Bay of Islands, New Zealand
The Bay of Islands consists of 144 islands in the Northland region of the North Island. Known for its beauty and rich history, it’s a paradise for those who love pristine beaches, spectacular coastlines and marine life, including penguins, dolphins, marlin and whales.
- free shuttle service from Waitangi Wharf to Paihia i-Site Visitor Centre wharf
- Bay of Islands ambassadors on board to help with maps and information
- easy access to the ferry service from Russell to Paihia.
How to Get Around
- By foot it is a 20-minute leisurely walk.
- By shuttle bus it is a 3-minute ride.
- By ferry it is a 10-minute ride ($7 one-way and $12 return).
- By car it is 6 minutes to Opua, 18 minutes to Kawakawa and 20 minutes to Kerikeri.
- Currency - the local currency is the New Zealand dollar. Coins come in $1, $2, 10 cent, 20 cent and 50 cent denominations. Notes come in $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 denominations.
- Time Zone - it is New Zealand Standard Time, which is 12 hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).
- Weather - the Bay of Islands has a semi-tropical climate. Average temperatures range from 27º Celsius in the summer months of December to February and 15º Celsius in the winter months of June to August. The generally warm temperatures make it a year-round destination.
- Waitangi Treaty Grounds - visit the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed between the British Crown and the Maori in 1840. Guided tours are available for a more in-depth understanding of the events surrounding the signing of the agreement to make New Zealand a British colony. Cultural performances run at regular intervals throughout the day.
- Bay of Islands Kayaking - starting out from Paihia, Bay of Islands Kayaking offers eco and fishing kayak tours to some of the island’s most scenic locations. Suitable for all ages, this is a great way to experience the area’s rich wildlife and cultural history. Tourists can paddle with dolphins, explore caves and even go fishing.
- Pompallier House - visit Russell’s historic Pompallier House, a Catholic mission and the only remaining building of its kind in the Western Pacific. Built in 1842, it has a working tannery and printing workshop. Take a tour to learn how French missionaries printed many books in Maori more than 150 years ago.
- R. Tucker Thompson - climb aboard the R. Tucker Thompson and experience the thrill of sailing a working tall ship. Suitable for all ages, tours leave Paihia from November to Easter. Visitors are given the chance to help set the sails, take the helm, climb the rigging and venture out onto the bowsprit to ride the waves.