Steeped in history and fringed with white sandy coves and beaches, the township of Paihia is the perfect base for any Northland holiday and is well suited to adventure seekers, family holidaymakers, and those looking to refresh and recharge in nature.

Paihia is also the gateway to New Zealand’s early colonial and cultural history. The Waitangi Treaty House and surrounding grounds are within easy reach, as is historic Russel and its iconic waterfront.

The best way to experience the splendour of the Bay of Islands is by boat. Many options include; charters and scenic cruises with award-winning operators; Fullers is a great way to see the world-renowned ‘Hole in the Rock’ sailing excursions. Those looking to hook into some fishing action will not be left wanting. The Bay of Islands is renowned for its sport and big game fishing, with a selection of licensed operators to choose from.

In the summer season, sandy beaches and coves make for ideal swimming and are among the country’s top beach spots to holiday in. With an expansive coastline, even in peak season, there will always be plenty of space for everyone, and seclusion can still be found around the region.

Getting to and around Bay of Islands

The Northland region is easily accessed by State Highways 1 and 16. It is a scenic 2-hour drive from Auckland to Whangarei, the gateway city to Northland. The townships of Paihia and Russell lie 90 minutes further north and are the gateway to the Bay of Islands.

The regional Bay of Islands Airport, Kerikeri, is serviced by regular Air New Zealand flights from Auckland. Kerikeri airport is well serviced by all major rental car companies enabling easy exploration around the region. Paihia is an easy 20 minute drive from Bay of Islands Airport via State Highway 11. Additional regional airports of Whangarei and Kaitaia also offer alternative starting points for a Bay of Islands holiday, one to the south and the other in the Far North region.

Dining in Paihia

Given the bounty of fresh produce grown, farmed or fished in the region, visitors can expect fresh, contemporary-styled New Zealand cuisine showcasing local flavours. The dining style is mainly casual to fit with the coastal holiday vibe of the region. Local cafes and brasserie-style restaurants are plentiful, and some of the top dining spots can also be found at local wineries. If you’re staying at Scenic Hotel Bay of Islands,  the Nikau Restaurant & Bar offers contemporary dining in a relaxed atmosphere – open for breakfast, dinner and room service.

Creative options for vegetarians and vegans are included on most menus. Asian fusion and street food flavours are popular menu themes among local eateries. A “must do” for visitors journeying further north is a stop at the legendary Mangōnui Fish and Chip shop (located one hour from Paihia on the Mangōnui wharf).

Something for every palate and pocket!

Conferences, Meetings and Business Events

Scenic Hotel Bay of Islands, Paihia, presents an excellent opportunity for small to medium conferences and business events in a resort-style setting. From board meetings to conferences for up to 120 people, enjoy stress-free meetings and events with an onsite, complimentary conference organiser.

View our Functions & Events page for daily delegate and meetings packages information, along with space specifications and contact details.

Weddings and other Special Events

Scenic Hotel Bay of Islands, Paihia, offers a flexible and functional range of spaces for special occasions and celebrating life events such as weddings, anniversaries, and birthdays. With a palm-fringed pool setting, the resort-like setting presents an excellent backdrop for photos, and outdoor spaces expand the scope of your event setting. Our onsite wedding and events coordinator is happy to discuss individual requirements such as theming and menus. Start your planning here.

Best things to See & Do in the Bay of Islands

Northland and the Bay of Islands region are renowned as ‘Neptune’s Playground’ with its vast array of on and underwater activities suitable for all ages and activity preferences. Adventure and thrill seekers will not have to look far to sate their appetite. Likewise, appetites of a different kind can be whetted with fresh local ingredients from the land and sea. A haven for “foodies,” artisan produce can be purchased right around the region, as well as wineries, gallery cafes and a superb range of casual dining options.

Northland and the Bay of Islands are easy to navigate; the hard part is ensuring you have enough time to see and do everything the region offers, or simply pick your perfect spot, relax and bask in nature.

Looking for inspiration? Check out these articles to find something for everyone to enjoy, young, young at heart, families, adventure seekers, active relaxers and explorers. It is all waiting for you!