Welcome to the Bay of Islands - the birthplace of our nation.
The Bay of Islands is the northernmost New Zealand cruise ship port. Its 144 islands are a beautiful marine playground, with secluded beaches and abundant wildlife. Dubbed 'the angler's El Dorado' by American novelist Zane Grey in the 1920s, it is an area rich in Māori and European history. Here are some tips on what to see and do during your stay, including Bay of Islands shore excursions, tours and cruises.
After anchoring in the inner Bay of Islands, your cruise ship's tender will bring you to Waitangi wharf where cruise ship ambassadors are waiting to meet you.
Take a free shuttle bus to the main hub of Paihia – or if you prefer to walk, it is an easy 20-minute stroll along the waterfront.
In Paihia you’ll find friendly locals, quality cafes and restaurants and all types of activities on offer: swim with dolphins, sail, fish, dive, snorkel, kayak, shop, go hiking or just relax on the beach. Find out more about Paihia
Make sure you take the opportunity to get a taste of the Bay of Islands while you are in port. These Bay of Islands attractions are all within easy reach during your Bay of Islands cruise ship visit:
Enjoy the wider Northland region while your cruise ship is in port in the Bay of Islands. Plan ahead to visit these spots on a day tour or hire a car:
The below shore tour options are easy to fit in during your Bay of Islands shore visit.
Adults NZ$30. Departs Russell hourly from 10am – 4pm
Discover historic Russell on an intimate one-hour coach tour with a local guide. Learn about its significant sites and enjoy stunning views. You will need to buy a return ferry ticket to Russell from our friendly team at the Fullers GreatSights office in Paihia.
Adults NZ$87. Departs Paihia at 11am or 2pm
Join us on board Island Adventurer for a visit to some of the Bay of Islands' most pristine spots, perfect for walking and swimming. Get up close to the rare rock formations, explore hidden caves, lagoons and sheer rock cliffs, and stop off on an island for stunning views of the Bay and beyond.
Adults NZ$107. Departs Paihia at 9am
Set off on a half-day Bay of Islands cruise in search of dolphins and other marine life. Enjoy the views from our catamaran Dolphin Seeker as we journey right to the end of the Cape Brett Peninsula, to the famous Hole in the Rock on Motukokako Island.
Note: check in for this cruise is at 8.45am, departing at 9am sharp. Check with your crew that an early tender is available to get you to Paihia in time, as no refund will be issued if you are delayed.