Published June 15, 2022 by with 0 comment

A Trip to Paihia and Russell - A Long Weekend Escape from Auckland

Paihia is a town in North Island of New Zealand, just 1 hour drive from Whangarei. This is known that Paihia is the gateway to dive the sandy beaches of the Bay of Island. A great place for different activities like Dolphin and Whale watching, parasailing and the greatest attraction to visit the "Hole in the Rock". You can also take a day trip to Russell by ferry. The Waitangi treaty ground is just minutes away from the Paihia waterfront. There is a museum and a giant Maori Caneo mark the building of the modern New Zealand. 

We had visited Paihia last summer during the Christmas and New Year Holiday. We did not stay in Paiha but we drove from Whangarei which is just 1 hour drive from Whangarei. We tried to get accommodation in Paihia so decided to find something in Whangarei and as it is only 1 hours drive, it was easy access to Paihia. But, you can also get some wonderful accommodation by visiting the site here in an affordable price.

The beach front close to the Wharf is nice. You will find a lot of bars and eateries to eat and enjoy the sea at the same time. There are a huge amount of activities to do in Paihia - helicopter tour to Cape Reinga, Whale and Dolphin Watch, "Hole in the Rock" tour etc. 

I have listed below some of the amazing things to do in Paihia -

  • Hole in the Rock Dolphin Cruise - There a an amazing tour every day which covers the Dophin and Whale watching tour, Hole in the Rock, a view to Russell Wharf and a stop over at Otehei Bay. You can some review of Hole in the Dolphin Cruise here. We had this amazing experience and the whole family liked the tour (tips - please try to sit at the back of the cruise if the sea is not calm, this helps against sea sickness as you do not feel the big waves that much!). We were lucky enough to see some dolphins and the Hole in the Rock was amazing! If this is not windy and the sea is not swelling, the cruise might enter in the hole and cross the hole. 

Hole in the Rock

  •  A day trip to Russell - Russell or old Russell was the first ever capital of New Zealand. The oldest church The Christ Church is also located in Russell. Oneroa bay beach is an awesome one in Russell. If you are staying in Paihia, you can take the Ferry to go to Russell which is around 10 to 15 minutes Ferry trip. Ferry from to Paihia and Russell are available throughout the day. If you want to take your vehicle to Russell, you can take the vehicle ferry as well. The ferry travel time is only 15 Minutes and the Ferry is available every 15 minutes. You can book the ferry from here
Video Link Here:

Family Enjoying the Sun!

Oneroa Bay, Russell

Oneroa Bay, Russell

Russell Wharf

Just by the Walkway at Russell Wharf!

A place close to Russell Museum!

Russell Wharf

Russell Wharf

View from Russell Wharf

  • Waitangi Treaty Grounds and Museum - if you want to have a look at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, this is only 5 minutes drive from the Paihia Wharf. You can also pay a visit to the museum. 

  • Camping in Paihia: If you want to do camping in Paihia, Paihia Top 10 Holiday Park is best which is close to the Wharf and Sea as well. 

  • Fishing Charter: If you love fishing, there are regular fishing charters as well and you can take one and if you are lucky can get a lot of fish as well. 


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