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New Zealand ItinerariesTravel distance is approximately 77kms (44 miles).
Allow at least 1 hour drive time (not including stops).

After an enjoyable night in Whangarei the next stage of your North Island tour is just a short 1 hour drive, which leaves you plenty of time to either enjoy more of the highlights in Whangarei or leave in the morning and enjoy more time in beautiful Paihia,

Some notable stops along the route to Paihia include:

Known as the Kawiti Caves and also the Waiomio Caves, the caves are located a few kilometres south of Kawakawa and is a popular attraction for visitors keen to view stalactite formations and spectacular glow worm displays! Descendents of Chief Kawiti run the cave tours, while a highlight of the tour is an encounter with a friendly eel!

Who would suggest you visit some public toilets however this is the main tourist attraction in Kawakawa and once you see these colourful public toilet designed by Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser you’ll understand why!

Before Paihia take a short detour to the port of Opua, which is a busy port township for international cruise ships visiting New Zealand. Definately a sailing haven for boaties, however the beautiful waters and sandy beaches are popular for diving, fishing and other water sports.

Located in the Bay of Islands (which is referred to as the ‘winterless wonderland’), Paihia is most definitely the jewel of the Bay of Islands. Relax and unwind, this is the perfect place to base yourself for your Northland holiday experience. There is plenty of accommodation and fabulous restaurants to satisfy even the most discerning traveller along with activities and attractions galore!

Highly recommended Paihia tourist attractions include…

Waitangi Treaty Grounds – Only a short distance from Paihia, you can drive or enjoy a lovely walk to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, which is where the Treaty of Waitangi was first signed between Maori and the British Crown in 1840. The Treaty Grounds offers a unique and fabulous look into New Zealand’s history and culture and is a ‘must do’ for any visitor (Kiwi or international) to the area.

Kayaking – Hire a kayak or take a tour as you check out the stunning coastal scenery.

Sailing Charters – Take the opportunity to cruise around this beautiful part of the Bay of Islands. Day trips or longer cruises available.

Russell – Take the passenger ferry from Paihia to Russell for an enjoyable afternoon in a township rich with New Zealand history. Along with a variety of boutique shops and dining options, the township oozes ‘old world charm’.

Fishing Charters – Professional and experienced fishing boat charters are in abundance in Paihia. Enjoy a few hours; day or longer aboard a luxury charter boat as you try our hand at deep-sea fishing.

Hole in the Rock – The 8 metre EXCITOR is a purpose designed and built fast boat that takes you on a one and a half hour thrilling journey through the Bay of Islands. Your trip includes a breath-taking Hole in the Rock experience, see Cathedral Cave and Cape Brett Lighthouse and other stunning coastal scenery.

Diving – Enjoy ocean diving at it’s best in this marine wonderland.
New Zealand Itineraries: North Island Suggested Itineraries

Our modern self-drive travel Itineraries have routes specifically for the North Island as well as the South Island, ranging from 5 to 11 days, plus there are some travel routes that take in both the North and South Island’s. Our range of travel itineraries include information regarding travel distances and time to ensure that you can make the best of your time in New Zealand, no longer how short your visit!

  • 5 Day Itinerary: Auckland – Rotorua, Rotorua – Taupo, Taupo – Waitomo Caves and Waitomo Caves – Auckland
  • 6 Day Itinerary: Auckland – Coromandel, Coromandel – Whitianga, Whitianga – Tauranga, Tauranga – Rotorua and Rotorua – Auckland
  • 6 Day Itinerary (route 2): Auckland – Dargaville, Dargaville – Kaitaia, Kaitaia – Paihia, Paihia – Whangarei and Whangarei – Auckland
  • 7 Day Itinerary: Auckland – Whitianga, Whitianga – Tauranga, Tauranga – Rotorua, Rotorua – Taupo, Taupo – Napier and Napier – Wellington
  • 8 Day Itinerary: Wellington, Wellington – Masterton, Masterton – Wellington, Wellington – Nelson, Nelson – Blenheim and Blenheim – Christchurch
  • 9 Day Itinerary: Auckland – Coromandel, Coromandel – Whitianga, Whitianga – Tauranga, Tauranga – Gisborne, Gisborne – Napier, Napier – Taupo, Taupo – Rotorua, Rotorua – Waitomo Caves and Waitomo Caves – Auckland
  • 9 Day Itinerary (route 2): Auckland – Whangarei, Whangarei – Paihia, Paihia – Hokianga, Hokianga – Auckland, Auckland – Rotorua, Rotorua – Taupo, Taupo – Waitomo Caves and Waitomo Caves – Auckland
  • 11 Day Itinerary: Auckland – Whitianga, Whitianga – Tauranga, Tauranga – Rotorua, Rotorua – Gisborne, Gisborne – Napier, Napier Taupo Napier, Napier – Wellington, Wellington – New Plymouth, New Plymouth – Waitomo and Waitomo Caves – Auckland