Dolphins Paihia is a small seaside town about 240km north of Auckland. It is located on a sheltered inlet in the heart of the Bay of Islands, protected from the Pacific Ocean by the Russell peninsula. The region includes the town of Paihia, the port of Opua to the south, Waitangi and Haruru Falls to the north. The historic town of Russell is 3km across the bay. The region is in the beautiful sub-tropical Far North of New Zealand. Paihia is the main tourist centre in the Bay, offering a wide variety of accommodation options for visitors. It is the departure point for fishing charters, cruises around the Bay of Islands Maritime Park and coach trips to Cape Reinga, the northernmost tip of New Zealand,  Ninety-Mile Beach and the ancient Kauri Forests.
  • Marlin Fishing off Paihia

  • Taiputuputu

  • Russell Wharf, New Zealand

  • Dolphin Watching in the Bay of Islands

Free Listings

If you operate a tourism related businesses in Paihia or surrounding districts, you can add your website link to the Paihia Holiday Guide at no charge!

The Bay of Islands

The Bay of Islands Maritime Park is one of the most popular tourist destinations for local and overseas visitors. With 144 magic islands to explore, the balmy climate, unspoiled beaches and magnificent sub-tropical forests arecomplimented by the friendliness of the people. The sheltered waters of the Bay of Islands are a haven for yachts from around the world, The seas abound with kingfish, marlin and snapper, while whales and dolphins are regular visitors
This was the cradle of Maori and European settlement in New Zealand and has many sites of historical significance.

History

About eight hundred years ago, the great Maori navigator, Kupe, discovered the land of New Zealand which he named "Aotearoa" - land of the Long White Cloud. In the centuries that followed, there were successive waves of Maori settlement in New Zealand, many of them landing in the Bay of Islands.
The first European known to visit New Zealand was Abel Tasman in 1642.  Over a century later, in 1769, Lieutenant James Cook in his ship "The Endeavor" entered the Bay of Islands   and charted part of the coast.
Russell became the main centre for whaling ships and as deserters and escaped convicts settled in the area and founded grog shops and trading posts, it gained the reputation as "The Hellhole of the Pacific". Paihia, on the opposite side of the bay from Russell, became the main  missionary settlement where the first Maori Bible was printed. In 1840, A treaty was signed between the northern Maori chiefs and the British at Waitangi, where the governorship of the country was ceded to Queen Victoria, in exchange for guarantees of Maori rights to their lands, fisheries and forests.

Our Neighbors

Waitangi is the most important site in modern New Zealand history. There is a museum and cultural centre in the Treaty Grounds and visitors can watch a re-enactment of the signing of the Treaty.

Russell is famous for its fine restaurants and art and crafts. Long Beach, on the ocean side of Russell, is one of the area's best swimming beaches.

Opua The northernmost customs entry point for yachts and sailing ships in New Zealand. It has a large marina with boat repair facilities. Opua wharf is the departure point for the car ferry to Russell

Kerikeri Voted New Zealand's "Best Small Town" this is the citrus fruit centre of New Zealand, It has two wineries and some excellent restaurants. The town features the oldest stone building in new Zealand.

Haruru Falls is a residential suburb about 2 km to the north of Waitangi. The horeshoe shaped falls from which the hamlet is named marks the end of the navigable stretch of the Waitangi River.