Paihia is the main tourist town in the Bay of Islands in the far north of the North Island of New Zealand. It is located close to the historic towns of Russell, and Kerikeri, 60 kilometres north of Whangarei. This is where New Zealand's first game of cricket was held.
Paihia has stunning views over the Bay of Islands. Most of the maritime activities start at the wharf at the corner of Marsden and Williams roads. The Maritime Building next to the wharf houses both Fullers and Kings tours, both of whom offer a number of excursions.
The Bay of Islands information centre is also at the wharf, phone 09 402 7345, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Auckland is the nearest international airport to Paihia, and most visitors travel from there. There are regular tourist coach services that leave from Auckland. These take about four hours to reach Paihia, as they stop at various pick-up points along the route. There are also many packaged tours available that include the Bay of Islands in their North Island itinerary. Regional airlines have flights from most of the main centres in New Zealand to Kerikeri airport which is about 20 minutes by car or shuttle van from Paihia. Rental Cars are the most popular choice of transport for overseas visitors.
* Bush walks through the Opua forest. The trail starts at the end of School Road. One hour return to the viewpoint overlooking the Bay and Russel. 2.5 hours each way for a longer walk.
* Swim at the long, sandy beach north of the wharf along the road to Waitangi.
* Dive the Rainbow Warrior wreck. The Rainbow Warrior was a Greenpeace boat sunk by French secret service agents on July 7 1985 in Auckland. It was refloated and then scuttled two years later near the Bay of Islands as an artificial reef.
* Swim With Wild Dolphins There are many companies in Paihia that have wild dolphin tours.