This last month has been notable for a number of guests who flew in via Kerikeri (Bay of Islands) airport, to visit the sights without the use of a private car. So is it feasible?
Sometimes driving on what is the ‘wrong side of the road’ for guests from Europe, Northern America and some parts of Asia can be quite intimidating.
Add to this the fact you may well be a little jetlagged on the first few days of your visit, and we well understand a decision to avoid driving!
We offer free transfers from the airport, so getting to Moon Gate is no problem, but the rest of their stay did keep us on our toes. For those contemplating a visit without a car, this is how it’s done.
Use the local tour operators
The local operators for Bay tours such as the half day dolphin tours will collect guests from our front entrance for a morning trip (which we usually recommend). You can use the complimentary Russell ferry ticket that comes with this tour, to spend the rest of the day discovering Russell and Flagstaff hill and even further if you like to walk, and then make your way back to Kerikeri late afternoon.
Guests wishing to take the day trip up to Cape Reinga and the 90 mile beach will be delighted to know that the coach will collect them from our front entrance, and drop them home afterwards.
Flag a ride on the Kerikeri – Auckland coach service
There are at least 3 coaches a day between Kerikeri and Auckland, however you can use this as a 20 minute shuttle service between Kerikeri and Paihia if you wish to spend a day visiting the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, and other Paihia touristy delights.
Within 10 minutes we have several art galleries, the wonderful (but temptingly dangerous) Makana chocolate factory and cafe, the Old Packhouse markets, the Kauri wood workshop and several restaurants.
In 20 minutes you are in the main Kerikeri village, and within 50 minutes walk you are at the historic mission house & stone store in Kerikeri Basin: one of New Zealand’s iconic locations. Along the way there are many side tracks along Kerikeri River; to the fairy pools or the beautiful Rainbow falls.
Try out our very friendly private car services
Our local operator will happily organise private full and half day tours, collected and returned from our front door. Among the many options are the Bay of Islands winery trail (recommended for guests with cars too!), local sites such as Historic Kerikeri, Rainbow Falls, the wonderful northern beaches or perhaps a dip in the geothermal pools at Nga Wha springs.
So if you’re reluctant to visit because you think there is a reliance on the ‘horse-less carriage’ – think again! With a little planning, it certainly can be done, and very successfully. Our guests certainly thought so.