Day One: Auckland to Paihia
(237km – 3.5 hours) From Auckland head north, through Orewa, along the Hibiscus Coast through magnificent forests until you reach Paihia, the gateway to the Bay of Islands. On a nice day Ruakaka beach between Waipu and Whangarei is defiantly worth a stop Spend the afternoon enjoying the relaxed atmosphere of Pahia, Russel and Waitangi. Visit the historic Waitangi Treaty House, take a sea kayaking tour to the Haruru Falls or take a stroll along the beach.
We can recommend a really good place to stay during your time in Paihia. It is the Ashgrove Motel run by Wendy and Fred Grindlay. The Ashgrove is 3 minutes drive from the center of Paihia, located in a very peaceful surroundings, with beautiful grounds complete with swimming pool and spa – www.theashgrove.co.nz
Day Two: Paihia
Travel north from Paihia past the stunning white sands of Parengarenga Harbour and Waitaki Landing to Cape Reinga, the northernmost point of the North Island. An alternative to driving is to take the tour buses that travel up the sandy 90 Mile Beach A short walk from the car park will take you to the famous lighthouse. Travel back to Paihia for the night.
Day Three: Paihia to Auckland
(237km – 3hrs 20mins) Travel back to Auckland and spend the afternoon sightseeing. Visit Parnell Village, the Auckland Museum or the underwater world of Kelly Tarlton. Enjoy an evening cruise on the harbor. As an alternative, travel back to Auckland by crossing to the rugged West Coast and see the Waipua Forest with its giant Kauri trees.