Paihia is the commercial hub of the sparkling Bay of Islands – New Zealand’s finest maritime park.
This picturesque town is a fascinating blend of history, culture, scenery, adventure and the gateway to 50 romantic islands in the sun. In summer Paihia is an exciting tourist town with vibrant cafes, restaurants and a busy shopping scene and in winter it is a perfect haven of peace.
A pleasant walk or short drive will take you to a host of free and low cost activities and attractions as set out below:-
Get acquainted with Paihia by strolling down to the Maritime Centre
Cruise boats and ferries will be jostling for position around the busy pier.
Take the esplanade walk to the Waitangi Inlet and view the Te Tii Marae
This is a focal point for the Waitangi Day celebrations
Cross the Inlet and stroll through the Waitangi Treaty Reserve
This is a journey back to 1840 as you marvel at the solid construction of the Treaty House, Maori Meeting House and massive carved waka (canoe).
Drive to Mt Bledisloe lookout (3 km from Waitangi)
This is a vantage point with expansive panoramic views over the Bay of Islands.
From Waitangi Inlet, a pleasant two hour walk in the forest takes you to Haruru Falls
Here you will see Old Wharf Road, the first registered road in New Zealand.
Stroll along the esplanade and view the Church of St Paul, on the site of the 1823 Mission Station
This was the first consecrated burial ground in New Zealand and venue for the first wedding.
Board the passenger ferry to Russell at the Paihia Pier
Savour the history and romance of Russell. Stroll along the tree-lined Strand past Pompallier House, the Game Fishing Club and the Duke of Marlborough Hotel – this was the first hotel to hold a public licence in New Zealand.
Browse through the Visitor Centre on the Russell wharf
Ferries leave here for the Cream Trip and the famous Hole in the Rock cruise.
Walk or drive up to the historic Flagstaff Hill
Take in the stunning 360° panorama of shimmering waters, islands and encompassing hills.
Drive north to the picturesque village of Kerikeri
Experience its special charm as a citrus fruit area and thriving arts and crafts centre and sample the local wines.
Descend to Kerikeri Inlet and see Kemp House and the Stone Store
These are New Zealand’s oldest surviving buildings. Kororipo Pa, Rainbow Falls and Rewa’s Village are nearby.
Drive north to Pukeiti Forest Reserve (15 mins from Kerikeri)
Enjoy the 20 minute boardwalk among beautiful Kauri trees.
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