Make Bay of Islands part of your New Zealand vacation

A vacation in New Zealand offers a whole new experience, as I learned during a trip in early 1996. It was a whirlwind tour: Roughly 2-1/2 weeks in North Island, mostly in the northern half.

After spending several days in and around Auckland, I got to visit and explore the Buried Village of Te Wairoa (where you can see the Sewing Machine Tree) and the Aranai Caves; thrill to a jet boat and helicopter ride near Rotorua; and enjoy a bus ride along “90 mile beach” then climb the dunes, which later included a catamaran ferry ride through the Bay of Islands. And that was just part of my trip.

To see and experience New Zealand properly, you need time. And make time to visit both North Island and the more unpopulated and scenic South Island. But our focus here is the Bay of Islands.

After flying into Auckland International Airport, consider a domestic flight directly to the Bay of Islands Airport at Kerikeri.

Encompassing more than 140 islands, the Bay of Islands offers vacationers a wide array of opportunities to explore and and experience nature. Enjoy kayaking, swimming, fishing or picnicking. In my case, the Tiger IV provide the transportation from the mainland to Piercy Island.  A pod of bottlenose dolphins escorted us for part of the trip. (The Tiger IV is probably long retired, but another ship will gladly ferry you along.)

Paihia, Bay of Islands, New Zealand hotels, New Zealand vacation, visit New ZealandBay of Islands, much like the rest of New Zealand, is steeped in Maori culture. Discovered by Polynesians approximately 1,000 years ago, it was the Maoris, arriving about 400 years later, who gave New Zealand its original population and flavor. That is still evident among the communities and sights along the Bay of Islands.

Paihia is a great place from which to launch your “exploration” of the islands. Discover where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed.  Take a ferry to “Romantic Russell,” and stroll among the quiet streets throughout the communities. Considered the “Jewel of the Bay of Islands,” Paihia offers the mix of European and Maori cultures in a relaxing, seaside community.

Resorts and hotels in New Zealand

You have many options during your trip to New Zealand. (More on that below.) Club Paihia is one place to consider, especially if you’re visiting the Bay of Islands and Northland Region.

Like to golf? Nearby Lucayan Golf Course & Country Club, along with Reef Course & Country Club invite you to take a swing. Perhaps you’d like a stroll through nature. Spend part of your day exploring the Garden of the Groves (Grand Bahama Botanical Gardens), Lucayan National Park or Rand Memorial Nature Center.

Club Paihia, New Zealand, travel New Zealand, New Zealand vacation, visit New Zealand, trip to New Zealand

But you’ll need a place to relax while there. Club Paihia fits the bill. As a member of an exciting vacation club, you and your family could stay in a 1-bedroom unit at Club Paihia year-round for just US$685.

After an exciting day exploring the Bay of Islands, enjoy a swim in either the indoor or outdoor pool. Unwind and relax in the spa. Looking for some exercise? Take in a game of tennis or work up a sweat in their exercise room.

Quench that appetite with some fine dining on site. Club Paihia’s dining room is open for dinner Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.

Club Paihia in New Zealand is just one of 5,000 fine resorts to choose from in this program. You enjoy great prices and decide when you want to travel: there are no blackout dates with this program. Perhaps you’d like to visit other parts of New Zealand. From Bay of Islands to Queenstown, this travel club offers more than 15 beautiful resorts to complement any New Zealand vacation. Contact me for all the possibilities.

If you’ve vacationed in North Island, and especially the Bay of Islands, I’d like your impressions. Feel free to comment below. And please share this column so others may benefit from what you and I have written. Thanks!

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Tom Fuszard, cheap vacations, where to stay in Las Vegas


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Tom Fuszard
New Berlin, Wisconsin

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