Bay of Islands couples itineraries
Adventure, romance, recreation and relaxation – the Bay of Islands has it all! If you’re planning a couples trip to the Bay of Islands, we’ve got you covered. Check out our romantic Bay of Islands itinerary ideas for a long weekend or a full honeymoon experience! They’re packed with Bay of Islands couples activities, ideas for what to eat and where to stay, and more.
Romantic Bay of Islands long weekend
Arrive in the Bay of Islands and set off on a romantic sunset cruise! The R Tucker Thompson Late Afternoon Sail is the perfect Bay of Islands sailing trip for couples. Snuggle up and enjoy the view as this historic tall ship sails across the sheltered waters of the inner harbour, accompanied by a tasty antipasto platter and a drink in your hand.
Follow your pre-dinner drinks with fish & chips on the beach in Paihia. Then check into your romantic Bay of Islands accommodation (see suggestions below) for a peaceful night’s sleep.
Start your day with a laidback brunch on the waterfront, or visit a weekend farmers’ market to pick up coffee, breakfast and some local delicacies.
In the afternoon, take the ferry to Russell and stroll around its historic streets. Wander over the hill to Oneroa or Long Beach for a relaxing dip. Finish your day with our favourite Bay of Islands dining experience: dinner at the Duke of Marlborough in Russell.
Set off on a Hole in the Rock cruise, then spend the day on a secluded island! The morning dolphin cruise to the Hole in the Rock comes with a free 'island extension' option. After cruising out amongst the islands to see the famous Hole in the Rock and searching for dolphins and whales frolicking in the sheltered waters of the bay, you'll be dropped at Otehei Bay on Urupukapuka Island. This is the largest island in the Bay and boasts white sand beaches, turquoise lagoons and idyllic walking tracks where you'll be surrounded by birdsong. Explore the island, find a sandy beach to swim on and enjoy the peace and quiet, just the two of you. Pack a few of those farmer’s market treats for a picnic, or grab a bite at the cafe (open seasonally). In the afternoon, hop back on board the cruise and return to Paihia.
The ultimate Bay of Islands couples experience
Arrive in Paihia in time for a sunset horse trek, or just explore the town and enjoy the waterfront views from Charlotte’s Kitchen.
Set off on a full-day tour to Cape Reinga and Ninety Mile Beach and lose yourselves in a different world. Share the magic atmosphere with your beloved as you stand at the very tip of New Zealand, looking down at the place where two oceans crash together. Visit Ninety Mile Beach, where you’ll find sea, sky and sand all stretching as far as the eye can see, and visit a forest of giant kauri trees that have stood here through the centuries. It’s the perfect adventure that will have you saying ‘do you remember when…’ for years to come.
Take a break! Sleep in, then enjoy a relaxing breakfast or brunch before spending the day at the beach. Choose from a number of lovely spots around Paihia and Russell, including Oneroa and Te Tii Bay. If you feel like exerting yourself, try parasailing or rent some snorkelling gear.
Time to indulge the senses! In the morning, book yourselves a relaxing spa treatment. Then head to Kerikeri for an afternoon touring the vineyards and tasting the local vintages. Stay in Kerikeri for an intimate dinner at Wharepuke or The Pear Tree.
On your last day in the Bay, walk from Waitangi to Haruru Falls and enjoy the spectacular view. Or go kayaking at the base of the waterfall, just like they did on the Bachelor! Alternatively, spend your morning out on the water with a half-day cruise.
If you have more time
- Go scuba diving at nearby Matauri Bay and dive the wreck of the Rainbow Warrior
- Couples who play together, stay together! Play a round of golf at Waitangi or one of our other excellent Bay of Islands golf courses
- See the Bay of Islands from the air with a scenic flight or helicopter ride
- From peaceful strolls to multi-day hikes, choose one of the great Bay of Islands walks on offer
- Check our food & wine guide for more romantic meal ideas
Romantic Bay of Islands accommodation
The Bay of Islands region is famously beautiful, and most accommodation options take full advantage of the gorgeous scenery. So finding a romantic place to stay the night is easy! There are Bay of Islands accommodation options to suit every budget, but here are our favourites:
- If you’re ready for some serious pampering, the Eagle’s Nest in Russell provides luxury clifftop accommodation
- As well as delicious food and drink, the Duke of Marlborough offers 4-star accommodation right on the Russell waterfront
- Paihia Beach Resort & Spa has ocean view rooms with private balconies, in-room spa baths, a swimming pool and of course relaxing spa treatments
- The Scenic Hotel is nestled in subtropical gardens, with light airy rooms
- If you’re on a tight budget or just want to get away from it all, a campsite at Paihia or Russell campgrounds offers beautiful surroundings, or upgrade to a cosy cabin