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Paihia Nature & adventure

Our most recommended Paihia Nature & adventure

From Paihia: Bay of Islands Small Group Cruise & Island Tour

1. From Paihia: Bay of Islands Small Group Cruise & Island Tour

Discover the remote islands of the Bay of Islands on this guided cruise. Get to know the local flora and fauna, dive underneath the waves, snorkel alongside colorful fish, and try your hand at other fun water activities. Check-in before setting off along the sheltered coastline for a scenic cruise. Stop off at Roberton Island, also known as Twin Lagoons, for a 10-minute walk along the native bush to a breathtaking 360-degree lookout over the bay.  After the walk, explore the tidal lagoons before stepping back on board the boat and continuing your cruise along the Bay of Islands, keeping an eye out for wildlife. Then, stop at one of the bay’s most secluded and unfrequented bays to try some new activities.  Snorkel and explore the underwater reefs, stroll on an island trail, give stand-up paddle-boarding a try, relax on the beach, or jump in the water for a swim. Make the day your own, with the activities that interest you most. Finally, board the boat for the return scenic cruise back to Paihia.

Bay of Islands: Bay Discovery Cruise with Island Stop-Over

2. Bay of Islands: Bay Discovery Cruise with Island Stop-Over

Set off on a scenic 4.5 to 5-hour cruise to discover the very best of the Bay of Islands. Experience the spectacular scenery and encounter diverse wildlife in an area soaked in rich culture and history. Board the black and yellow power cat at Paihia Wharf and be welcomed aboard by the friendly crew. Your crew will deliver a full safety briefing and overview of the trip. Cruise among the 144 islands and enjoy entertaining live commentary from your local knowledgeable skipper. Visit the iconic Hole in the Rock and when conditions permit, you can even travel through it. Spot local wildlife including dolphins, birds, seals and even the occasional whale with a success rate of over 90%. Your trip will also include a 1.5-hour island stop at Otehei Bay on Urupukapuka Island. Enjoy free time to explore the island. If you wish, you can hire kayaks, or paddleboards (available during summer only) or just relax on the beach. You can also choose to extend your stay on the island and return on a later ferry (only available during summer).

Bay of Islands: 5-Hour Day Cruise and Island Getaway Tour

3. Bay of Islands: 5-Hour Day Cruise and Island Getaway Tour

Escape the crowds and experience the Bay of Islands on a personalised, small-group, interactive boat cruise. Combine the best activities of the Bay of Islands with interactive and informative commentary for an amazing day excursion. Stop at Roberton Island and disembark for a 10-minute walk along a native bush trail. At the end of the trail discover a breathtaking 360-degree viewpoint over the bay. Enjoy a complimentary beachside morning tea provided by the crew and have the opportunity to explore the tidal lagoons. Climb back on board and continue cruising among the 144 islands of the Bay keeping a lookout for marine wildlife and unique shorebirds. Your second island stop takes you to one of the Bay of Islands’ most secluded and unfrequented bays. Snorkel and explore the underwater reefs, take a walk along the island trail and try stand-up paddleboarding. Relax on the beach or jump in the water for a swim, do as much or as little as you want.

Bay of Islands: Island Hopper Day Sailing Cruise from Paihia

4. Bay of Islands: Island Hopper Day Sailing Cruise from Paihia

Embark on a magical day sailing adventure in the Bay of Islands. Experience the Kiwi barefoot culture for yourself as you step straight from Paihia's beachfront onto a modern catamaran.  Set sail through the bay's 144 islands to a remote island stopover aboard Kopiko, a 33-foot performance catamaran built for speed, comfort, and style. Lend the friendly crew a hand with sailing the boat, or spread out with plenty of deck space where you can grab a bean bag and chalk up some leisure time. Discover a wealth of wildlife from seabirds, stingrays, seals, penguins, to dolphins.  Arrive in a stunning bay, where you'll anchor close to the beach. Step off onto the island and enjoy a delicious packed lunch at a stunning picnic spot of your choice. Enjoy short walking trails, picturesque views, snorkeling, paddleboarding, swimming, or digging your toes into the sand. After your island adventures, set sail and watch the wind fill the sails as you relax on the return trip. 

From Paihia: Hole in the Rock Cruise & Island Stop

5. From Paihia: Hole in the Rock Cruise & Island Stop

Travel among the 144 remote islands of New Zealand's renowned Bay of Islands. Enjoy a guided boat tour departing from Paihia and discover some of the most unique sights of this natural destination. Admire the stunning Hole in the Rock and stop to explore one of the islands. Set sail and surround yourself with the imposing rocky scenery of the Bay of Islands. Keep an eye out for a variety of marine wildlife as you cruise along the coastline. Listen to interesting commentary from your tour guide as they relay the history of the area. Visit the original landing site of Captain James Cook on Roberton Island. Experience Cathedral Cave on Motukokako Island and the famous Hole in the Rock. If weather permits, you'll even sail through it. Up next, take in the awe-striking Cape Brett Peninsula and its lighthouse. Stop at one of the islands along the way. Take a short walk toward a lookout point and help feed the schools of fish in the Voluntary Marine Reserve.

Bay of Islands: Tandem Skydive Experience

6. Bay of Islands: Tandem Skydive Experience

Combine a thrilling adrenaline buzz with spectacular views of clear turquoise water, long stretches of pristine golden beaches, and lush countryside in the Bay of Islands. Self-drive to Kerikeri Airport or arrange for courtesy pick-up. Meet the friendly ground staff who’ll look after you before and after your jump. Board the plane for the cruise up to 9,000, 12,000, 16500, or 20000-feet (depending on which option you book) and admire the 144 stunning islands that make up the Bay of Islands. Be harnessed to a highly trained tandem instructor who’ll ensure your safety and fun throughout. At altitude, jump from the plane for adrenaline buzzing freefall that is anywhere between 20 to 85 seconds, depending on which altitude option you choose. Enjoy a relaxing flight under canopy before landing back at the drop zone.

From Paihia: Bayscapes Charters Sailing Day Trip with Lunch

7. From Paihia: Bayscapes Charters Sailing Day Trip with Lunch

Help out with the sails or just sit back and relax and take in the amazing scenery as you make your way out into the Bay of Islands on this cruise from Paihia. Enjoy a packed lunch with vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free options available (upon request). Hop aboard a comfortable sailing catamaran with plenty of space to soak up the sun on deck. Sail over turquoise waters and admire views of the Bay of Islands. Once anchored at a beach that is only accessible by boat, you can choose how to spend your two hour island excursion. Take a dinghy ride to the beach and have a picnic with the packed lunch, go for walk on the island, or explore the water with the included high-quality snorkeling and paddle boarding gear. Keep an eye out for local wildlife. With the option to purchase snacks and non alcoholic drinks onboard, or bring your own alcoholic drinks to sip while you glide over the water. Return to your starting point in Paihia at the end of your cruise.  Please note: This cruise requires a minimum of 4 passengers before your booking will be confirmed.

From Paihia: Bay of Islands and Russell Private Trike Tour

8. From Paihia: Bay of Islands and Russell Private Trike Tour

Take an exhilarating private tour departing from Paihia and explore the Bay of Islands and the historic town of Russell. Feel the wind in your hair as you travel by trike with a personal guide and witness some of the most stunning views and natural sites the area has to offer. Leave Paihia behind aboard your trike and head to Haruru Falls for a visual of the half-moon-shaped waterfalls. Continue on to Waitangi Lookout for a 360-degree panoramic view of the Bay, all the way to Russell. Wind your way through native bush onto Opua and catch the car ferry across to Okiato. Reach Russell, the first settlement in New Zealand, pass the oldest church in the country and notice its signature musket holes. Experience the breathtaking views from Russell Lookout and learn about local history. Wander around the charming town or dine at your own leisure. Finish your tour by staying in Russell and returning via passenger ferry by yourself or hop back aboard your trike and travel back to Paihia with your guide.

Other Sightseeing Options in Paihia

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What people are saying about Paihia

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 265 reviews

We were blessed with a perfect morning. There was a cruise ship in so it was a full boat but everyone was friendly and coperative. The captain gave just enough information on the historical context and the natural marine habitation of this beautiful place. He always turned the boat so everyone on board got a prime view of each spectacular place we visited. We spent quality time at Hole in the Rock. At the island stopover we chose to hike to the top of the nearby hills (about 15 minutes walk up) to enjoy the serenity of the spectacular 360 degree vista we were surrounded by. This also gave time for a swim in the clear aquamarine waters. It was a totally awesome day which I highly recommend.

I was tossing up between all of the cruises on offer and I’m so happy I picked barefoot! The small group size on the boat made it really friendly. It was lovely putting the sails up on the catamaran and getting to cruise the bay. Beach stop has option to snorkel, stand up paddle board, hike across the island or just relax on the beach or boat. Staff on board were welcoming and made sure everyone had a wonderful time. An all round superb day!

Nice short tour, covers off the basic Bay of Islands. The walk to the top of the lookout takes you to breathtaking views of the Bay. Not much to see during snorkelling but SUP was fun. Lin and Gaby are very sweet hosts. Providing you with bits and pieces of information with an ever smiling face. Recommended for a short trip to the Bay.

No rain and calmer ocean meant we were able to go out to see The Hole in the Rock! In the last 10 minutes, we saw a pod of 10-12 dolphins! Absolutely fantastic morning!

Enjoyed the day trip to 2 islands. Locations were picturesque, staff were happy and friendly.