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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 Hotel Deals

See all 192 properties in Bay of Islands
Copthorne Hotel and Resort Bay of Islands NZ$100
Reviewed on 12 May 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 location service and the food were all fantastic in general a very friendly comfortable stay.

    Kingsgate Hotel Autolodge Paihia NZ$132
    Reviewed on 26 May 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

      We loved the breakfast. The games room and spa were great for the children. Enjoyed dinner, staff were very nice.

      Averill Court Motel NZ$84
      Reviewed on 1 Jun. 2019
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      Averill Court Motel

      Averill Court Motel

      62 Seaview Rd, Paihia
         
        4.5 of 5
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Very clean and well-organized room. Kitchen is suitable for family.

        Sea Spray Suites - Heritage Collection NZ$118
        Reviewed on 26 May 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

          Early access due to funeral. Very accomodating & great service

          Aloha Seaview Resort Motel NZ$84
          Reviewed on 7 Jun. 2019
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          Aloha Seaview Resort Motel

          Aloha Seaview Resort Motel

          32-36 Seaview Road, Paihia
             
            4.0 of 5
            4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Its spacious and located on walking distance to main paihia town

            The Duke of Marlborough Hotel NZ$135
            Reviewed on 18 May 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

              Loved the feel of staying in old historic hotel that has a unique story and has stood the test of time. (Very rare in N-Z)

              Dolphin Motel NZ$75
              Reviewed on 2 Jun. 2019
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              Dolphin Motel

              Dolphin Motel

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

                Handy location right next to the centre of town. 5 mins walk to ferry terminal.Overall a good place to stay.will recommend to friends and family.

                The Waterfront Suites - Heritage Collection NZ$170
                Reviewed on 4 May 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

                  Great! I will come back. I will recommend it to my friends.

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