best walks hikes northland

Your Guide to the Best Walks and Hikes in the Northland

Whatever your age, whatever your fitness level, Northland will have you up and walking.

Looking for a leisurely half hour walk, or are you more of a ‘Bear Grylls’ type? No problem, because Northland has half hour to 3-day options among the 100+ walks, tracks, and loops scattered throughout this gorgeous part of New Zealand.

With our sub-tropical climate which offers mild winters and summers which are not too hot, this region is ideal for those wanting to enjoy the “Great Outdoors”.

Many of our customers who fly from all parts of New Zealand to Kerikeri Airport want information about Northland first hand to maximise their time here so we’ve culled the list down to six of the best. Our range of vehicles suit solo or large walking groups, and with multiple drop off and pick up points available, we make your time in the North even better.

The Department of Conservation (DOC) do a fantastic job of maintaining and servicing most tracks available, making them safe and enjoyable for everyone.

Opua Forest, Paihia
If you only have an hour or two to spare, or simply looking for a walk which isn’t too strenuous, the Opua Forest Paihia Lookout ticks all the boxes.

A scenic well-maintained track through the lush bush with ample birdlife rewards walkers with a fantastic view of Paihia township and out over the magnificent Bay of Islands. It is worth noting that this forest was much larger in the past before much of the Kauri was felled for house building and ship repairs.

Length 1.5km | Time: 1 hour

Haruru Falls, Bay of Islands
Haruru, meaning ‘rumble’ in Māori and this is certainly the perfect description as you approach the Falls. Locals suggest making Waitangi Treaty Grounds your start point and walking back to from Haruru to Paihia along the recently upgraded footpath.

Length 6km | Time: 2.5 hours one way

Kerikeri River Track to Rainbow Falls
Like the walk above, this is another track which leaves from a popular attraction you are likely to visit anyway. This track leaves from Kerikeri’s Stone Store to the Kerikeri River and onto the Rainbow Falls. It has long been a popular swimming hole surrounded by native bush and birds, so pack a picnic and make a day of it!

You may hear tui call and see fantails flitting about while you walk.

Puriri, totara, karaka, and manuka shelter the path to the viewing platforms.

Visit the historic weir that supplied the first electrical power to the early Kerikeri township. Remnants of the Kerikeri hydro-electric station and weir are still visible and an information panel is situated at the rest area.

For those with small children or need wheelchair access, we suggest the shorter walk from the Rainbow Falls carpark which accommodates buggies and chairs.

Length from Stone Store: 3.5km one way | Time 1.5 hours one way

Length from carpark: 400 metres one way | Time: 10 minutes one way

Cape Brett Walkway, Rawhiti
For serious trampers, the Cape Brett Walkway is demanding but rewarding. Tracking through native bush and long stretching cliffs you walk ends at the lighthouse on the cape. The lighthouse is now a DOC hut, so walkers have the option to either stay overnight and walk back the next day or organise for a boat to take you back at the end of the day. Whatever you choose, you’ll be ready for a well-earned rest.

Length: 20 km | Time: 8 hours one way

Wairere, Hokianga Harbour
For photo enthusiasts the Wairere Boulders walk is for you. Unique, beautiful, and looking like a scene from Lord of the Rings, this is the only valley in the world to see eroded basalt boulders.

The site is approximately 15 kilometres from State Highway one, the last three kilometres are along a well maintained gravel road.

Stretching 1.5 km on easy walking tracks, visitors see literally thousands of boulders stacked together reaching up to 30 metres high in some cases.

Length: 1.5 km | Time: 0.5-2 hours (lots of viewing platforms to stop and take photos)

Guided Puketi Rainforest Night Walk, Bay of Islands
Peaceful and interesting, walkers learn all about New Zealand’s native birds and the majestic Kauri tree. With a Certificate of Excellence from Tripadvisor in 2016, this is a novel way to experience the bush at night.

photo-blog-golf

A Golfer’s Dream Holiday

Scenic locations, mild weather for the majority of the year and top-quality golf courses, mean golfing in New Zealand is a must for any golf enthusiastic.

And in recent times, New Zealand has produced brilliant golfers who know our golf courses are no disappointment when compared to other high-quality venues around the world.

In recent years many courses have invested heavily in both new and existing facilities, which equates to not only internationally ranked golf courses without the crowds, but they are also easily accessible from the main centres.

Perhaps a ripple effect occurred from the successes of local golf professionals Lydia Ko, Michael Campbell, and Steve Williams – long-time caddy for Tiger Woods and now Adam Scott, as overseas golfers are choosing New Zealand as their holiday destination.
And it’s not just the diverse range of courses with their breath-taking views which are the draw card. The post-game luxuries of world-class food, wine and accommodation are either close at hand or on-site giving travellers the complete holiday package.

A golfer’s dream would perhaps start with teeing off at the top of the North Island where approximately 24 golf courses are scattered between the Far North, Bay of Islands, and Whangaparaoa.

The courses vary from the all year round Kaitaia Links, Waitangi (9 holes) or the most northerly venue which is the Hohoura facility.

One of our most famous courses in the Bay of Islands would have to be Kauri Cliffs located, approximately 30 minutes from the Bay of Islands airport and 50 minutes from the Opua marina. Kauri Cliffs is the ultimate luxury lodge, it has won many accolades including Travel + Leisure’s ‘World’s Best Service’ award.

Golf is the perfect way to bring old friends together again and travel in a relaxed manner. Furthermore, if there are people within the group which aren’t so keen on 18 holes of golf, the subtropical Bay of Islands has a whole host of tours, water sports, history, arts, and markets to keep everyone entertained and well fed!

A quick browse on Google and you can see a large range of New Zealand golfing tours. These can be a great way of seeing the country, especially if you are travelling on your own but they can be limiting in what else you see and do.

If you or your companions choose to venture further afield to one of the other Northland golf courses, hiring a rental car gives you the freedom to travel at your own pace and share the driving. It presents the opportunity to customise your day, stopping at out of the way places and eateries which are not available to you through organised tour companies.

Far North Rentals have fleet of vehicles which makes getting to and from Kerikeri airport or your berth in Opua Marina a stress-free experience, so you have time to concentrate on your game. You can pre-book a hatchback, large sedan, 10 or 12 seater using our online booking form

Click here to view a list of other courses in the area.

The Bay of Islands is an excellent base for this part of the country with accommodation, interests, and cuisine for every budget.

 

best local food bay of islands

Where to Find the Best Local Cuisine in Bay of Islands & Northland

New Zealanders love their food and Northland is no exception as demonstrated by the near 400 restaurants and cafes throughout the region.

It is no wonder the food is so good too with lots of sunshine, a comfortable temperature for most of the year, and surrounded by beautiful clear waters full of top-quality seafood. These climate conditions also produce fine wines found at one of the many vineyards in the area such as Marsden Estate, Ake Ake Vineyard, Omata Estate Vineyard and Kitchen, to name just a few.

Food Markets

If you are flying into Kerikeri Airport for a weekend break, we recommend booking your rental car online ahead of time for airport collection and head straight to the Bay of Islands Farmers Market in Kerikeri town centre.

The market operates on Saturdays in Kerikeri and in Paihia on Thursdays. Here visitors will find locals selling the very best in fresh fruit and vegetables (including organic), artisan bread, local wines, fresh blueberry ice cream, and every type of cheese imaginable. Or how about limoncello, gourmet oils, chutneys and sauces, oyster mushrooms, smoked mussels and of course, flavour full coffee (New Zealanders love their coffee almost as much as they love their food). See the list of proud stallholders to view their first-class products.

These markets give foodies a chance to meet the grower or the maker, enjoy the balmy weather and really soak up the great local atmosphere.

Self-Drive Food and Wine Trail

The Northland Food and Wine Trail features over 60 food and wine experiences; from chocolate factories to gate sales to picking your own macadamias, this is heavenly for the gourmet traveller.
Email info@northlandnz.com for your copy of the food and wine trail map.

Driving at your leisure, stopping when and where you choose is what makes this trail a fun and relaxing way to see and eat your way around Northland. Our fleet of vehicles ranges from 4-seater hatchbacks to 12-seater vans so whether it’s a couple’s weekend getaway or a group of friends travelling together, we have a vehicle to suit.

Bay of Islands Wine & Craft Beer Tours

Are you looking to sample the best wines and beers in the Bay of Islands, then why not take a tour with our sister company Mullarkey Tours. Let us do the driving while you enjoy yourself!

Food Festivals

Love food? Well, let us have a festival! And so, they do – in Hokianga, Paihia Kerikeri. Food related festivals happen Spring, Summer, and early Autumn so the best and easiest way to stay ahead of what’s coming up is via Eventfinda Northland or Northland Festivals and Lifestyle.

 

 

More Food

Northland’s most famous eating experience must be the Mangonui Fish and Chip Shop which looks out right over the picturesque harbour. Choose the fish you want, and then watch it being filleted and cooked to perfection.

If luxury accommodation and fine dining are on your agenda, then Paihia Beach Resort and Spa offer a range of menus and high-end getaway packages.

Over recent years Northland has proven itself to be a foodie destination, once word got around that golf, wine and water sports weren’t the only world-class excursions on offer.

Opua Beach

Northland Winter Getaways

Northland Winter Getaway

Always drawing a large crowd over the summer months, Northland is also a great destination for winter getaways.

As one of the warmest regions in the country it is no wonder Northland is known as the ‘winterless North’, and though there are a lot of outdoor activities to enjoy, you will have no problem finding many things to do, even if you do experience some rain.

Accommodation is in abundance as well – from Whangarei to Kaitaia and all those scenic spots in between. Best of all, visitors can save a lot as businesses offer reduced rates and have a greater chance of offering you a vacancy should you choose to head away at the last minute.

Many local and overseas travellers base themselves in the Bay of Islands for a few days and with good reason too. The Bay of Islands offers a very relaxed holiday lifestyle but still has all the everyday amenities close at hand. Surrounded by 144 islands which enjoy a balmy climate, this region has first class seafood, wines, fruit and vegetables making it a foodie’s paradise.

Cosy fires, hearty food, and beautiful rugged scenery are just some of the elements we all love about the winter months. Wrap up and want walk along a wild, empty Northland beach one afternoon is sure to blow those cobwebs out and build an appetite.

Northland is a good mixture of adventure and relaxation. Historic Russell is a romantic settlement town which is easily reached from Paihia via hourly people or car ferries. A walk along one of the beaches before dining at a waterfront restaurant, finishing off your day with a nightcap at the Duke of Marlborough.  Not too bad at all!

Bay of Islands Wine & Craft Beer Tours

Are you looking to sample the best wines and beers in the Bay of Islands, then why not take a tour with our sister company Mullarkey Tours. Let us do the driving while you enjoy yourself!

Golfer’s Delight

Northland’s mild climate is a huge bonus to avid golfers. Northland has around 24 golf courses from Whangaparaoa to Kaitaia in the Far North. If golf is a real passion of yours, see our golfing blog giving you a bigger picture of what to expect.

Cyclists Paradise

The Bay of Islands has a sub-tropical climate so you can cycle all year round. Our sister company Twin Coast Cycle Transport offer both Mountain & Ebikes along with transport services which will pick you up and drop you off at key locations along the trail. Their office in Opua Marina (at the start of the trail) offers secure, free parking. 

The Jazz and Blues Festival is on again this August (13-15 August) bringing thousands of people to the Bay of Islands for the weekend so be sure to book your accommodation and rental vehicle now to avoid disappointment. Our people movers and vans are a great way for groups looking to move between the seven music venues without the hassle of finding several carparks and trying to coordinate a place to meet-up. Air New Zealand offer great deals to visitors flying into Kerikeri Airport where we will have a vehicle ready and waiting for you. Less hassle, more fun.

Fishing charters, scenic cruises, and diving courses operate year-round, so if you want to venture out in these subtropical waters there is still lots of sea life and great visibility to be had.

So why not escape for an extended weekend? Join our mailing list and take advantage of our new winter rates.

 

photo-blog-northland-highlights

Northland Highlights for Any Length of Stay

Between Auckland and Kaitaia there is so much to see and do and though it would be great to take your time over 7 days, sometimes other commitments just don’t allow the time.

The key is to not spread yourself too thin, experience what you can and enjoy the break. We’ve broken things down to sizeable itineraries for a weekend, an extended weekend, and short breaks. And if you do have the time to take a week – do!

This area is well endowed with cafes, history, scenery, thrill sports, tours, markets, beaches, golf courses, vineyards and cruises – but all enjoying a slower pace of life. Far North Rentals can get you to where you want to go in comfort with picking up and dropping off at different locations giving you extra flexibility.

When you have 2 Days (1 night)

In the Bay of Islands, Kerikeri and Paihia are only 25-minute drive apart, and nearby Russell within easy reach, there are masses to see and do between these destinations.

From Paihia wharf head across to Russell by ferry for the first morning and explore the township’s numerous historic buildings, return to the Russell waterfront for lunch with spectacular views and people watching.

Catch a ferry back to Paihia and take a stroll along the Paihia beachfront to Waitangi (30 minutes). The Waitangi Treaty Grounds are significant in terms of New Zealand’s history, here the signing of the first accord between the British Crown and the Māori people took place in 1840. These treaty grounds have won various awards over the past years. For anyone wanting to learn about Maori culture and early New Zealand this is a “must visit destination” Waitangi website

The Bay of Islands has the warmest waters in New Zealand and swimming with the dolphin tours leave from Paihia every day. If you want to see the dolphins but stay dry the local catamaran cruise has large viewing decks offering perfect photo opportunities. And if you’re lucky enough – orcas, whales, seals, penguins and other wildlife can be seen as well.

There are also fishing charters, cruises to the famous Cape Brett Hole in the Rock. If water sports are more your thing, talk to the extremely helpful staff at the Paihia I-site about sea kayaking, parasailing, jet skiing and diving.

Stroll around Paihia until a restaurant catches your eye before heading to one of the countless hotels and motels for a good night’s sleep.

Rise and shine, it’s time to get in a morning swim before your drive to Kerikeri where you’ll visit the Kerikeri Stone Store and Kemp House, before a scenic bush walk to the Kerikeri (Rainbow) Falls, 2km upstream from the Basin (1 hour).

Kerikeri is a fantastic place full of arts, markets, and excellent local food. On Saturday mornings The Old Packhouse Market (Bay of Islands largest market) will be the perfect place to meet the locals, sample excellent coffee, and produce, then sit back and slow down.

Pick up an arts and craft trail brochure from your accommodation host and spend the afternoon browsing for art prints, pottery, jewellery, paintings, Kiwi ana and Māori crafts. For lunch try the Marsden Estate winery and restaurant. Grapes were first planted in this area almost 200 years ago which was very insightful of Samuel Marsden as the Bay of Islands gorgeous warm weather produces award winning wines. What could be nicer than relaxed courtyard dining overlooking the lake and vines, set amidst the citrus-covered slopes of Kerikeri.

When you have 3 Days (2 nights)

Once you’ve enjoyed the 1-night itinerary above, book yourself into one of the excellent Bed and Breakfasts dotted around Kerikeri for your second night.

On Day 3 take a drive 90km north from Kerikeri Village to Karikari Peninsula. Golf courses are never very far away with international standard courses amongst the Bay of Islands including Kauri Cliffs, Bay of Islands Golf Club, Peppers Carrington Resort, and Waitangi Golf Club.

Karikari Peninsula has the stunning Matauri, Cable, and Maitai Bays and Coopers Beach. Being surrounding by all this water is sure to put you in the mood for the freshest fish & chips at the famous Mangonui Fish & Chip shop built over the water. Mangonui is a quaint historic settlement from the whaling days that has a charming seaside atmosphere.

When you have 4 Days (3 nights)

After a day of sunshine, beaches and fresh fish, Mangonui and Doubtless Bay have some great accommodation options including beautiful colonial hotels and motels or choose an apartment.

You’re now less than 2 hours away from the top of the country.

Next morning drive to New Zealand’s north-eastern tip, Cape Reinga. Pack a picnic lunch to enjoy on 90 Mile Beach and if you’re feeling adventurous the quad biking or blokarting on this beach are fantastic fun.

Next, a trip to Gumdiggers Park in Awanui (100 km south of the Cape) is a worthwhile place to stop, backed by many positive reviews on TripAdvisor and features on the Must Do New Zealand website.

Many people reach the Bay of Islands on flights from Auckland, or by mooring a boat at the Bay of Islands Marina and after a day at Cape Reinga most head south again to the Bay of Islands.

Historic Waitangi

Discover Historic Bay of Islands and Northland

New Zealand is still a very new country, especially when you consider many of us have ancestral roots in Britain, Ireland, and Europe that are steeped in history.

Northland holds the lion’s share of New Zealand’s history where Europeans first began setting up home in our beautiful land, and much of the oldest buildings and significant events happened in this area.

For any history buff, Northland will not disappoint as all historical sites and landmarks are a scenic drive away from each other. Most of our customers choose to pick up a rental vehicle from Kerikeri airport, with our map in hand, ready to explore.

Here are our top suggestions for your next historical adventure. For more Northland must visits, check out our destinations page.

Kerikeri Mission Station
The Kerikeri Mission Station is one of the first places where Maori invited visitors to live among them. Fierce warriors, drunken sailors and, missionaries trying to convert the masses make for some great storytelling from those working at The Stone Store and Kemp House – part of the station grounds.

Christ Church, Russell
As the oldest church in New Zealand, this charming little church sits in the beautiful Bay of Islands’ township of Russell. See if you can spot the musket and cannon ball holes in the side of the church from battles between Maori and British forces from 1845.

Waitangi Treaty Grounds
With rave reviews on Tripadvisor, this is a must see when visiting the Bay of Islands. This is New Zealand’s most important historic site where in 1840 New Zealand’s founding document was signed and the relationship between Maori and European settlers began. The ground includes an excellent museum, guided tours, and a cultural performance. There are also Hāngi & Concert evenings during the Summer months.

Rangihoua Heritage Park
The Marsden Cross memorial recognises New Zealand’s first Christmas led by Reverend Marsden back in 1814. You could say this was the first real community of Maori and Europeans living peacefully together. Not far from Kerikeri, the park offers sweeping views of the Bay of Islands. To download a brochure of other Northland landmarks, click here.

Tane Mahuta and the Hokianga
Northland’s Waipoua Forest is home to the famous kauri tree, Tane Mahuta.
It’s big. Very big. An estimated 1,250 and 2,500 years old it’s certainly a humbling experience as you try to take in the sheer size of this thing! Visiting the forest is a great day out for the family, with Tane Mahuta just a short walk from the forest car park and lots of New Zealand native birds, flora and fauna to watch out for when travelling along the forest paths.

Cape Reinga
The lighthouse alongside the famous world signpost offers ample photo opportunities and spectacular views. As Cape Reinga is a sacred site, eating is not permitted, but if you’re looking for a place to stop on the way, head to Waitiki Landing which is 50 minutes from the Cape. Tours to Cape Reinga

The Kauri Museum
Just 90 minutes North of Auckland is the Kauri Museum, Northland’s largest undercover attraction covering 4500m2 of undercover exhibits. Here you can find stories and facts based regarding the impressive kauri tree, and the history of early settlers and the harsh challenges they faced.

Need a rental car for your trip around historical Northland? Far North Rentals offers high-quality and reliable rental vehicles, 24/7 roadside assistance and competitive rates. Check out what our customers have to say!

Arriving in the Bay of Islands on a Cruise Ship or simply looking for a tour?  Our associate company Mullarkeys Tours offers short 1, 2 and 4 hour tours. They visit places like the Kawiti Glow Worm Caves, Kawakawa, Kerikeri, the Puketi Forest and Haruru Falls.

Cape Reinga Lighthouse

Cape Reinga Tours

Cape Reinga Lighthouse

Mullarkey Tours – Book Here have partnered with sister company Far North Rentals to offer tours to historic Cape Reinga.

They offer a comfortable small group tour – maximum 10 passengers, with knowledgeable, humorous tour leaders – that will make sure you get to see and hear about all the best bits of the Far North and won’t forget the best photo opportunities!

The tour takes you along the coastal road to the Far Northern point of NZ –passing through the rural coastal towns , beautiful beaches and quirky shop fronts – a stop at the southern end of 90 mile beach will give you the opportunity to walk the beach and experience the sheer expanse of this well-known tourist destination!

On to the famous Cape Reinga, where the two oceans collide! Walk the path to the lighthouse on the edge of NZ –hear the crashing of the two oceans the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean in a spectacular swirl of currents, take time to absorb the atmosphere of this place you can almost feel the power!

Cape Reinga offers the ultimate northern New Zealand experience. This uniquely spiritual place … here according to Maori history is where spirits begin their final journey to their ancestral land Hawaiki.

Heading south a short hop to the immense sand dunes of Te Paki Stream – climb to the top the views are spellbinding, and if you are brave enough grab a sandboard and surf the dunes (not included in price).

Cape Reinga is also known as (Te Rerenga Wairua),the ‘Te Rerenga Wairua’ component of the name in Māori language means the leaping-off place of spirits.[3] The ‘Reinga’ part of the name is the Māori language word meaning the underworld.[4] Both refer to the Māori belief that the cape is the point where the spirits of the dead enter the underworld.

Cape Reinga is on the tentative list of UNESCO waiting to receive World Heritage Site status.[5] The cape is already a favourite tourist attraction, with over 120,000 visitors a year and around 1,300 cars arriving per day during peak season.

Cape Reinga is generally considered the separation marker between the Tasman Sea to the west and the Pacific Ocean to the east. From the lighthouse it is possible to watch the tidal race, as the two seas clash to create unsettled waters just off the coast. The Māori refer to this as the meeting of Te Moana-a-Rehua, ‘the sea of Rehua’ with Te Tai-o-Whitirea, ‘the sea of Whitirea’, Rehua and Whitirea being a male and a female respectively.[3]

Cape Reinga lighthouse at sunset

The cape is often mistakenly thought of as being the northernmost point of the North Island, and thus, of mainland New Zealand. However, North Cape‘s Surville Cliffs, 30 km east of Cape Reinga are 3 km further north. Another headland just to the west of Cape Reinga / Te Rerenga Wairua is Cape Maria van Diemen, which was named by the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman during his journey in 1642 and thought of by him to be the northernmost point of the newly discovered country he named ‘Staten Landt’.
See what customers of Mullarkey Tours have to say:

Bay of Islands Adventures

Bay of Islands Cruises & Land Tours

Surrounded by hundreds of islands and white sand beaches it is hardly surprising the Bay of Islands has fantastic tours centred around these clear waters. You will find yourself in it, above and looking down on it, or floating on the top of it.

The best way to explore the area is from one of our many rental vehicles. Flying or mooring into the Bay of Islands with a vehicle waiting for your arrival makes for a very easy and stress-free holiday. It is the perfect way for getting your bearings and taking in this amazingly scenic area. Kerikeri, Russell, Waitangi, Opua, and Paihia are all within easy reach of each other and with your own transport, there’s the opportunity to revisit any sights or beautiful coastal towns in more depth if you wish.

Here are a few Bay of Island tours and cruises to get your itinerary underway.

Island Adventure Cruises

This Qualmark Endorsed Visitor Activity is a small boat designed to moor up on the beach and manoeuvre it’s way around the more remote islands in the area. With just 34 seats on the vessel, you aren’t struggling to catch a great view of the Bay of Islands.

Fullers Great Sights – The Cream Trip

This tour has been operating since 1927 and is still a “must do” for locals and visitors. Almost a hundred years ago now, Mr Albert Fuller delivered supplies to people around the Bay of Islands, when visitors started to accompany him along for the ride. Deliveries are still made on this tour as well as sighting and swimming with dolphins, going through the famous Hole in the Rock and boom-netting. What’s boom-netting you ask? Watch the video and see how much fun you can have!
Best of all, Far North Rentals can offer you a 10% discount on six of the most popular Fullers Tours, including The Cream Trip, all at the click of a button.

Bay of Islands Late Afternoon Cruise

Enjoy a two-hour cruise at this gorgeous time of the day (4-6pm). Includes a glass of wine and finger food while learning about the local history and perhaps spot a few bottle-noised dolphins. This is ideal for those who don’t want to face the heat of the day, and a lovely adventure just before dinner.

Dive Tutukaka

If you are visiting New Zealand and love diving and sea life, then you can’t leave without a trip to The Poor Knights Islands, where you will encounter the best sub-tropical diving in the world. As a marine reserve, there is ample sea life to see and the balmy water will make it hard to leave.

Horse Trek’n

Only 5 minutes from Paihia animal lovers can ride and swim with their horse, wander through the Waitangi Forest plus there are 10 minute rides for little ones as well. The guides are fluent in English, German, Cantonese and French, making this an ideal choice for cruise ship patrons.

Bay of Islands Trike Tour

For a bucket list experience here is one you can tick off! Up to 3 people can be picked up in Paihia and blast around on a 350 Chev Trike with your guide. There are 3 tour options available, ranging from 30 to 60-minute rides.
Bookme.co.nz offers discounts on local tours and cruises. The best part is your booking is confirmed as soon as you make payment. There’s no fussing about with buying online then having to phone the company to see what dates are available, making it easier to organise your holiday.

See our range of quality vehicles with our 0% breakdown record since Far North Rentals began!

Please see our preferred partner Mullarkeys Tours for shore based tours in the Bay of Islands.

Cycle Trail

The New Zealand Tourism Boom

The tourism industry in New Zealand is booming with the export of services reaching new record highs.

According to data published by Statistics New Zealand total tourism spend in 2018 amounted to $39.6 billion or some 10.2% of GDP. Cruise Ship activity continues to grow with some 150,000 passengers visiting the Bay of Islands in the 2018/19 season.

According to Figure.nz the value of exports of services from New Zealand means the travel sector leaves all other industries for dust. There is also a strong commitment from the new government to tourism by naming Kelvin Davis (born and bred in the Bay of Islands) the new Tourism minister, he is third in the cabinet.

As an English speaking country with outstanding food, wine and scenery and many tourists getting a lot of ‘bang for their buck’, it’s no wonder New Zealand is experiencing such growth. Tourism New Zealand states approximately 80 million people actively thinking about a New Zealand holiday each year with the majority coming from Australia, China and The United States.

Air New Zealand wins ‘Best Airline’ awards over and over, Auckland continuously ranking high as one of the top cities to live in, Grammy-winning singers and a thriving film industry. Coverage like this all go towards making New Zealand a pretty hip place in the eyes of the world.

Though the housing market seems to have cooled of late, Northland is experiencing a substantial upturn in house prices, in the past 12 months in particular. Whether these are bought as a second home to rent out, or city-dwellers moving into the area permanently is currently unknown.

Tauranga is booming as well. How do we know? Well, Uber has moved into town and that’s a sure way of knowing your growth is on ‘the up’. The Bay of Plenty’s reliable warm weather, glorious beaches, and thriving cafe and restaurant culture offers a well-balanced lifestyle.

We feel a large part of New Zealand’s tourism success stems from locals being a friendly bunch who offer a thrilling experience and genuine customer service. Our history shows we are open to change and like to ‘get amongst it’. Bungy jumping, skiing, cycling, and a watersport or two. Nice one New Zealand.

If you are looking for a reliable car for your stay in New Zealand, see our fleet of rental vehicles and check out our Facebook reviews for instant peace of mind.

Guide Bay of Islands Cruise Ship

Your Guide to Entering the Bay of Islands by Cruise Ship, Plane or Car

Guide to the Bay of Islands. Regardless of where in the world you live, flying or docking into New Zealand’s Bay of Islands is a truly impressive sight. Surrounded by 144 islands, quaint seaside towns, and white sandy beaches, the Bay of Islands has a way of instantly relaxing people and reassures them, yes, coming here was an excellent idea!
Approximately 64 cruise ships will enter the Bay of Islands this season. The majority of cruise ships dock at Waitangi Wharf, where the famous treaty was signed between the British Crown and Maori Chiefs back in 1840.

Your cruise operator will then transport you to Paihia (the largest Bay of Islands township), only a few kilometres away. Paihia offers all the amenities you need and the perfect starting point for visiting Kerikeri, Russell, Opua, Waitangi and the outer islands.

If you’re entering New Zealand from an overseas flight, Auckland (New Zealand’s largest city) offers four connecting flights to Kerikeri every week day. Some travellers choose to weave their way North by rental car to the Bay of Islands, while other prefer to fly straight there taking the short 50-minute flight. Either way, Far North Rentals will happily have a rental car waiting for you at Auckland or Kerikeri Airport so you can start your holiday the easy way.

Expansion to the Bay of Islands Marina at Opua over recent years was great news for local boaties, accommodating thousands of holidaymakers from December to March, New Zealand’s summer season. Berths are available for both short and long term leasing. Every possible marine service is within walking distance from the marina, including WIFI, postal services, riggers, boat builders, refrigeration, catamaran haul-out, pump out facilities, fuel dock, cafe – even a hairdresser. And there’s plenty more besides.

If you’re an international cruiser, perhaps sailing from Australia or the Pacific Islands – welcome! The immigration information found here will put you in the right place.

Being in, on and close to water is part of New Zealand’s lifestyle and charm. If it’s your first time here, rest assure the services, car hire, accommodation, and restaurants in the beautiful Bay of Islands will make your stay enjoyable and certainly one to remember.

If you are a cruise ship passenger looking for shore based tours around the Bay of Islands then we suggest that you check those being offered by our associate company, Bay of Islands Shuttles and Tours.  They have a wide range of tours available for cruise ship passengers landing in the Bay of Islands.

See Far North Rentals range of reliable, fully serviced rental vehicles at fantastic prices.