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Bay of Islands Holidays

Swim with dolphins, learn to sail or discover New Zealand’s fascinating history in one of the most beautiful areas in the country.

Visit the stunning Bay of Islands on New Zealand’s North Island and enjoy the many water-based tours, from discovering uninhabited islands dotted around the cold, blue waters to watching dolphins leap around the boat. Enjoy the relaxed, friendly atmosphere in the bay’s towns or retreat to the ancient native forests to be at one with nature.

The Bay of Islands area is one of New Zealand’s premier tourist destinations and it is easy to see why thousands of people flock here each year. Despite its popularity, the Bay of Islands never feels overcrowded.

Most visitors stay in Paihia, a colourful, waterfront town full of cafés and buzzing bars. A short ferry ride across the bay is Russell. This town was the first European settlement in New Zealand. Spend a day wandering the historic streets and admiring the quaint, colonial architecture.

The nearby Waitangi Treaty Grounds are where historic documents were signed by the original Māori people and the “Pākehā”, as the natives called the British newcomers. The agreement allowed the Māoris to keep their culture alive.

The most popular activities in the Bay of Islands involve boat tours. Choose between fishing, dolphin or orca watching and cruising around the islands. If you are feeling adventurous, learn how to sail and windsurf or join a scuba diving tour around some of the outer islands.

For a day away from the water take a walk in the Puketi Forest. Follow trails past giant kauri trees and other native species. Make sure you visit the Haruru Falls, a picturesque waterfall that cascades down the cliff face in the shape of a horseshoe.

The Bay of Islands is located 240 kilometres (150 miles) north of Auckland. Driving is the quickest way to get there, although regular buses and organised tours run from Auckland too. Summer is the busiest time, but the Bay of Islands’ prime location in New Zealand’s “winterless north” means that you can enjoy stunning days here year-round.


Top Bay of Islands Hotel & Accommodation Deals

See all 224 properties in Bay of Islands
Copthorne Hotel and Resort Bay of Islands NZ$100
Reviewed on 16 Aug. 2019
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Copthorne Hotel and Resort Bay of Islands

Copthorne Hotel and Resort Bay of Islands

1 Tau Henare Drive, Waitangi
     
    4.2 of 5
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    The restaurant staff need more training and the meals were inconsistent

    Kingsgate Hotel Autolodge Paihia NZ$89
    Reviewed on 13 Aug. 2019
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    Kingsgate Hotel Autolodge Paihia

    Kingsgate Hotel Autolodge Paihia

    104 Marsden Road, Paihia
       
      4.2 of 5
      3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      The staff were amazing. They were polite and friendly and extremely helpful.

      Dolphin Motel NZ$65
      Reviewed on 12 Aug. 2019
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      Dolphin Motel

      Dolphin Motel

      69 Williams Road, Paihia
         
        4.3 of 5
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Easy walking to town and restaurants. Big choice of rooms

        Sea Spray Suites - Heritage Collection NZ$112
        Reviewed on 3 Aug. 2019
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        Sea Spray Suites - Heritage Collection

        Sea Spray Suites - Heritage Collection

        138 Marsden Road, Bay of Islands, Paihia
           
          4.5 of 5
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Loved the balcony and the size of the place but didn’t like the petrol station next door that smelt a bit

          The Duke of Marlborough Hotel NZ$123
          Reviewed on 14 Jul. 2019
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          The Duke of Marlborough Hotel

          The Duke of Marlborough Hotel

          35 The Strand, Bay of Islands, Russell
             
            4.4 of 5
            4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

            Lovely property, been renovated nice. Lovely staff

            The Waterfront Suites - Heritage Collection NZ$136
            Reviewed on 22 Jul. 2019
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            The Waterfront Suites - Heritage Collection

            The Waterfront Suites - Heritage Collection

            100 Marsden Road, Paihia
               
              4.7 of 5
              5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Fantastic location. Property is comfortable but feel it could do with a refresh.

              Bounty Motel NZ$54
              Reviewed on 23 Jun. 2019
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              Bounty Motel

              Bounty Motel

              42 Selwyn Road, Paihia
                 
                4.2 of 5
                3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                Great place for the money. I had everything that I needed and more. In the heart of Paihia.

                Paihia Beach Resort & Spa Hotel NZ$162
                Reviewed on 27 May 2019
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                Paihia Beach Resort & Spa Hotel

                Paihia Beach Resort & Spa Hotel

                130 Marsden Road, Paihia, Bay of Islands
                   
                  4.3 of 5
                  5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Cupboard fronts and bathroom door tired and need repair/replacing. Friendly staff. Nice room and good amenities. Would stay again.

                  Bay of Islands Flight Deals

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