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Paihia Tours

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Paihia
Paihia is a regular stop for cruise ships visiting New Zealand—and it’s not difficult to see why. This charming port town and eponymous scenic harbor nestled in the Bay of Islands is the home base for many of the region’s tour operators. It’s also a great place to stay as you explore the Northland region.
 
The Basics
During summer, small Paihia—one of New Zealand’s most popular resort towns—teems with sun-seeking tourists. From the harbor you can catch cruises out to Cape Brett and the Hole in the Rock, go parasailing above the bay, or kayak down the Waitangi River to Haruru Falls. Divers can take wreck tours from Paihia to the Rainbow Warrior at Matauri Bay and the HMNZS Canterbury at Deep Water Cove.

There are a number of nature walks branching out from Paihia to the nearby Opua Forest and Horotutu Scenic Reserve. You can also walk to Waitangi, home to the grounds where New Zealand’s founding document was signed in 1840. For more history, catch a ferry across the harbor to Russell (Kororāreka), briefly the capital of the new colony of New Zealand. Or simply swim and sunbathe at Paihia Beach, an easy-to-access stretch along Paihia’s northern coastline.
 
Things to Know Before You Go
  • Paihia Harbour is an ideal for outdoor adventurers, first-time Northland visitors, and cruise-ship passengers wanting to experience a spectacular corner of the Bay of Islands.
  • The region’s subtropical climate means that the sun can be quite fierce, so make sure to pack sunscreen.
  • Paihia has plenty of accommodation options, from 5-star hotels to cozy bed-and-breakfasts, as well as restaurants, cafés, and supermarkets.
 
How to Get There
Paihia is an easy 3.5-hour drive from Auckland, up State Highway 1 and State Highway 11. If you’re flying into Bay of Islands Airport, you can book an airport shuttle to Paihia or drive the roughly 18 miles (29 kilometers) to Paihia along State Highways 10 and 11.
 
When to Get There
Paihia’s subtropical landscape means that there isn’t really a bad time to visit. Party-goers typically descend on the region around New Year’s Eve, and families tend to arrive soon after for Paihia’s Summer Festival, a family-friendly holiday festival in early January.
 
Cruising and Sailing near Paihia
Plenty of Paihia’s cruise operators offer day trips out to Cape Brett to see the Hole in the Rock and spot local marine wildlife, including stingrays and, if you’re lucky, dolphins. There are also dive cruises available to other spots in the bay. Travelers looking for a more luxurious sailing experience might want to book a cruise on the classic tall ship R. Tucker Thompson.
Address: Marsden Road, Paihia 0200, New Zealand
Admission: Varies
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Day Cruises

Half-Day Bay of Islands Discovery Tour from Paihia

Explore subtropical islands, Maori heritage sites and golden beaches on this cruise around the Bay of Islands from Paihia. Soak up the scenery as you float between the bay’s 144 islands, sail straight through the iconic Hole in the Rock (weather permitting) and tuck into a BBQ lunch or dinner at the stunning Otehei Bay on Urupukapuka Island. Along the way, spot dolphins swimming and playing alongside the boat.
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  • 4 to 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
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US$99.24
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  • 4 to 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Ports of Call Tours

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The Bay of Islands Hole in the Rocks Cruise & Dolphin and Whangarei Water falls

Tour Highlights:*Pick up from Auckland CBD.*Snacks & Water.*3 hours guided boat cruise.*Hole in the Rock Sighting.*Urupukapuka Island Stop.*Whangarei Waterfalls.*Drop off at Auckland CBDPick up Time: 8:30 am to 9:00 amDrop off Time: 8:00 pm -9:00 pm
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  • 11 to 12 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
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US$228.50
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  • 11 to 12 minutes
  • Free Cancellation

Cultural Tours

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3 Day Bay of Islands Winterless North Tour

At Haka Tours we believe that size does matter and that's why we only take a max of 16 guests at a time on our 22 seater Haka coach. You'll have a unique Haka Adventure with a passionate local Kiwi guide. This tour is great if you want a magical, yet quick escape to soak up the sun in beautiful Northland. As the tour starts early in the morning, you can opt to book accommodation with us in Auckland the night before the tour – only having to walk downstairs on day 1 makes for a stress-free morning. Likewise, you can book an extra night at the end of the tour so you are not in a rush once we go our separate ways.
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  • 3 days
  • Free Cancellation
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US$260.49
From  
US$260.49
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  • 3 days
  • Free Cancellation

Multi-day Tours

3 Day Bay Of Islands Tour from Auckland including Waitangi and Cape Reinga

Take in the highlights of the Northland on this 3-day tour from Auckland, including accommodation. Explore the Bay of Islands, including the Waitangi Treaty Grounds and the seafront towns of Paihia and Russell; enjoy a dolphin-watching cruise around the bay; and journey to the northernmost point of New Zealand on a day tour to Cape Reinga and Ninety Mile Beach. 3- or 4-star accommodation is included.
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  • 3 days
  • Free Cancellation
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US$512.50
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  • 3 days
  • Free Cancellation

Ports of Call Tours

5.5-Hour Bay of Islands Shore Excursion from Waitangi Wharf Inc Glow Worm Caves!

When your ship docks in Waitangi Wharf, explore the beautiful Bay of Islands and see the best of New Zealand’s spectacular North Island. Travel through the Bay of Islands with your guide and take in top attractions including Kawakawa and the Kawiti glowworm caves. Explore the Puketi Forest’s rich ecological diversity, sample New Zealand sweet treats at the Makana Chocolate Factory, and gaze out over the Haruru Falls and the Waitangi River.
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  • 5 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
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US$107.72
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  • 5 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation

Day Trips

Cape Reinga and 90 Mile Beach Tour from Bay of Islands

Ride a custom-built Waverider coach over the rugged and sandy coastline of Ninety Mile Beach on this full-day guided tour to Cape Reinga. Departing Paihia’s Bay of Islands for the top end of New Zealand’s North Island, you’ll walk under ancient trees in the Puketi Kauri Forest and go sandboarding down a quicksand stream at Te Paki Sand Dunes. Includes lunch and round-trip all-terrain transport from centrally located hotels.
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  • 11 hours
  • Free Cancellation
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US$101.19
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  • 11 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Sailing Trips

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

Sail the Bay of Islands on a working tall ship aboard the famed ‘R. Tucker Thompson,’ built in the tradition of a 100-year-old Northland schooner. Ply the waters of the pristine bay, where you can help hoist the sails, climb the rigging or simply relax on board, then swim while anchored in a sheltered bay in the maritime park. Enjoy morning tea and a barbecue lunch, with an optional complimentary ferry ride from Paihia to Russell, where your vessel departs.
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  • 5 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$103.81
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  • 5 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation

Multi-day Tours

3-Day Bay of Islands Trip from Auckland

Explore the Bay of Islands’ rocky islets and pristine beaches on a 3-day tour from Auckland. This comprehensive tour through the Northland includes: a visit to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds to discover Maori history; a drive along Ninety Mile Beach to Cape Reinga, the northernmost point of New Zealand; a boat cruise through the Cape Brett Hole in the Rock; and a sightseeing tour of historic Russell. Enjoy two nights’ overnight accommodation before returning by coach to Auckland.
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  • 3 days
From  
US$652.21
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  • 3 days

Multi-day Tours

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5-Day Best of the North Island Tour from Auckland

This five day independent tour offers the best the North Island has to offer. The tour includes the Bay of Islands with Hole in the Rock cruise, a guided tour of Hobbiton, Rotorua and its many attractions, the famous Waitomo Glowworm Caves and more. Four star hotel accommodation and transportation included.
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  • 5 days
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$1,080.49
From  
US$1,080.49
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  • 5 days
  • Free Cancellation

Multi-day Tours

5 Day Bay of Islands, Rotorua, Waitomo Caves and Hobbiton Tour from Auckland

Soak up all the North Island highlights on this 5-day journey from Auckland by coach, including a Bay of Islands cruise to see the Hole in the Rock. Your itinerary includes a drive along Ninety Mile Beach at Cape Reinga; enjoy an overnight stay near the bubbling hot springs of Rotorua; a visit to Waitomo Caves for a boat ride through Glowworm Grotto; and a Hobbiton Movie Set tour to see filming locations for ‘The Lord of the Rings.’ Listen to informative commentary on board.
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  • 5 days
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$1,148.39
From  
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  • 5 days
  • Free Cancellation

Air Tours

Cape Reinga Half-Day Tour Including Scenic Flight

Fly over the Northland coastline on a scenic flight between Paihia and Cape Reinga. Soar above Ninety Mile Beach before landing for a 2.5-hour minibus tour at the top end of New Zealand's North Island. Visit Cape Reinga Lighthouse, where the Tasman Sea meets the Pacific Ocean, then stroll along the beach at Tapotupotu Bay and surf the sand dunes of Te Paki. Look down on remote Parengarenga Harbour and Great Exhibition Bay on your return flight. Includes morning tea and round-trip hotel transfers.
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  • 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$293.79
From  
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  • 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation

Helicopter Tours

Bay of Islands Cruise and Scenic Helicopter Tour

See the Bay of Islands from water, land and air on this half-day tour that includes a boat cruise, island stopover and helicopter flight. Departing from Paihia, board the Sea Shuttle for a scenic boat ride, and stop for a few hours at Roberton Island to hike, swim or snorkel. Finish with a helicopter tour over the Bay of Islands and hover above the Hole in the Rock for great photo ops.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$227.85
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Cultural Tours

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Bay of Islands 3 days tour

With so many amazing natural and historic attractions to see, many travelers feel that a single day in the Bay of Islands isn’t enough. This 3-day tour takes visitors to the region’s top sights with an expert guide and is the perfect option for anyone looking for an extensive overview of one of New Zealand’s most beautiful spots.
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  • 3 days
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$521.64
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  • 3 days
  • Free Cancellation

Ports of Call Tours

Private Scenic Escape from Bay of Islands

Explore the historic Bay of Islands in a luxury, late model Jeep Wrangler or Toyota 4x4 with a maximum of 4 passengers in your group. On your private 4.5-hour guided tour you will see historic locations, spectacular waterfalls, panoramic scenery, subtropical rain forests and rural farming areas away from the crowds. You can also extend your tour with 1-hour options of a winery lunch or a visit to the Kawiti Glow Worm Caves. Your tour is adaptable with no fixed schedule, allowing you to stop for photos, ask questions, take your time or relax and talk with your local driver.
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  • 270 to 390 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$101.19
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  • 270 to 390 minutes
  • Free Cancellation

Day Cruises

Bay of Islands Day Cruise - The Cream Trip

Follow the century-old tradition of delivering mail and supplies throughout the Bay of Islands — called a ‘cream trip’ — on this full-day cruise by catamaran from Paihia or Russell. See the Hole in the Rock at Cape Brett, spend time on one of many Islands that maker up the Bay of Islands, and search the waters for whales, seals and other marine life. On board the multi-level vessel, an informative crew points out natural landmarks, local homes and secluded bays. Enjoy time to stroll on a local island or relax on the beach.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$88.14
From  
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Parasailing

Parasailing Adventure over the Bay of Islands

There are few more unique ways to see the Bay of Islands than catching the wind and parasailing high above the water. See the Bay’s towns, forests and islands – all the way out to Cape Brett’s famous Hole in the Rock – from the sky on this aerial adventure. Take to the skies with your friends or family on tandem or triple flights. Your children can even go parasailing – this adventure is suitable for all.
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$64.63
From  
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation

Day Trips

Far North New Zealand Tour including 90 Mile Beach and Cape Reinga from Paihia

Visit 90 Mile Beach and Cape Reinga in New Zealand's Far North District. This day trip from Paihia takes you aboard a Dune Rider vehicle, ideal for traversing the gorgeous coastal landscape. Stop at Cape Reinga Lighthouse and the Ancient Kauri Kingdom. Try sandboarding at the Te Paki Stream sand dunes and enjoy a buffet lunch at Waitiki Landing.
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  • 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$101.19
From  
US$101.19
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  • 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Motorcycle Tours

V8 Trike Tours, Bay of Islands - Bay Combo Tour approx 60 minutes

Explore the Bay of Islands from the seat of a 350 Chev Trike for a fun-filled and memorable experience. You can choose from three different routes that include some of the area’s must-see sights, or combine them all for a longer trip. Your driver will keep you safe and give you local insights into the Paihia area. This tour is wheelchair accessible, so anyone can join.
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$78.34
From  
US$78.34
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation

Ports of Call Tours

Shore Excursion: Small Group Bay of Islands Highlights Tour

Get to know the highlights of the Bay of Islands on this tour with a small group, which ensures personalized attention and an intimate atmosphere. Stops include one of New Zealand's oldest pear trees, Haruru Waterfall, the Paihia waterfront, the Makana Chocolate shop, and the Stone Store at Kerikeri. Round-trip transportation from the cruise port makes for a seamless shore excursion.
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  • 4 hours
From  
US$71.16
From  
US$71.16
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  • 4 hours

Day Cruises

Bay of Islands Waterfall Cruise Kayak or Paddle board

Experience nature is at its best on a 40-minute Bay of Islands cruise followed by a kayak excursion. Paddle past mangrove forests to a wondrous waterfall, with the option to depart in the morning, afternoon or at sunset. If you’d like, opt for a paddleboard instead. You’ll view birdlife and learn the cultural history of the Maori people with commentary by a knowledgeable guide.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$44.39
From  
US$44.39
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Private Sightseeing Tours

Private Tour: Bay of Islands Day Trip from Auckland

Discover the natural beauty of the Bay of Islands during this 10-hour private tour from Auckland. Travel in a private vehicle with a dedicated guide to the northern tip of the North Island, one of New Zealand's top destinations, famed for its fantastic scenery. Visit the Parry Kauri Park to walk among some of the largest Kauri trees in the country. Trek around Whangarei, then head for the coastal town of Pahia. Opt for a cruise to Cape Brett Lighthouse and the famous Hole in the Rock. Determine your own itinerary and enjoy personalized attention on this private tour. Light refreshments and round-trip transportation from Auckland are included.
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  • 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$362.34
From  
US$362.34
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  • 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Helicopter Tours

Bay of Islands and Hole in the Rock Scenic Helicopter Tour

Discover the Bay of Islands by helicopter, with an optional landing at the Hole in the Rock. See Cape Brett from above during an aerial tour from Paihia, narrated by a professional pilot. Fly over Russell and Waitangi en route to the Hole in the Rock. Upgrade to land atop the iconic natural landmark, with an optional walk led by a Maori guide.
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  • Flexible
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$169.75
From  
US$169.75
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  • Flexible
  • Free Cancellation

Ports of Call Tours

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

Hop in a helicopter for a 20-minute aerial tour over the Hole in the Rock at Cape Brett. When your cruise ship docks at the Bay of Islands, enjoy a bird’s-eye view over the historic townships of Russell, Paihia and Waitangi. View the iconic natural landmark from above while your professional pilot narrates the sights on this scenic helicopter flight.
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  • 20 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$169.75
From  
US$169.75
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  • 20 minutes
  • Free Cancellation

Ports of Call Tours

Private Shore Excursion: Full-Day Bay of Islands Tour

This full-day Bay of Islands tour has been especially designed for cruise ship passengers, so you can get the most out of your short time in the area. You can choose to see natural spots like waterfalls and glowworm caves, or sites of historical importance, like the Treaty Grounds at Waitangi. The choice is yours, as this is a private tour just for you and your party.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$135.14
From  
US$135.14
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation


Book online or call
(888) 651-9785
(888) 651-9785