• Location: Auckland, New Zealand
  • Duration: 12 hours (approx.)
From USD $ 167.19 View price calendar

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This day trip from Auckland to the Bay of Islands covers historical sites of New Zealand’s Northland, including the Waitangi Treaty Grounds and the seaport of Russell. Visit the Waitangi Treaty House, then take a ferry from Paihia to the first European settlement where a local guide leads you on an insightful tour. Opt for lunch, and venture into the shops, museums and cafes of Russell during your free time, before hotel drop-off in Auckland by coach.


  • Bay of Islands day trip from Auckland
  • Visit the Waitangi Treaty Grounds and take a guided tour of the Waitangi Treaty House
  • See a traditional Maori meeting house and a huge waka (war canoe)
  • Take the Bay of Islands ferry from Paihia to the town of Russell, site of New Zealand's first European settlement
  • See the highlights of Russell, including the Pompallier Mission, Christ Church, and Flagstaff Hill
  • Have free time to check out the beaches, cafes, shops and museums at your leisure
  • Lunch included (if option selected)

What You Can Expect

Bay of Islands Day Tour from Auckland

Waitangi meeting house

Board your comfortable coach upon pickup from your hotel or the Sky City coach terminal in Auckland, then settle in for the approximate 3-hour drive to Paihia, the starting point for your Bay of Islands tour.

Make use of complimentary onboard Wi-Fi as you motor along this scenic route through New Zealand’s Northland. On arrival, disembark for the historic Waitangi Treaty Grounds and learn how the nation’s founding document — the Treaty of Waitangi — was signed between the British Crown and 43 Maori chiefs. Peruse informational displays and a copy of the 1840 treaty on a tour of the Waitangi Treaty House museum, erected as a private home in 1832.

Admire the ornately carved Maori meeting house and on-site waka (war canoe), constructed from enormous logs, before a quick ferry ride delivers you to the quaint town of Russell.

Board a coach for a 1-hour tour of what was formerly considered the 'Hellhole of the Pacific.’ Your guide narrates Russell’s main sights as you pass by Christ Church, the Pompallier Mission and New Zealand’s oldest pub. Snap photos of the Bay of Islands from the summit of Flagstaff Hill, before you have free time to relax in town. 

Perhaps explore the Maori art at one of the galleries, stroll the waterfront or settle in at a cafe (lunch included if option selected). Then re-board the coach and conclude your day trip with a return to Auckland and drop-off at your hotel.

Customer Reviews

Narelle F

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2018

This was a great way to have a glimpse of the Bay of Island when you have limited time in New Zealand, it takes a whole day but really worthwhile and very informative.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2018

Loved this tour! Paihia is so beautiful. I want to go back and stay there for a few days. Our driver, Ben, was funny, engaging and very knowledgeable. The entire tour was so well choreographed. It was an easy and nice flow and we didn't feel rushed and could just enjoy the locale. Book this tour!

Yeritza S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2018

This tour is long a lot of driving and only one hour to enjoy the beach so it only if you gonna stay a couple days over the island

Bernane S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2018

Russell is my favorite island. Amazed how friendly people were.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2017

This was a great trip! The guide was great, the stops were fantastic, and Everywhere was just beautiful. A long day, but worth it. Also, the lunch option is a great way to go.

Jack S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2017

Very scenic

Rumneet G

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2017

This was great tour, our tour guide Rachael was really knowledgeable and kept us entertained during the long journey to the bay of islands.

Monica D

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2017

A wonderful day. An experienced, knowledgeable driver. A good variety of activities.

Mrs R W

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2017

This tour was amazing!

Martha B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2017

Comfortable bus, although we miss having a pocket for our guide book and a tablet for our tea/coffee cup! Knowledgeable and pleasant driver, Polite and attentive. Although it is a long drive, the scenery along the way makes it worthwhile. As we cannot plan the weather well in advance, we chose the Russell Tour, not the cruise. It proved to be the right choice because those who were on the cruise had a miserable time. Pouring rain throughout!. We did not see much of the islands, but our time in Russell was most pleasant!. Was it worth 12 hours of driving from Auckland? Some will say yes, some will say no...It depends on what one is looking for...

Martha and Nathalie Blouin,
Montreal, Quebec, Canada

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