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Paihia
Dolphin & whale watching

Dolphin & whale watching
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Top activities in Paihia

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Our most recommended Paihia Dolphin & whale watching

Paihia: Cape Reinga and Ninety Mile Beach Trip with Lunch

1. Paihia: Cape Reinga and Ninety Mile Beach Trip with Lunch

Learn more about Māori traditions at Cape Reinga or Te Rerenga Wairua, by visiting the place where spirits are said to depart on their long journey back to their true homeland on this group tour.  Stand at the northernmost point of New Zealand and drink in the panoramic views. Snap a picture beneath the iconic lighthouse, look out at the point where the Tasman Sea collides with the mighty Pacific Ocean, and, if you’re feeling adventurous, try sandboarding. Travel in the local partner's purpose-built 46-seat tour bus designed for cruising along 90 Mile Beach, where some other tours can’t reach. Listen to entertaining and thought-provoking insight into the culture, history, and natural wonders of the far north from your local guide. Have a delicious locally prepared lunch to keep you fueled throughout the day. Try sandboarding (conditions permitting). Feel closer to the nature and culture of New Zealand on this tour. 

Paihia/Russell: Hole in the Rock Cruise with 2 Island Stops

2. Paihia/Russell: Hole in the Rock Cruise with 2 Island Stops

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.

Paihia/Russell: Hole in the Rock and Bay of Islands Cruise

3. Paihia/Russell: Hole in the Rock and Bay of Islands Cruise

Embark on a catamaran tour of the Bay of Islands from Paihia or Russell. Enjoy guide commentary as you visit famous sights, including Piercy Island (The Hole in the Rock.) Look for Maeune Mammals and enjoy a 1.5-hour stop at Urupukapuka Island to swim, explore, or sunbathe. Hop on board and take in sweeping views of the Bay of Islands as you cruise along the Rakaumangamanga Peninsula to Cape Brett, where a historic lighthouse watches over the famous Piercy Island or so-called Hole in the Rock (also known in Māori as Motukōkako). Conditions permitting, travel through the Hole in the Rock and keep an eye out for dolphins, whales, and other marine wildlife. Make a 1.5-hour island stopover at Otehei Bay on Urupukapuka Island to enjoy free time for a swim or walk around. On board, benefit from indoor and outdoor seating and large outdoor viewing decks. Sip on hot and cold refreshments available to purchase at the licensed small cafe on board or enjoy food and drinks at the fully licensed Otehei Bay Cafe and Bar during your island stopover.

Paihia: Glass Bottom Boat Tour to the Hole in the Rock

4. Paihia: Glass Bottom Boat Tour to the Hole in the Rock

Explore one of the most popular tourist destinations on New Zealand's North Island the way it's meant to be enjoyed – from the water. See golden beaches, secluded coves, and colorful fish on this boat tour. The tour leaves from the Main Wharf in Paihia and takes you to the Hole in the Rock. If weather conditions allow, your captain will take you right through this natural tunnel. Admire the views in Deep Water Cove and sail through the Okahu Passage. The last stop is at Otehei Bay where the boat's floor is lifted to reveal the blue water below. Feed the fish and admire them through the boat's glass floor.

Bay of Islands: 4.5 Hour Day Cruise and Island Getaway Tour

5. Bay of Islands: 4.5 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. Step 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 and take a walk along the island trails. Relax on the beach or jump in the water for a swim, do as much or as little as you want.

From Paihia: Scenic Cruise with Roberton Island Stopover

6. From Paihia: Scenic Cruise with Roberton Island Stopover

Discover the beauty of the Bay of Islands on a cruise and island tour. Visit Roberton Island (Twin Lagoons) and take a short walk to the 360-degree viewpoint over the lagoons where Captain James Cook named the Bay of Islands. Continue cruising through the islands while keeping a lookout for our unique wildlife and birdlife. Listen to live commentary from your guide as they share information about the area and point out locations of interest. Visit the famous Hole in the Rock or stopover at a second location (determined on the day depending on the wind direction) where you have the opportunity to explore the island. Enjoy some free time to relax on the beach and take a swim, or snorkel the sheltered island reefs and try stand-up paddleboarding in the calm waters of the bay. Masks, fins, snorkels, and paddleboarding equipment is provided. Finally, we step back on board the boat for the return scenic cruise back to Russell/Paihia.

From Paihia: Bay of Islands Island-Hopping Sailing Cruise

7. From Paihia: Bay of Islands Island-Hopping Sailing Cruise

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. 

Paihia: Bay of Islands Trike Tour Experience

8. Paihia: Bay of Islands Trike Tour Experience

On the Scenic Tour, you'll climb aboard your trike, buckle up, and settle in for one of the most exciting tours of your life. Venture out onto the open road, take a short burst out to the half moon-shaped Haruru Falls, and then continue back to Waitangi Lookout. Capture the breathtaking, 360-degree views of the Bay of Islands on your camera, plus get your picture taken behind the handlebars of the big beast.  The Thriller Tour includes an action-packed, 30-minute tour on the V2 Chek Trike. Zip off to the picturesque Opua and return with photos and even more adrenaline-pumping thrills as you cruise down this awesome, winding coastal road. The Combo Tour includes a one-hour tour around the scenic Bay of Islands. Visit the beautiful Haruru Falls before continuing to Waitangi Lookout for breathtaking views. Wind your way through the hills of the idyllic Opua before a thrilling ride back to Paihia. This option works as combination of the first two and is the best choice for adrenaline-seekers.

Hole in the Rock 1.5-Hour Fast Boat Ocean Adventure

9. Hole in the Rock 1.5-Hour Fast Boat Ocean Adventure

Fast track your journey through the iconic scenery of the Bay of Islands on a 1.5-hour ocean adventure. Experience the thrill of an open-air fast boat ride as you cruise among the bay's 144 islands and explore the bay's iconic sites. Enjoy the perfect balance of exploration and exhilaration with informative commentary and stops to observe the abundant wildlife along the way. Speed through the open waters in a purpose built state of the art catamaran. Visit the iconic Hole in the Rock, the gorgeous Cape Brett Peninsula, and enter the spectacular Cathedral Cave (conditions permitting). Ride the waves past sandy beaches, rocky outcrops, and the many varied island landscapes. Keep an eye out for wildlife including whales, seals, dolphins, and penguins. Learn about the area's unique characteristics and fascinating history from your friendly, informative skipper. This exhilarating tour is also a very comfortable and safe one. Complete with padded seats and seat belts, the boat is designed to protect its passengers riding in the open ocean. Life jackets and weather-proof jackets are also provided.

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

10. 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).

Paihia

Paihia

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What people are saying about Paihia

Overall rating

4.3
(21 reviews)

The guides were incredible and adaptable—the weather was unpredictable and they made every effort to make sure we got the most out of the experience regardless. Super friendly, knowledgeable, and funny!

We had a great experience on our cruise to the hole in the rock bay of islands. We Highly recommend this family owned business to anyone wanting to do the hole in the rock tour.

This was a beautiful day out on the water. The crew were friendly, knowledgeable and couldn't do enough for you.

We were lucky with the weather and were able to drive through the Hole in the Rock

A great day out on the water. Bird Rock and Army Bay were special highlights.