There are Bay of Islands day tours to suit every traveller. Go swimming with dolphins, see the natural wonder that is the Hole in the Rock on an island cruise and enjoy spotting all kinds of birds and marine life from the boat – whales, dolphins, seals and penguins are all frequent visitors. Visit historic Russell – today a charming historic village of boutique shops and eateries, but once a lawless open port known as the ‘Hell Hole of the Pacific’.
From Paihia you can take a Cape Reinga tour to the very tip of New Zealand and see the spot where the Tasman Sea and Pacific Ocean collide. During your tour you’ll drive along the sand on spectacular Ninety Mile Beach, sand-surf down giant dunes (if you’re feeling adventurous!) and visit ancient native kauri trees in the Puketi Forest. Māori legend holds that Cape Reinga is the point from which departed spirits leave on their journey to their homeland – stand in this deeply spiritual place, gaze out to sea and immerse yourself in the peaceful atmosphere.