Paihia is an historic town (population 1,800) in the Bay of Islands in the Northland region of the North Island of New Zealand. It has numerous sights and activities, and stunning views of the bay.


An early Christian missionary, Henry Williams, settled in Paihia in 1823 and built New Zealand's first church here. Adjacent Waitangi is where representatives of the English Crown and a number of Maori chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi on 6 February 1840. The estate is a must-see for anyone interested in New Zealand's history and culture.

Marsden Road is the main waterfront road. The commercial centre is around the junction of Marsden Road and Williams Road. The wharf from where most of the maritime activities depart is here. The Maritime Building next to the wharf houses two tour companies.

Several cruises that depart from Paihia are approved by the Department of Conservation to seek dolphins and whales in the wild. Some tours allow you to swim in the sheltered bay with both common and bottlenose dolphins. Cruises may also see baleen whales, orca, seals, fish, penguins and other sea and bird life.

The Bay of Islands Visitor Information Centre is at the wharf, phone +64 9 402-7345, fax +64 9 402-7314, (email:, open summer 08:00-19:00; shoulder 08:00-18:00; winter 08:00-17:00.

Get in

By bus

Several tourist coach companies offer daily sightseeing services from downtown Auckland including InterCity and Naked Bus. These services take around 4 hours and may include rest stops and commentary on local history. Many packaged tours include the Bay of Islands in their North Island itinerary.

By plane

Regional airlines have flights to Kerikeri Airport from Whangarei and Auckland (the nearest international airport). Paihia is 20 minutes away by car or shuttle van.

By boat

Passenger ferries run to and from Russell. The timetable varies by the seasons.

Get around

You can pretty much walk everywhere.



Dolphin-watchers view an orca near Paihia





You can't go past the Pipi Patch and the Salty for a good old knees up! Plenty of traditional pubs and bars throughout town, including the Mako pub on the waterfront.


Stay safe

The police station is at 45 Williams Rd, opposite the long-stay car park. Phone: +64 9 402-7130 Fax: +64 9 402-6253.

Go next

Bay of Islands
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