There is no question that Auckland is an amazing destination on New Zealand’s North Island. Whether you are visiting the city for a few weeks or you have been living there for years, you will certainly appreciate the wonderful museums, attractions, the stunning collection of boats in Waitemata Harbour and the volcanic cones that surround the city. Every once in a while, however, it’s nice to escape and visit somewhere new. Paihia is less than three hours away, and it is home to a warm climate throughout the year and some amazing recreation opportunities. If you are ready to leave the Big Smoke behind you for a few days, hire a car from europcar.co.nz and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime in Paihia. Here are some of the top attractions and things to do in this amazing Bay of Islands location.
Try Bush Walks Through the Kauri Forests
Kauri trees are native to New Zealand, and most of them are now found in this region in places like the Waipoua, Opua, Puketi and Waruwaru forests. These giant trees are spectacular, and travelling to Paihia will give you a chance to see some of them up close. The Opua forest is a great place to go on bush walks with a map or as part of a guided tour, and it is located right in Paihia. Another option is to stop along the drive from Auckland and take a walk through the Waipoua Forest, which is where you will see the largest of the Kauri trees in New Zealand.
Uncover History in Waitangi
Although much of Paihia’s appeal is that it is a scenic destination with lots of fun recreation opportunities, it is important not to forget about the historical significance of this area. You will definitely want to visit the nearby area of Waitangi, which is where a treaty was signed between some leaders of Maori tribes and representatives of the British Monarchy. The exact spot of the signing was the Mangungu Mission House, which is still open to the public and less than 10 minutes from the beaches of Paihia. Definitely include this historical landmark on your trip through the Bay of Islands.
Explore the Famous Hole in the Rock
With an underwhelming name like Hole in the Rock, you won’t be blamed for expecting something unexciting. However, Hole in the Rock is actually one of the most incredible and breathtaking natural structures imaginable. Erosion from wind and water has carved away at a rock formation and turned it into a complete arch located right in the middle of the sea. You can take a boat right through it, or you could swim, snorkel or kayak through it and appreciate the size of the amazing formation.
Incredible Water Sports and Dolphin Sightings
The biggest reason that visitors make the journey from Auckland to Paihia is because they want to participate in the many maritime recreation opportunities. Some of the most popular ways to spend your time in Paihia include snorkelling and scuba diving, and the big attraction is the Rainbow Warrior shipwreck just off the coast. You might also be interested in sailing between the 144 islands that make up Bay of Islands, and you can try to spot dolphins and even whales along the way. The warm temperatures have given Paihia the nickname of Winterless North, which explains how you can enjoy being outdoors throughout the year.
Boost Your Adrenaline With Fast Boat Tours
A lot of popular ways to spend time in Paihia are relaxing, but there are also countless opportunities to really get your heart racing. One of the best options is the Excitor high-speed boat tour, which can be tailored to your specifications. You can spend a few hours zipping along the coastline at astounding speeds, or you can opt to head to some of the scenic landmarks like Hole in the Rock and Cape Brett. There is also the option to swim, snorkel or make stops along the way.
To escape from the big city of Auckland for a few days, Paihia is the perfect destination. This website gives you more tips for planning the ultimate getaway in the Bay of Islands.