Paihia – Bay of Islands

I felt I would be doing an injustice to New Zealand if I headed south from Auckland before checking out the north. I went to Paihia (Bay of Islands) for a few days after more than my fill of Auckland.

Paihia is a small, seaside town that is a good take off point to see the far north as well as ocean sights. I decided I needed to go to the top of the bottom of the earth. The easiest way to do that is to book a tour (especially if you don’t have a car of your own).

There other things to see around the town as well.

First there is the treaty grounds. Waitangi Treaty Grounds is where you can learn about the history, Maori culture, and treaty that essentially formed New Zealand as a country. I’ve said it before on my blog, I really feel like you can’t get to know a country if you don’t know the history of it. Waitangi Treaty Grounds is just the place to learn about that cultural history of New Zealand.

waka taua

Waka taua – Maori War Canoe at the Treaty Grounds


Treaty Grounds

Treaty Grounds

There is also a hike through the surrounding forest to Haruru Waterfall. This was about a 3 hour hike. It was really nice scenery walking through the forest and passing over streams. At the end of the trail you get the payoff of the waterfall. It didn’t look too high or particularly powerful but it was really nice and the hike in general was a great way to spend the afternoon.

Haruru Falls

Haruru Falls

There is plenty more you can see in the Bay of Islands area. Dolphin cruises are really popular along with the tour of Cape Reinga and the 90 Mile Beach that I did. Of course I couldn’t do everything with the time I had but it really was a great 3 days in the Far North. I would recommend making sure you head north to Paihia before exploring south of Auckland.

3 thoughts on “Paihia – Bay of Islands

  1. October 23, 2014 at 4:44 AM

    Always interesting to see where I live from an outsiders point of view! There’s actually SO much more beyond Paihia, but it’s not very accessible/well known if you don’t have your own car. You must come back to the REAL Far North, and I’ll show you all the good spots Meg! I’ll even include free Maori pronunciation lessons for you 😉 (Maori, is actually pronounced like ‘moldy’ and the Kauri tree can either be said ‘Kody’ or “cow-ree”. I’ve come to love the language, but I still give it a good butchering every now and then.
    Kate [Life Outside My Comfort Zone] recently posted…Gratitude and Thanksgiving Abroad MemoriesMy Profile

    1. meggiekay
      November 5, 2014 at 9:59 PM

      I really liked it up there. It’s probably one of my favourite places on the North Island (and I can say that now that I’ve made it to Wellington). I wanted to stay longer but felt the pressure to go find a job. Hopefully, I’ll have the time to get back there before my visa expires. I’m working on my Maori pronunciation. It will come to me eventually. I’m usually pretty bad at pronunciation while first trying to learn a language. Hahah.

  2. April 29, 2015 at 5:41 PM

    We just loved what have posted above! Nice shots! But what about visiting the tropical forest in Costa Rica , it would be great to read something about it in your blog! A unique adventure travel destination: lush, green vegetation as far as the eye can see, with leaves as big as elephant ears. Jade colored water. Toucans, monkeys, iguanas, dolphins, majestic blue butterflies – all are here at Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge, a real Costa Rica Eco Lodge in Golfo Dulce.

    Costa rica eco lodge
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