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Looking for your next holiday destination? Just a three hour drive north of Auckland is Paihia, the gateway to the Bay of Islands - New Zealand's marine adventure playground.
Encompassing 144 islands between Cape Brett and the Purerua Peninsula, the subtropical micro-region known as the Bay of Islands, is the perfect next holiday destination for beach lovers and water sport enthusiasts.
New Zealand's North Island is blessed with hundreds of kilometres of spectacular coastline. However no stretch of coastline compares provides quite the same tourist appeal as that of the Bay of Islands. There is something for everyone, including swimming, surfing, sea kayaking, recreational diving, daily boat cruises and yacht charters. There is also an abundance of wildlife such as penguins, dolphins, marlin, whales and gannets. Combine all of this with stunning weather and unbeatable scenery, you get what many call a marine paradise.
If you're looking to discover the islands and beaches of the Bay of Islands then Paihia is the perfect place to start, with boat cruises of all descriptions leaving Paihia Wharf daily all year round.
Paihia packs a big punch for a small town, with plenty to do both on and off the water. There are plenty of motels in Paihia or you might like to stay at the local camping ground. From your desired accommodation location, it is just a few minutes' walk to take in a spot of retail therapy or relax at one of many friendly cafes or restaurants.
If you are looking for a land based activity in Paihia then you are almost as spoilt for choice as those on the water. You could do a bush walk or horse trek or you could challenge yourself at Action World, an award winning adventure park that features a range of activities like high wire walks, harness-free rock climbing and the flying trapeze.
For the slightly less adventurous, there is also a 18 hole mini golf challenge set amongst manuka trees, plus a water slide and bbq facilities.
Whatever you decide to do in Paihia, you can be sure that it'll offer a stunning scenic backdrop and temperate conditions.