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So you’ve arrived in the Bay of Islands with adventure on your mind? You’re in luck! From high-adrenaline activities to natural wonders, here are 10 things to do to make your Bay of Islands experience an exciting one.  


Hole in the Rock Cruise

Motukokako is a Pacific Ocean island with staggeringly high cliffs, and its iconic hole is large enough to cruise through on a boat. In the Bay of Islands, you can find cruises dedicated to seeing this famous natural formation, such as Fullers GreatSights Hole in the Rock Dolphin Cruise or the Explore Group’s Discover the Bay Tour.

Cliffs and Caves Cruise

Spend two hours sightseeing landmarks like Urupukapuka and Black Rocks on the Island Cliffs and Caves Adventure Tour or visit the lagoons and caves on Robertson Island on Shore Excursions’ Cliffs and Caves Cruise. With so many stunning cliffs and caves in the Bay to choose from, a tour will help make sure you don’t miss some of the best.


Scuba Diving

Source: Paihia Dive

Whether you’re a seasoned scuba diver or want to take your first trip, Paihia Dive will help you explore a world of shipwrecks and sea creatures, with dives to the HMNZS Canterbury, the Rainbow Warrior and the reef.

Sky Diving

Source: Skydive Bay of Islands

The Bay of Islands has some breath-taking scenery and views: clear blue skies and oceans, long stretches of sandy beach. And what better way to see it than an adrenaline-pumping free-fall from 16,500 feet – the highest skydive in the North Island! Don’t worry, you’ll be strapped in tandem with a pro who knows exactly what they’re doing, and it’s a Bay of Islands sightsee you won’t forget!


Dolphin Spotting and Swimming

Source: Dolphin Cruises

The Bay of Islands has tours like the Fullers GreatSights Dolphin Eco Experience, which let you jump in the water if the weather is fine and swim with the dolphins.


Tane Mahuta, the Lord of the Forest

Source: Dolphin Cruises

Tane Mahuta is NZ’s largest living kauri tree and you can take a guided tour there with a local Maori guide or take your own easy self-directed trek through the Waipoua Forest.


Cape Reinga


Source: Destination NZ

Cape Reinga is the most spiritually important location for the Maori in New Zealand. It’s a place where, after death, Maori spirits slide down a root of the pohutukawa tree into the sea and onward to the land of their ancestors. It’s also a place where a lighthouse on the headland overlooks the point where two oceans meet. Of course, there are tours that take you to this special place like Awesome NZ’s Cape Reinga and 90 Mile Beach Tour.


Source: Russell Mini Tours

With seaside cafes, art galleries and New Zealand’s oldest church, Russell is a town worth spending the day enjoying. It’s only a ferry ride away from Paihia too! If you feeling kicking back and enjoying a tour of the town visit Russell Mini Tours.

Waitangi Treaty Grounds

Source: Destination NZ

The location where the famous Treaty of Waitangi was signed, this award-winning Bay of Islands attraction is where the story of New Zealand began. Now it’s the home of a contemporary museum, a meeting house, a traditional Maori canoe and plenty of forests and gardens. There’s so much to do here be sure to visit whilst on your stay in Paihia.

Auckland to Paihia and Back

Source: Destination NZ

Staying in Auckland? Take a trip to the Bay of Islands on a coach tour, stopping at Whangarei and Kawakawa on the way.


More Great Bay of Islands Adventure Tours:

3 Day Bay of Islands Adventure Tour
Beach It Bay of Islands Tour
Bay of Islands Kayaking

Further Reading

10 Things to do on Your Getaway to the Bay of Islands 

10 of the top Golf Courses near Paihia

Top 13 Restaurants in Paihia

Puketi Nature Trail