What to do and see in Paihia, North Island: The Best Historical & Heritage Tours

November 2, 2021 Lashaunda Abraham

If you long to explore New Zealand’s beautiful Bay of Islands, Paihia makes a wonderful base. Known as “the Jewel of the Bay Islands,” this seaside town has golden beaches, lovely coastal walking trails and waterfalls, and a colorful population of local birds. Paihia also holds an important role in the country’s history. It was here, after a century of conflict between indigenous Maori tribes and Western settlers, that peace was finally made and the groundbreaking Treaty of Waitangi was signed.
Restaurants in Paihia

1. Bay of Islands Tall Ship Sailing on 'R. Tucker Thompson' Including BBQ Lunch

Russell Booking and Information, The Strand, Russell 0202, New Zealand R. Tucker Thompson
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4.9 based on 203 reviews

What better way to explore the peaceful waters of the Bay of Islands than by the "R. Tucker Thompson" tall ship. This replica of a 100 year old schooner looks just like a working ship of the 18th century and you can spend the day on board exploring the bays and beaches of this beautiful Maritime Park. Operated by a charitable trust, funds raised from our sailing goes to support our youth development voyages over winter.

Inclusions: Cruise on board the "R. Tucker Thompson" tall ship, Coffee and/or Tea, BBQ lunch, Wet weather gear (if required), New Zealand's Goods and Services Tax (GST)

Exclusions: Hotel pick up and drop off

Reviewed By LandC46

Everything was great! We considered ourselves fortunate that there were only 13 passengers (4 crew) on our two hour Sundowner sail since that perhaps made it more intimate. The best fun was in climbing up the rigging and helping with the sails, encouraged by enthusiastic crew. So nice to be out on the water on such a splendid, beautiful and historic vessel.

2. Bay of Islands Shore Excursion: Cultural Maori War Canoe Guided Tour

Waitangi River Boat Ramp, Te Karuwha Parade, Waitangi 0293, New Zealand Taiamai Tours Heritage Journeys
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4.7 based on 10 reviews

Enjoy this memorable shore excursion from where your cruise ship tenders in Paihia. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to delve into the Northern Maori culture from the Ngapuhi confederation of tribes, New Zealand’s largest tribal nation by using the living landscapes and environment as the setting and natural backdrop for your tour. The best part of your 3 hour tour is done in a Waka taua (traditional Maori war canoe) built from a mixture of composite and traditional materials. You will also view a Marae (meeting ground), historical sites and learn the age old art of storytelling to share the traditions, customs and the compelling stories of the bygone era. The activities are both interactive and educational where you will learn the ceremonial chants and haka of the magnificent Waka taua while absorbing the breath-taking natural and stunning beauty of the Waitangi river tidal estuaries, its rain-forest and the cultural living landscapes.

Inclusions: Professional, local guide, Sightseeing Waka Tour

Exclusions: Bottled water

Reviewed By Gilby91

We had a group of 25 from a secondary school in Queenstown take part in the waka tour up the Waitangi River. Honi and Judy were amazing hosts with a fun, informative, and interactive experience (even adjusting our trip to cater to the weather). Would highly recommend! Kā mihi mō tō manaaki!

3. Private Tour: Bay of Islands Day Trip from Auckland

Auckland Central, Auckland Central, North Island Legend Tours and Travels Day Tours
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4.0 based on 3 reviews

Head towards one of New Zealand’s favorite travel destinations – Bay Of Islands! Bay Of Islands is situated towards the Northern tip of the North Island. It is ranked as one of New Zealand's top destinations, with boat trips and water sports providing the best experience for your private tour. Enjoy experiences at Parry Kauri Park, Whangarei Falls, Haruru Falls, Waitangi Treaty Ground and more!

Inclusions: Driver/guide, Transport by private vehicle, Light refreshments and water, Hotel pickup and drop-off, All taxes, fees and handling charges

Exclusions: Excess luggage charges (where applicable), Food and drinks, unless specified, Lunch, Entrance tickets, Cruise Tickets

Reviewed By K7293HPjosephh

Wonderful day trip to the glow worms and the Hobbit farm Driver was the best and took great care of us Long day but worth the expense of a private car

4. Private Shore Excursion - The Giants and Tiny Dwarfs of the Bay of Islands

Kernhem Private Tours

During this tour you will experience an encounter with mighty prehistoric giants that only a couple of centuries ago dominated the vast forests of the North Island of New Zealand. You will see amazing Kauri – our bewitching giants... ... and tiny and defenseless glow warms which bring to the darkness of the underground caves a mysterious bluish glow of an endless starry sky…

Inclusions: GST (Goods and Services Tax), Bottled water, Professional guide, Hotel pickup and drop-off, Port pickup and drop-off, Private tour, Fuel surcharge, Landing and facility fees

Exclusions:

Reviewed By Lauren B

We booked a private tour off a cruise and Slava our guide was really accomodating with us being an hour late off the ship. Obviously we had to rearrange our sightseeing but Slava was great at making sure we saw what interested us with added extras. Saw lovely waterfalls, Kerikeri Mission house, chocolate factory and more. A very enjoyable time with a knowledgeable guide. Can highly recommend this tour!

5. 3-Day Hobbiton, Waitomo Caves, Rotorua,Te Puia, Bay of Islands and Auckland Tour

Sky Tower, Victoria Street West, Auckland Central, Auckland 1010, New Zealand Auckland Scenic Tours

This Tour encompassing 3 consecutive days enables you to maximize your time in the Upper North Island of New Zealand with this global multi award-winning Tour Company. It takes you to the 3 most famous and iconic attractions in New Zealand (Hobbiton, the Waitomo Glowworm Caves and Te Puia in Rotorua) plus also the idyllic Bay of Islands with the Dolphin Boat Tour to the “Hole in the Rock”, a guided tour of the Waitangi Treaty House and Grounds plus also the most comprehensive Signature Full Day 8-Hour Tour of Auckland available.

Inclusions: Air-conditioned vehicle

Exclusions: Accommodation, Lunches

Reviewed By emilyz906

Auckland Scenic Tours was outstanding. I really appreciate their no cancellation policy as I was only there for a few days and had wanted to organise a trip to Hobbiton. David, my guide for the day was excellent. We definitely took the scenic route and I got to see some stunning scenery. Thank you for the great experience and I would definitely recommend them to family and friends wanting to explore Auckland and beyond.

6. Far North Light House Experience - Overnight [3 Day Tour]

Grand Mercure Auckland, 8 Customs Street East, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010, New Zealand ExperienceKart

Get to know the highlights of the Bay of Islands on this guided tour. Discover Paihia and the historic township of Russell, New Zealand’s first Capital on this relaxing coach tour. Visit the historic Waitangi Treaty Grounds where you will gain an understanding on New Zealand's early history. Next we board the Fullers Ferry to Russell, the first capital of New Zealand and a significant place in history for both the Maori and European settlers. The 1hr mini tour of Russell takes you to town's icon locations before the return ferry trip back to Paihia. Be ready for a journey like no other with a full-day coach tour into the Far North of New Zealand. Along the way you'll visit ancient kauri forests, drive along the sand of Ninety Mile Beach and even have a go at sandboarding – surfing down the massive sand dunes at Te Paki Stream. A visit to the very tip of Aotearoa (New Zealand) will open your eyes to Māori culture as you learn of the spiritual significance of this place Cape Reinga.

Inclusions: Lunch, Fully guided return transfers from Auckland, Complimentary pick up and drop off from Auckland CBD, Complimentary refreshments and water on board, A local English-speaking tour escort throughout the journey, Hand-picked accommodation included in our platinum and gold packages, Luxurious temperature controlled transportation, All entrance and activity fees, Exclusive immersive activities and interaction with local communities, Built-in leisure time, to explore destinations as you wish, Entry to Waitangi Treaty Grounds, Russell Mini Tour, Entry to Hole in the Rock Dolphin Cruise, Cape Reinga and 90 Mile Beach Tour

Exclusions: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, Hand-picked accommodation excluded in our bronze package

Reviewed By ivris2019

Highly recommend Started off with Guided Tour with Mark definitely a must do . Came away with more knowledge of my country ????❤️ Finished off with relaxing in Mud Bath and spa omg Heaven ???? Definitely going back again ????

7. Bay of Islands incl Hole in The Rock Cruise and Waitangi Treaty Grounds Tour

Auckland Scenic Tours

Take one of New Zealand’s best 3-hour road trips to one of the most spectacular parts of New Zealand. Our route offers breathtakingly,ever-changing scenery from vast landscapes, rugged mountain ranges,rain forests, clear blue ocean seas, deep gorges and spectacular views of the outstanding natural beauty. Discover the stunning marine playground and scenic beauty during your 4-hour cruise of the pristine islands towards the Cape Brett Peninsula and its historic lighthouse and (conditions permitting) through the majestic Hole in the Rock. Marvel at the bluenose dolphins. Enjoy a 3-hour inspiring cultural experience at the birthplace of New Zealand,the Waitangi Treaty Grounds. Enjoy an informative tour with your local Maori guide; a Maori cultural performance; explore the Treaty House and the Carved Meeting House. Watch live demonstrations in the Carving Studio Visit the Museum of Waitangi which holds a stunning collection of treasured objects that bring to life the history of Waitangi.

Inclusions: Air-conditioned vehicle, Knowledgeable local tour guide, Pick Up and Drop Off at all Downtown Auckland CBD Accommodation

Exclusions: Lunch

Reviewed By emilyz906

Auckland Scenic Tours was outstanding. I really appreciate their no cancellation policy as I was only there for a few days and had wanted to organise a trip to Hobbiton. David, my guide for the day was excellent. We definitely took the scenic route and I got to see some stunning scenery. Thank you for the great experience and I would definitely recommend them to family and friends wanting to explore Auckland and beyond.

8. Hole in the Rock Experience - Overnight [2 Day Tour]

Grand Mercure Auckland, 8 Customs Street East, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010, New Zealand ExperienceKart

Get to know the highlights of the Bay of Islands on this guided tour. Discover Paihia and the historic township of Russell, New Zealand’s first Capital on this relaxing coach tour. Visit the historic Waitangi Treaty Grounds where you will gain an understanding on New Zealand's early history. Next we board the Fullers Ferry to Russell, the first capital of New Zealand and a significant place in history for both the Maori and European settlers. The 1hr mini tour of Russell takes you to town's icon locations before the return ferry trip back to Paihia. Take a half-day Hole in the Rock cruise and explore the Bay in search of dolphins while visiting its highlights. You could be watching dolphins as they leap and play in sheltered waters - or keep an eye out for other marine mammals like whales and seals. Cruise in and out of beautiful unspoilt islands, see the remote Cape Brett Lighthouse and the impressive Hole in the Rock at Motukōkako Island.

Inclusions: Fully guided return transfers from Auckland, Complimentary pick up and drop off from Auckland CBD, Complimentary refreshments and water on board, A local English-speaking tour escort throughout the journey, Hand-picked accommodation included in our platinum and gold packages, Luxurious temperature controlled transportation, All entrance and activity fees, Exclusive immersive activities and interaction with local communities, Built-in leisure time, to explore destinations as you wish, Entry to Hole in the Rock Dolphin Cruise, Entry to Waitangi Treaty Grounds, Russell Mini Tour

Exclusions: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, Hand-picked accommodation excluded in our bronze package

Reviewed By ivris2019

Highly recommend Started off with Guided Tour with Mark definitely a must do . Came away with more knowledge of my country ????❤️ Finished off with relaxing in Mud Bath and spa omg Heaven ???? Definitely going back again ????

9. All Inclusive Private Tour - Northland 3 Days

Paihia Wharf, Bay Of Islands, Northland 0200, New Zealand Rogue Pony Experiences and Private Tours

A 3-day all inclusive private tour into the real far north of New Zealand. Only you, your partner and your guide will be travelling in the comfort of a Toyota 4x4 SUV, solo travellers also welcome. Visit over three epic days a Kiwi-bird raising sanctuary, waterfalls, ancient kauri forests, glow worm caves and historic harbours and missionary stations. Travel over unsealed back country roads as well as the more remote highways of the North Island. Stay in boutique accommodation in the remote Hokianga. With your choice of afternoon activity on the third day in the Bay of Islands you get to experience the best of Northland.

Inclusions: Breakfast, Lunch, Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch, Air-conditioned vehicle, WiFi on board

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Reviewed By Anderoo69

Mark was an awesome friendly & knowledgeable tour guide. Lots of information, showed us some sites and let us discover others ourselves. Comfy vehicle and good driving skills

10. Northland Explorer Experience - Overnight [3 Day Tour]

Grand Mercure Auckland, 8 Customs Street East, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010, New Zealand ExperienceKart

A very eclectic collection of sculptures laid out in a garden trail in a rural setting makes this place an ideal getaway location from Auckland. Spend an amazing day exploring beautiful gardens filled with unique sculptures, art galleries & then visit a boutique vineyard to taste premium selection of wines. ​Discover the unique history, culture and landscape of New Zealand's Far North on a day trip to Cape Reinga and Ninety Mile Beach. A trip to Bay of Islands is not complete without a journey to the very top of the North Island – Cape Reinga (Te Rerenga Wairua). Drive along the shores of Ninety Mile Beach as the waves crash beside the custom-built coach. Start a splendid day by visting the stunning Hole in the Rock Dolphin cruise experience and continue to historical sites of New Zealand’s Northland, Waitangi Treaty Grounds.

Inclusions: Wine Tasting at Boutique Vineyards, Guided Experience to Cape Reinga & 90 Mile Beach, Includes Fish & Chips Lunch (in Cape Reinga Day Tour), Sandboarding at Te Paki Stream, Entry to Hole in the Rock Dolphin Cruise​, Entry to Waitangi Treaty Grounds, Fully guided return transfers from Auckland, Complimentary pick up and drop off from Auckland CBD, Complimentary refreshments and water on board, A local English-speaking tour escort throughout the journey, Hand-picked accommodation included in our platinum and gold packages, Luxurious temperature controlled transportation, All entrance and activity fees, Exclusive immersive activities and interaction with local communities, Built-in leisure time, to explore destinations as you wish

Exclusions: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner, Hand-picked accommodation excluded in our bronze package

Reviewed By ivris2019

Highly recommend Started off with Guided Tour with Mark definitely a must do . Came away with more knowledge of my country ????❤️ Finished off with relaxing in Mud Bath and spa omg Heaven ???? Definitely going back again ????

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