Getting To the Bay of Islands

Wondering how to get to the Bay of Islands? Here are a range of options to suit every traveller.

  • By Bus, Coach or Air >>

By Car

Driving from Auckland to Paihia is a 3-hour trip. If you are not used to travelling on New Zealand roads, or want to make the most of this country's picturesque landscape of beaches, rolling hills and native bush, we suggest you take a relaxing luxury coach journey with GreatSights from Auckland to the Bay of Islands (see below).

HANDY HINT: If you’re driving to the Bay of Islands and planning to visit Russell, be aware that some GPS navigators don’t recognise the Opua car ferry as the direct route to Russell, and will suggest the much longer coastal road instead.


By Bus or Coach

Luxury coach travel with GreatSights

Let your indulgent escape start from Auckland – travel north with GreatSights®, New Zealand's premier sightseeing tour company. Our experienced and knowledgeable drivers will take you through scenic countryside, rural towns and past sandy beaches to the beautiful Bay of Islands, arriving in Paihia at around 11.30am with enough time for lunch before your afternoon cruise or tour.

Visit for more information on Bay of Islands coaches and for great value package deals.

Scheduled bus services

InterCity operates multiple daily bus services to Paihia, Kerikeri and other destinations throughout Northland. Buses depart downtown Auckland from the InterCity SkyCity terminal at 102 Hobson Street and connect with services throughout New Zealand.

Fares on InterCity start from just $1 (plus booking fee) and can be purchased online or from all good travel agents, including the i-SITE visitor network.

For more information about travelling by bus to the Bay of Islands visit

By Air

If you’re planning to get to the Bay of Islands by plane or helicopter, the closest airport is at Kerikeri, 23 km northwest of Paihia. Flights are a quick 40 minute journey from Auckland, making your journey to the stunning Bay of Islands quick and hassle-free. For more information about flying to the Bay of Islands, visit or