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Pack your bags and practise your jaw-dropping - a journey to the exquisitely beautiful Bay of Islands in New Zealand is one you’ll never forget. With so many things to do and so many sights to see, the best way to make the most of your time is on a P&O New Zealand cruise and shore tour. Check out some of the best travel options and cruise deals below:
The unique Historic Waitangi & Kerikeri Tour cruise takes you to picturesque Kerikeri to visit the two oldest buildings in NZ – the Stone Store and Kemp House. Take in the views of the Waitangi River, and travel to the Waitangi Treaty House, where in 1840 the Treaty of Waitangi was signed. Stroll across the Treaty Grounds and see the largest Waka (canoe) in New Zealand.
The P&O Bay of Islands Hole in the Rock cruise takes you through the magnificent inner islands of the Bay, known for its incredible variety of marine life. You might even spot some local dolphins, seals, fairy penguins and whales! Pass the historic towns of Paihia and Russell before entering the Bay of Islands channel. As you cruise to the Cape Brett Lighthouse, pass through the inner islands of the Bay to Motukokao Island and the famous Hole in the Rock. Your catamaran will expertly negotiate the channel, taking you through the Hole to the magnificent Grand Cathedral Cave beyond.
Enjoy a relaxed guided river kayak tour with experienced and friendly guides through the Waitangi Estuary and mangrove forest on the Haruru Falls Kayaking Tour. Paddle up the river to Haruru Falls, paddling under the waterfall or just relax and enjoy refreshments on the beach.
Explore the natural wonders of the Bay of Islands and historic buildings on the Glow Worm Cave & Puketi Kauri Forest Tour. Witness a galaxy of glow-worm lights, impressive limestone walls and magnificent delicate stalactites and stalagmites at the Kawiti Glow Worm Caves. Travel to Kawakawa and Puketi Forest for a guided walk on a boardwalk and marvel at the massive kauri trees. Pass the oldest stone building, the Stone Store, and Kemp House, the oldest surviving house built of kauri.
P&O cruises to New Zealand depart from both Sydney and Melbourne. To visit the Bay of Islands, choose our Kiwi Adventure cruise.
148,470 - Northland region (2006 census)
English and Te Reo Maori
New Zealand Dollar
Guest favourites, the most booked Shore Tours at this port
Our handpicked Shore Tours are a must for any guest.
The area abounds in marine and bird life. Seals, dolphins and, sometimes whales can be spotted in the sparkling waters inside, and just off the bay. Cruise out of the bay to experience “the Hole in the Rock”.
Just a 30-minute drive from the Bay of Islands you can find New Zealand’s magnificent, giant Kauri trees. Waipoua Forest is home to the largest and oldest living rainforest trees in the world, including the famous “Tane Mahuta”, which is believed to be over 2000 years old.
A quick ferry ride across the water from Paihia is the charming township of Russell. Once a shore-leave destination for sailors, whalers and traders, this tranquil place was known as “the hell hole of the Pacific”. Today it remains a favourite spot for boaties seeking safe anchorage, and is also a popular tourist destination. Discover its historic buildings, cafes, restaurants, art galleries, and beautiful colonial architecture.
Your ship will anchor in the bay and the ship’s tender boats will transfer you ashore to Waitangi Wharf. From here a shuttle service will transfer you into the township of Paihia. Paihia township is located approximately three kilometres from the pier and is an approximate 25-25 minute walk.
Taxis are available pier-side.
Enjoy fresh, local cuisine including seafood and award winning wines.
Quarantine authorities do not generally allow food such as fruit and vegetables, dairy and meat products and sandwiches to be taken off the ship however commercially packaged confectionery, chips and bottled drinking water are allowed subject to inspection.
The main shopping area can be found along Williams Road in Paihia. Shop for souvenir items including bone carvings, leather, local wood crafts, sheepskin and paua jewellery. If you’re on the lookout for Maori arts and crafts, make sure they’re authentic. The better pieces should be accompanied by a trademark toi iho symbol.
The Bay of Islands has a pleasant Mediterranean climate, particularly in summer. Located almost as far north as you can go, the Bay of Islands often tends to be a couple of degrees warmer than Auckland. Rain is sporadic and wind can pick up fairly quickly, so be prepared!
Major credit cards and charge cards are widely accepted. Automatic teller machines can provide currency to foreign card holders.
Public telephones and internet access are available along the waterfront in Paihia and Russell. Mobile coverage is generally available as long as global roaming is selected prior to leaving home.
To make your day ashore as enjoyable as possible, please wear comfortable flat soled shoes, lightweight clothing and a hat. You are also advised to bring sunscreen, bottled water and a warm, waterproof jacket in case it gets windy or starts to rain.
There are a range of tours available for you to really get the most out of your time in the Bay of Islands. Tours can be booked onboard at the shore tours desk and are subject to availability. Passengers are required to meet at a specific location for each shore tour departure. Please refer to your tour ticket for the correct time and place.
Please dispose of your rubbish thoughtfully.