them unfortunately.

The island stop and lunch where great although we feared having lunch and going to the top of the hill for the majestic views was a bit risky as we couldn't afford to miss the ferry and hence our cruise back to Sydney later that afternoon.

So the only thing would be if it could be extended maybe another 30-60 mins to allow more time to do more I guess - next time.

And as a note, everyone scrambles for seats at the top of the boat but IMO, the lower floor seats at the back of the boat are best. Many people came down from the top as too windy once we got going although the top is great when we do pass through the hole of course.

Doing what: Half-Day Bay of Islands Discovery Tour from Paihia

wilhelmino

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2016

Wonderful experiences everywhere we went. Definitely worth the price. The crew were very friendly and punctual. Would recommend it to anyone.

Doing what: 5-Day Bay of Islands, Rotorua, Waitomo Caves and Hobbiton Movie Set Tour from Auckland

Dennis B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2016

Excellent! Very worthwhile!

Doing what: Half-Day Bay of Islands Discovery Tour from Paihia

Hayley B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2016

You cannot go to the Bay of Islands and not experience it from air. An absolute must do. Great people and great experience.

Doing what: Bay of Islands Cruise and Scenic Helicopter Tour

kousik43

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
November 2016

Staff were experienced. The altitude we had reached was amazing. They were very kind in rescheduling the slot for us, for the next day.

Doing what: Tandem Parasail Flight over the Bay of Islands

Natalie M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
November 2016

A great afternoon trip. I loved the visit to the chocolate factory, the stone house and the Ancient Kauri kingdom.

Doing what: Kerikeri and Crafts Half-Day Tour from Bay of Islands

Marjorie R

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
November 2016

Brilliant trip, lots of varied experiences from sand dunes to Kauri giants, beach drive and excellent complimentary lunch. If you get the chance, take this trip.

Doing what: Cape Reinga and 90 Mile Beach Tour from Bay of Islands

Penny G

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
November 2016

Stunning trip. Great coach drivers super friendly service

Doing what: 3-Day Bay of Islands Trip from Auckland

Katherine A

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
October 2016

Absolutely recommend this tour! The pictures do not do it justice. The tour weaves through the Bay of Islands with the opportunity to see dolphins, and we even got a glimpse of a whale! We were fortunate to have a calm day and travel through the Hole in the Rock, which was fantastic. The captain is very knowledgeable and ensures that all passengers have a chance to take pictures. The stop in Otehei Bay was fabulous - there are short hikes to the top of the hill where you can see the islands from above. Lunch and coffee is also served, which exceeded expectations!

Doing what: Half-Day Bay of Islands Discovery Tour from Paihia

bucket

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
October 2016

We had already toured for two weeks the North and South islands and this trip ranked up at the top of the experiences we had.
This topography was not expected - how beautiful and if I would relocate to NZ this would be the region. Do It !!!!!

Doing what: Cape Reinga and 90 Mile Beach Tour from Bay of Islands

Debra D

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
October 2016

Excellent way to view the bay of islands. Staff were very friendly and professional, went out of their way to ensure we had a great experience.

Doing what: Bay of Islands and Hole in the Rock Scenic Helicopter Tour

Lakshmi V

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2016

The tour was great !! With just enough time for most things :-)

Doing what: Half-Day Bay of Islands Discovery Tour from Paihia

Anthony M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2016

A great day and well worth it. Getting to see isolated bays you can't approach from land.
Crew very friendly and informative.

Doing what: Bay of Islands Tall Ship Sailing on 'R. Tucker Thompson' Including BBQ Lunch

Madonna C

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2016

very organized. packed with value. Great hotels. Clean buses well maintained with WIPI. . courteous bus drviers. Best land tour we have had.

Doing what: 5-Day Bay of Islands, Rotorua, Waitomo Caves and Hobbiton Movie Set Tour from Auckland

Kathleen S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2016

Beautiful and very informative tour. Would highly recommend the tour especially if you only have a short time to visit the area.

Doing what: Bay of Islands Cape Brett 'Hole in the Rock' Cruise

Micheal L

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
May 2016

Great trip. The captain went out of his normal route to find us a pod of killer whales orcas which we stayed and watched for about an hour. The experience was great being so close to these majestic mammals. The rest of the trip was great with the captain giving us a running commentary the whole way round. Well worth the money

Doing what: Best of the Bay Supercruise: Original Cream Trip

Jenny F

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
May 2016

Fabulous day out despite changes to date because of bad weather - communicated this well and fitted us in the following day
Lunch tasty but not generous , particularly for vegetarians

Doing what: Bay of Islands Tall Ship Sailing on 'R. Tucker Thompson' Including BBQ Lunch

Mike C

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
May 2016

Great experience, fun climbing the rigging. Very good BBQ chicken lunch. Friendly and helpful crew.

Doing what: Bay of Islands Tall Ship Sailing on 'R. Tucker Thompson' Including BBQ Lunch

jacquikay

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
May 2016

Great tour - staff on the boat were great. A little confusing where to actually go to get on the boat, get the ticket etc, but worked out ok in the end

Doing what: Bay of Islands Cape Brett 'Hole in the Rock' Cruise

Lorna C

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
April 2016

It was absolutely wonderful even though we couldn't go through the hole because of the currents. We were lucky enough to have a wonderful sunny day. The captain was terrific - warm and informative and she found dolphins for us which was an absolute highlight!! I had 3 friends from overseas and they thought the whole experience was magical - one from the USA had wanted to come to the Bay of Islands for many years and she was totally bowled over. Thanks for a lovely experience.

Doing what: Bay of Islands Cape Brett 'Hole in the Rock' Cruise

Roger B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
April 2016

A great introduction to what New Zealand has to offer. Great views seen in the quiet of sail rather than noise of motor power. Steve and crew kept us entertained and the bbq lunch was excellent.

Doing what: Bay of Islands Tall Ship Sailing on 'R. Tucker Thompson' Including BBQ Lunch

Marion E

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
April 2016

amazing views we had already been on boat trip so it was good to see from the sky as well.The company was very helpful as when we arrived for our pre booked flight it was quite misty so we couldn't go but when we suggested we would do boat trip first they were very accommodating with changing time

Doing what: Bay of Islands Shore Excursion: Scenic Helicopter Tour Including Hole in the Rock

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