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A day in Paihia

Published: 03/29/2012 by itravelnz

Paihia is the main tourism and accommodation centre in the Bay of Islands.
Experience the region’s early history and learn about the Treaty of Waitangi – New Zealand’s founding political document – at the historic Waitangi Treaty House & Grounds.
From the Treaty Grounds, take the scenic bushwalk to Haruru Falls (2hrs) or drive to Haruru Falls Village. The name translates as ‘Big Noise’ and this lovely cascade lives up to its name. The falls are only 5m wide but share their rare horse-shoe shape with a much bigger sister, Niagara Falls.
Catch the ferry across to Russell to soak up the ambience of the town’s heritage buildings and bygone charm. Check out Christ's Church and the Catholic mission station, Pompallier House, then head down to the waterfront for a pint and a bite to eat at New Zealand’s oldest licensed restaurant, the Duke of Marlborough.
Walk off your lunch by climbing Flagstaff (Maiki) Hill (the track starts at the boat ramp and takes 30mins). Bring your camera to snap the amazing views over the Bay of Islands, and read about the exploits of Maori chief Hone Heke, who cut the previous four flagpoles in protest.
Back a sun hat and a picnic and get out on the water! There are half and full day trips available, and if the weather’s great, this is the perfect way to spend the day. You can go dolphin watching, visit the Cape Brett 'Hole in the Rock', sail aboard a tall ship or explore one of the many islands (lunch is often included on the island stopovers).
Take a full day and head up to rugged Cape Reinga, with its red and white historic lighthouse. Pack your camera because the views of two mighty oceans colliding really will take your breath away. The Cape Reinga tours also drive you along the sweeping sands of Ninety Mile Beach, with its rolling breakers. This famous beach is actually only 88km long (60 miles) but it’s a fantastic experience nonetheless!
Tour the region’s beautiful vineyards for tastings of the local drop. Options include Marsden Winery and Cottle Hill in Kerikeri and Omata Estate in Russell. Enjoy lunch overlooking the vines at Marsden Winery or Omata Estate.
Drive to Kerikeri (30 mins) and take in the historic charm of this scenic village, with its heritage buildings, meandering river and arts and crafts.
Take a wander around Kerikeri Historic Basin and visit Kemp House, the old Stone Store (New Zealand’s oldest stone building), or visit Rewa's Village, a reconstruction of an early Maori village.
Walk up to spectacular Rainbow Falls (1hr), 2km upstream from the Kerikeri Basin. Bring your togs and a picnic lunch – this is such a beautiful spot to relax!
Do the Kerikeri Arts & Crafts Trail and check out some of the region’s talented artisans. You can pick up a brochure at the local Visitor Info Centre.
Cross to the west coast and make a beeline for Waipoua Forest and the towering Tane Mahuta (Lord of the Forest). New Zealand’s world-famous kauri tree is thought to be about 2000 years old and it’s truly a magnificent sight. If you bring your walking shoes, there are lots of options for exploring, ranging from 20 minutes to a few hours.
Paihia is nice and compact and, as the main tourist hub of the Bay of Islands, there are plenty of cafés and bars to hang out at during the evenings. The backpacker scene here is especially good. Take a walk and see what takes your fancy.
Learn about local history and Maori heritage at the Culture North Night Show. The show is held six nights a week at the Waitangi Treaty House marae – a magical setting.
Don’t stop here! Discover more by just typing a keyword into the ‘keyword’ field on the Explore page. You’ll find beaches, wineries, walks, waterfalls, marine-life, markets, forests, heritage towns and much more. Want to see what’s around your current location? Simply select Nearby and set the distance. To see what else is near a chosen point of interest, just tap on a red flag above the image.

Images by: itravelnz, kdewhunter and fras

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A day in Paihia


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exelent advices

ilana from Gan-Yavne Israel - 31 October 2013 - 07:16 am

nice tour advice to travel around