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Paihia - A travel report by Devin
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Paihia,  New Zealand - flag New Zealand
3214 readers

devinhunt's travel reports

bay of islands

  7 votes

the bay of islands is located about three hours north of auckland in new zealand and is ranked as the best maritime park in the counrty. the seaside town of paihia is a great place to use as a base when exploring the bay and is best visited in the off-season (autumn - spring) as it's a lot quieter at this time of year. there are about 144 islands in the bay itself and the area is also home to some of the oldest (kauri) forests and most spectacular coastline in new zealand. the area north of auckland is also rich in the maori culture and is one of the most historically important areas in new zealand.

Favourite spots:
paihia is a beautiful little town however there's much more to see if you venture further afield. a couple of hours walk north of paihia is the town of waitangi. there's an interesting museum on the sight where the treaty of waitangi was signed, the highlight of which is the massive maori war canoe. my favourite place in this part of the world is cape reinga - which is right at the tip of the north island of new zealand. i did a day trip up there with a company called awesome adventures - driving along 90 mile beach and going sandboarding along the way. the view from cape reinga is stunning. you can see the pacific ocean meet the tasman sea and the cliffs in the area are awe-inspiring. it's well worth a visit and i'd highly recommend doing the trip run by awesome adventures, even if you prefer to do things independently as i do. they really did show me a good time and our maori guide rob shed a great deal of light on the culture of his people.

What's really great:
by far the best thing that i did in the bay of islands was to go swimming with wild dolphins off paihia. i got up really early and headed out in a boat with a company called awesome adventures - the name says it all! after an hour of searching the bay we found a pod of dophins, put on a wet suit and hopped in the freezing water with them. there were about 20 or 30 dolphins swimming all around us and at one stage a few of them started mating in what can only be described as a 'dolphin orgy.' getting so close to such beautiful creatures in their natural surroundings was a once in a lifetime experience and i'll cherish the memories of that morning for a very long time.

Accommodations:
pippi patch backpackers is the best place to stay in paihia. it's run by a young crowd and is only a short walk to the beach and the centre of town,

Hangouts:
the best pub in town is the pippi patch bar, which adjoins the pippi patch backpackers. it's as popular with locals as it is with backpackers so is a great place to get drunk and meet kiwis.

Restaurants:
there are loads of fish and chip shops in the bay of islands area. fishing is one of the primary industries of the area so all of the seafood is fresh and tastes fantastic. the staff at the pippi patch often put on a cheap bbq for their guests and it's really good value for money.

Published on Tuesday December 3th, 2002


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