Recently I had the opportunity to visit Paihia for a three-week vacation with my family.
We drove from Auckland via Whangarei, a beautiful picturesque drive of approximately 4 hours. Paihia is a peaceful place and busy during peak seasons, mainly a tourist spot for fun and adventure.
There are many things you can do around Paihia, like visit the site where The Treaty of Waitangi was signed. At the site, you can also gain knowledge of Maori culture as well as the history of the famous treaty by visiting the on-site museum. You can ride the ferry to Russell across the lake and explore the small historical town.
Another thing you can do with your family is take a tour with Explore Jet Boats to go dolphin watching at the famous hole in the rock.
In the town center, you will also find Salt Tours who do a daily helicopter ride which takes you above all the nearby areas. Paihia town center is small, with few coffee shops and restaurants, but the locals are always friendly and willing to lend sightseers a hand.
I stayed at Busby Manor Resort, which is a very nice resort facing the lake on the main road, a two-minute walk from the town center. The resort was well furnished and equipped with full kitchen and two bedrooms. The resort had its own pool and bbq area.
The following week I stayed at Club Paihia, the experience here was totally different. It’s a private resort located in a hilly area behind the town center. My Villa here was also amazing, fully furnished with a cute conservatory from where I could see the beautiful sunset every day. The resort organizes daily tours to nearby places.
If you are at Paihia, I would definitely recommend going further for a one day trip to Cape Reinga the northern end of New Zealand, which is famous for its lighthouse, where you can watch the tidal race and separation of the Tasman sea and the Pacific ocean.
It was great spending three weeks in the Bay of Islands up north in Paihia.
Gallery: Some pictures of my time in Paihia.