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Beaches & Water Activities

Whether your passion is to stay firmly above the waterline, to surf and swim the surface, or dive deep beneath the waves; you’ll find superb places and ways to do this in the Bay of Islands and surrounds. Travel the coast north from Kerikeri a little, and you’ll discover an endless choice of bays and beaches to tempt you. You’ll be sure to find a spot to yourself!

Cruising, dolphins and whale watching

A dizzying range of water cruise and sight-seeing options await visitors to Paihia, just a short drive from Moon Gate Villa.

  • half day whale and dolphin watching tours
  • fast as a bullet thrill rides out to the hole-in-the-rock at Motukokako Island
  • all day historic sight-seeing to outer islands and Cape Brett Lighthouse
  • board the ferry to Urupukapuka Island in the heart of the bay. Spend the day solo, discovering its secluded beaches and vistas.
  • take a gentle cruise on the ferry and meander the streets and shops of ‘romantic Russell’

We are more than happy to make recommendations and assist booking your tour; please let us know the type of activity that interests you when making a reservation.

Deep sea fishing

Deep sea fishing for Marlin and other game fish brought the Bay of Islands to world attention over 85 years ago, and is still a popular draw-card today. There are many options from group to private charter boats to indulge your passion for fishing. Charters leave from many locations; Opua to the south, Paihia, Kerikeri and up to stunning Whangaroa harbour, north of the Bay of Islands.

Swiming, diving, surfing and snorkeling

Snorkeling and diving options abound from uninhabited islands around the Bay, to the final resting place of the infamous Rainbow Warrior in Matauri Bay. Many PADI certified operators offer guided tours, lessons and equipment hire, so maybe this is the time and place you should literally take the plunge.

Beaches, beaches and more bays and beaches.

Whilst Paihia offers swimming activities, many fine swimming beaches lie to the north of the Bay of Islands. From Matauri Bay, through Tauranga and up to Mahinepua and Te Ngaere Bays, you’ll find secluded and safe swimming beaches.

If wave breaks are what you’re after; try Taupo or Taronui Bays.  Taupo usually hosts a surf school with board hire during summer.

You want more beaches?

Continue travelling up past Mangonui and you’ll reach Doubtless Bay and the classic Kiwi bach towns of Coopers Beach, Cable Bay (pictured) and Taipa.  This is great place for a stop for something to eat before travelling further north to the pristine white sands that seem to go on forever at Matai Bay and Puheke beach on the Karikari Peninsular.

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