Our Paihia Travel Guide

Our Paihia Travel Guide

Paihia is a sparkling jewel waiting to be discovered within the heart of New Zealand’s dazzling Bay of Islands. It’s a traveller’s paradise, with lush forests, scenic beaches, and enchanting marine. 

Every turn promises a new discovery, and to make sure you see the best of the best, here’s our Paihia travel guide, where we share all of our top places to stay, favourite restaurants, and more.

Time Zone

New Zealand Standard Time (GMT +12) 

Best Time to Go

The best time to visit Paihia, New Zealand, is during the summer months, from December to March. The weather is typically warm and sunny, perfect for beach activities and exploring the beautiful Bay of Islands. 

If you’re a fan of water sports, this is the perfect time for swimming, sailing, and dolphin spotting.

Things to Know

Currency:  NZD (Check the current exchange rate)
Language: New Zealand English 
Calling Code: +64

How to Get Around 

By car: Paihia is a small town, so it’s easy to get around by car. Rent a car from either Apex Rental Cars, Budget Rental Cars , Hertz, or Thrifty

By bus: This was how we got around most of the time when we weren’t driving. InterCity Coachlines has multiple daily bus services to Paihia from Auckland and other destinations throughout Northland. 

By ferry: Fullers InterCity Ferries operates passenger ferries between Paihia and Russell and a vehicular ferry between Opua and Russell. The ferries are a great way to see the Bay of Islands and get to Russell. 

By taxi: While taxis are a convenient way to get around, they can be expensive. We’ve used Paihia Taxis & Tours, and Kerikeri Taxis. 

By bike: Paihia is a very bike-friendly town, and there are plenty of bike paths to explore. Rent a bike from Bay Beach Hire or Bay of Islands Bike Rentals.

Where to Stay in Paihia

Paihia Beach Resort & Spa

Address: 130 Marsden Road, Paihia, Bay of Islands, New Zealand PO Box 68, Paihia, Bay of Islands
Phone: +64 9 4020 111
Pricing: $$
Book Now

Trust us, Paihia Beach Resort & Spa is a dreamy getaway that offers something special for everyone in the family.

It is right on the beachfront, a slice of paradise with stunning sea views. The rooms are elegant and comfortable, but what sets this place apart for us is its spa—a true haven of relaxation. 

The Waterfront Suites Paihia 

Address: 100 Marsden Road, Paihia 0210, New Zealand
Phone: +64 9 402 5665
Pricing: $$$
Book Now

The Waterfront Suites in Paihia is a place you won’t forget. Here, you wake up to the sight of the sparkling ocean just outside your window. 

The suites are cozy and spacious and make us feel right at home, as it might do for you. Kids and adults will love the easy access to the beach, and there’s a great kitchen in every suite, so parents, you can whip up a family meal with ease.

Paihia Pacific Resort Hotel 

Address: 27 Kings Road, Paihia 0200, New Zealand
Phone: +64 9 402 8221
Pricing: $
Book Now

The rooms at Paihia Pacific Resort Hotel are bright, comfy and big enough for the whole family. It’s just a short stroll from the beach, which is great for building sandcastles or dipping your toes in the sea. 

Adults can unwind in the hotel’s sauna or get a workout at the gym. And guess what? There’s even a fun-filled game room for kids!

Haka Lodge Bay of Islands

Address: Off Paihia Lanes, Level 2/76 Marsden Road, Paihia 0200, New Zealand
Phone: +64 9 402 5637
Pricing: $
Book Now

Haka Lodge Bay of Islands is the perfect home away from home. Every room feels cozy and inviting, and the kitchen is communal, so it’s a great place to meet others like you.

Just steps away, though, there’s a beautiful beach where you can dive into the sea or lie in the sun getting your tan on like we did.

Allegra House 

Address: 39 Bayview Road, Paihia 0200, New Zealand
Phone: +64 274 701 137
Pricing: $$
Book Now

At Allegra House, we can’t get enough of the breathtaking views of the sea and the town below, almost like staying on a cloud. (That’s how comfortable it is here.)  

Savour the free breakfast and make use of the balcony, where you can watch the sunrise or stare at the stars at night.

Tarlton’s Lodge 

Address: 11 Sullivans Road, Northland, Paihia 0200, New Zealand
Phone: +64 9 402 6711
Pricing: $$$
Book Now

Tarlton’s Lodge is a charming hideaway that makes your stay in Paihia feel like a fun adventure. 

There’s a pool for kids to splash around in and a hot tub for adults. We can’t forget the breakfast here—it’s scrumptious and will start your day off just right.

Admiral’s View Lodge & Motel 

Address: 2 MacMurray Road, Paihia 0200, New Zealand
Phone: +64 9 402 6236
Pricing: $$
Book Now

Staying at Admiral’s View Lodge & Motel feels like a seaside holiday filled with joy and relaxation. The rooms are comfy and clean, a playground for the kids, and the cutest little garden. 

But the best part is, it’s just a short walk to the beach! (It took us like five minutes.)

Where to Eat in Paihia

Zane Grey’s Restaurant and Bar

Address: 69 Marsden Road, Paihia 0200, New Zealand
Phone: +64 9 402 6220
Pricing: $$

Zane Grey’s Restaurant and Bar offers a tranquil dining experience on the docks. Watching the boats go is one of our favourite things about eating here. 

But they serve all kinds of yummy dishes that even the pickiest of eaters will like. But their beer-battered fish and chips are a must-try—crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.

Terra Restaurant

Address: 76 Marsden Road, Paihia 0200, New Zealand
Phone: +64 9 945 8376
Pricing: $$$$

Terra Restaurant isn’t the most budget-friendly of places, but we come here because of their unique tasting menus, and the outside view is beautiful as you can see the Bay of Islands while eating.

Tipsy Oyster

Address: 50 Marsden Road, PAIHIA, Paihia 0200, New Zealand
Phone: +64 27 777 8872
Pricing: $$

This tapas bar and restaurant offers an eclectic fusion of Asian, Indian, and Mexican cuisines. Obviously, their oysters are a must-try, but we kept returning for more because of the gin room and live music.

Charlotte’s Kitchen

Address: 69 Marsden Road, Paihia 0200, New Zealand
Phone: +64 9 402 8296
Pricing: $$

Charlotte’s Kitchen is like stepping into a culinary wonderland where every dish is an adventure—fresh and full of flavours from around the world. They’re known for their famous pork knuckle but trust us, everything on the menu is worth trying.

GREENS Paihia – Thai Cuisine

Address: 78 Marsden Road, Paihia 0200, New Zealand
Phone: +64 9 402 5555
Pricing: $$

GREENS Paihia Thai cuisine gives you an authentic taste experience that transports you straight to the streets of Bangkok. By the way, their vegan-friendly options are equally delicious.

Alfresco’s Restaurant & Bar

Address: 6 Marsden Road, Paihia 0200, New Zealand
Phone: +64 9 402 6797
Pricing: $$

We come to Alfresco’s Restaurant & Bar for late-night Italian dining on the waterfront. Wine aficionados will love their New Zealand wine selection and international bottles.

What to Do in Paihia

Visit the Waitangi Treaty Grounds

Address: Tau Henare Drive, Waitangi 0293, New Zealand
Phone: +64 9 402 7437

Step into a place where history comes alive when you visit the Waitangi Treaty Grounds. This is where the historic Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840. 

Don’t forget the Treaty House, a beautifully preserved colonial-era building. The Maori Meeting House, with its intricate carvings, is another must-see. 

And, of course, the world’s largest ceremonial war canoe, the Ngatokimatawhaorua, is bound to leave you awestruck.

Explore the Bay with The Rock Adventure Cruise

Address: 69 Marsden Road, Bay of Islands, Paihia 0200, New Zealand
Phone: +64 800 762 527

Sail across the sparkling waters of the Bay of Islands with the wind in your hair and the sun kissing your face. 

As we set sail, the crystal-clear water mirrored the blue sky, creating a picturesque scene that looked straight out of a postcard.

But the real highlight is the marine life! Keep your eyes peeled for playful dolphins leaping alongside the boat or even the occasional majestic whale.

Go Kayaking 

Address: Te Karuwha Parade, Paihia 0200, New Zealand
Phone: +64 800 334 661

Glide across the crystal clear waters of the Bay of Islands, with nothing but the sound of gentle waves and your paddle breaking the water’s surface. Trust us, once you start, you won’t want to stop!

As you paddle through Paihia’s calm waters, take in the stunning views of the surrounding bay islands and their lush greenery. And if you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of some dolphins or penguins!

Don’t worry if you don’t have a kayak—we used Coastal Kayakers for our kayak rental needs, and their kayaks worked just fine for us!

Hike the Summit of Mount Manaia 


Hiking Mount Manaia is a chance to challenge yourself and witness some truly breathtaking views of the majestic mountain itself.

The trail winds through lush native bush, and while the climb can be steep, we think every step is worth it. Every time we do this hike, we even catch glimpses of the stunning Whangarei Harbour. 

But reaching the summit is a moment of triumph like no other. You’ll feel on top of the world, with panoramic views stretching out in all directions. 

Don’t forget to take a moment (and maybe a few pictures!) to soak it all in.

Go to the top of the Opua Forest Lookout Track 


Lush greenery and the sweet songs of birds filling the air are what you can expect as you venture down the Opua Forest Lookout Track. The track is also full of kauri trees, so there is plenty of shade. 

But the walk is moderately challenging (still totally doable). It took us about an hour or so at a steady pace.

When you reach the lookout platform, though, prepare to have your breath taken away as ours is every time. The panoramic views of Paihia, the sparkling bay, and the surrounding islands are absolutely magnificent.

Take on the Trails at the Waitangi Mountain Bike Park 

Address: 33 Bayly Road, Waitangi 0293, New Zealand
Phone: +64 21 187 8192

Maneuver through a nest of trail networks in the stunning Bay of Islands (going through Paihia, too) at Waitangi Mountain Bike Park. 

The park has around 50km of professionally built trails, so whether you’re a seasoned pro or it’s your first time on a mountain bike, there’s a trail for you. 

The variety is incredible, from fast, flowing berms and rollers to jumps and more technical features. Don’t worry if you don’t have your own gear—rental options are available.

Where to Shop in Paihia

The Cabbage Tree Shop

Address: 1 Williams Road, Paihia 0200, New Zealand
Phone: +64 9 402 7318

If you’re looking for a special gift or simply want to treat yourself to some natural skincare, The Cabbage Tree Shop is the place to go. 

The Cabbage Tree Shop is a treasure trove of unique finds like various vibrant handmade soaps, skincare, locally made sculptures and homewares to an assortment of New Zealand souvenirs. 

Flying Fish Design Store

Address: 27 Williams Road, Paihia 0200, New Zealand
Phone: +64 9 402 7755

The Flying Fish Design Store is a delightful spot full of creativity and charm. The store showcases beautiful pieces from local artisans, ranging from exquisite jewellery to unique home decor. 

For children, there’s even an enchanting selection of whimsical toys and books that spark the imagination.

Ella & Co

Address: 66 Marsden Road, Paihia 0200, New Zealand
Phone: +64 9 945 8397

Ella & Co sells various products, including clothing, homeware, jewellery, and souvenirs. The shop is just a short walk from the waterfront (super convenient). 

We come here to find unique gifts for friends and family, so if you are looking for a special gift or souvenir, you just might find what you’re looking for here.

Paihia Bookshop

Address: 2/39 Williams Road, Paihia 0200, New Zealand
Phone: +64 9 402 7618

When we browse the aisles here, we get lost in their impressive selection of travel books, books about NZ history, nature, and fiction. They also have pre-loved books, making it a haven for second-hand book lovers! 

Besides books, we’ve spotted games, art supplies, stationery, cards, magazines, postcards, gifts, and toys. (Perfect for souvenir shopping.) 

But get this—Paihia Bookshop is not just a bookshop—they also serve as an NZ Post and Kiwibank branch.

Four Square Paihia

Address: 41 Williams Road, Paihia 0200, New Zealand
Phone: +64 9 402 8002

Four Square Paihia has local Kiwi brands and international foods, making it a convenient one-stop shop for locals and tourists. 

So, if you’re looking to prepare your own meals like we were or need snacks for your day trips, Four Square Paihia has you covered. Plus, they also carry household supplies and toiletries, which we find comes in handy when staying in a holiday rental or hostel with self-catering facilities.

Which Neighbourhoods to Visit near Paihia



Head to Kerikeri for a day of adventure waiting to happen! A must-visit spot is the historic Stone Store and Kemp House, where you’ll taste New Zealand’s rich history. 

For nature lovers, Rainbow Falls is a sight to behold, especially after a rain shower when the rainbow appears. Don’t forget to try some local flavours at the Kerikeri Farmers Market, where fresh fruits, veggies, and home-baked goods are aplenty.



A visit to Waitangi offers a deep dive into the heritage of New Zealand, making it a must-visit neighbourhood near Paihia. Visit the Waitangi Treaty Grounds and the world’s largest ceremonial war canoe.  

There are also cultural performances at many places throughout Waitangi, like traditional Maori dances and songs.

What to Expect from Paihia Weather

Spring (September to November): Paihia’s spring is quite pleasant, with temperatures ranging from 15-20°C. It’s a great time for outdoor recreation as the landscape comes alive with blossoming flowers.

Summer (December to February): Summers in Paihia are warm and comfortable, with temperatures around 22-26°C during the day. It’s an excellent time for beach activities and water sports.

Fall/Autumn (March to May): During fall, temperatures gradually cool down to about 17-21°C. The weather remains relatively stable, and the changing colours of the leaves make it a beautiful time to visit.

Winter (June to August):Winters are mild, with temperatures ranging between 12-16°C during the day. Rainfall is more frequent in winter, so we recommend having an umbrella and a raincoat handy.

Apps to Download for a Trip to Paihia

Google Translate: word translation with offline capabilities
iOs | Android

Google Maps: navigation GPS app with offline capabilities
iOs | Android

Booking.com: app to find accommodation easily worldwide
iOs | Android

MetService: up-to-date weather forecasts app
iOs | Android

Ātea Nuku: Paihia walking tour app that brings the town’s history to life through location based AR.

Grabaseat: app from Air New Zealand to grab last-minute flights. 
iOs | Android