Accommodation in Bay of Islands
The Bay of Islands (240 km north of Auckland, 3 hour drive) is one of the most beautiful coastal areas of New Zealand.
The bay has a great historical value as this is where the Maori and the British signed the “Treaty of Waitangi”. Other interesting towns in this area is Paihia and Russell. From here you can take boat trips out to visit one of the 150 islands that lye in this bay.
The Bay of Islands is spoilt with an abundance of beautiful nature. And for those that love beaches and water activities, it is paradise! There is plenty to see and do; cruises, sailing, swimming, diving, deep sea fishing, jet boating, biking, hiking, camping, horseback riding, kayaking and even swimming with dolphins. All of these activities can be booked through local tour operators on arrival.
Since the Bay of Islands is the main tourist center in Northland you can take day trips from here further north to Cape Reinga, Keri Keri and Ninety Mile Beach.
Top Areas To Stay in The Bay of Islands
Directors Choice – Top Hotels for all Budgets
Duke of Marlborough ***
“Quaint country hotel in the center of Russel. Can’t beat the location!”
Appledore Lodge B&B **
“Lovely and romantic location on the Waitangi river. Only five minutes drive from Paihia promenade. Only four rooms, very affordable.”
Paihia Scenic Hotel ***
“Good price vs quality modern hotel. Walking distance to the beach and ten minute drive to Paihia centre.”
Eagles Nest Luxury Hotel *****
“Exclusive luxury hotel and retreat overlooking Waihihi bay. This five star villa property in Russell ranges from one to 5 bedrooms.”
More information about the Bay of Islands
1. Waitangi Treaty Grounds
The Waitangi Treaty Grounds is New Zealand’s premier historic site where im 1840 New Zealand’s most significant document was signed between the Maori and the British Crown: the Treaty of Waitangi. There is lots to see on the grounds overlooking the Pacific Ocean including the carved meeting house and the world’s largest war vaka (canoe). Find Out More >
2. Sailing Bay of Islands
Experience an awesome day sailing the beautiful Bay of Islands. There are plenty of sailing trips to choose from most including island stopovers and delicious lunch. Find Out More >
3. Swimming with Dolphins
Make your trip truly unforgettable by swimming with dolphins in their natural environment, the warmest waters in New Zealand. Find Out More >
A variety of fishing charters are available with seasoned professionals. Snapper/reef fishing, marling, shark, kingfish, tuna or salt fly fishing. Bait, tackle and complimentary tea and coffee are typically provided. Fish can be filleted on request. Find Out More >
5. Jet Boat through the Hole in the Rock
Experience an exhilarating journey through the Bay of Islands on a Jet Boat. With speeds of up to 100kms it really is a spectacular way to experience the bay and the famous hole in the rock. Find Out More >
6. Day Trip to Ninety Mile Beach & 90 Mile Beach
Head along 90 mile beach to Cape Reinga, the top of New Zealand rich in Maori culture. At this point you can see the Pacific Ocean collide with the Tasman Sea. The Maori name being Te Rerenga Wairua meaning leaping off place of spirits – the point where spirits of the dead enter the underworld. Find Out More >
7. Day Trip to Hokianga & Tane Mahuta Day Tour
Experience an unforgettable journey through nature and culture of the beautiful Hokianga and of course visit the majestic Tana Mahuta. A giant kauri tree in the Waipoua Forest of the Northland region, probably the largest tree you will ever lay eyes upon, it is estimated to be around 2000 years old. Find Out More >
Paihia is a great base for exploring the Bay of Islands and has a wonderfully relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Here you will find a variety of hotels, motels, hostels and restaurants along the water’s edge. The Paihia Wharf in the center of Paihia town is the place to soak up the holiday atmosphere of the Bay of Islands. Also make sure you go visit the beautiful Haruru Falls a short drive from Paihia town. Find Out More >
9. Keri Keri
Keri Keri is a historic and charming town about 23 kilometers from Paihia. There are many artists living in this town so visitors can enjoy diverse arts, crafts and culture as well as delicious food and wine and a popular handmade chocolate shop “Makana Confections”. There is also an abundance of nature at your doorstep. Find Out More >
Russell was formerly the capital of New Zealand. It is a beautiful town – situated on the Bay of Islands, opposite Paihia – where you can see beautiful historic buildings. You will find nice shops, cafés, galleries, craft shops, souvenir and clothing stalls and small hotels. Russell can be reached by ferry from Paihia. Find Out More >
You can use the Paihia Tuk Tuk Shuttle Service (0274/866 071) for almost anywhere in Paihia a pick up and drop off service offer (up to six people) for about $5 each and run until Haruru Falls for about $10 each. Alternatively, you can rent good quality mountain bikes from Bay Beach Hire, on the south side of Paihia Beach (09/402 6078, $ 15 per half day, $ 20 per day, $ 25 overnight). Parking is difficult in high season; your best bet is the parking lot in front of the 4 Square supermarket Williams Road.
Ferry to Russell
Russell and Paihia are almost opposite each other in the bay, however to go by road it is nearly 100 miles away. There is a car ferry though that goes daily from Russell to Paihia (7am-10pm; daily every 20min, car and driver $ 10 each way, pedestrians $ 1, buy your ticket on board) on the narrow Veronica Channel at Opua (6 km south of Paihia). Pedestrians can take one of the many ferries (Oct-May 7am-22:30, June-Sept 07:30-nineteen; $ 6 each way) between the Wharfs in central Paihia and Russell.