For those choosing to drive up to the Bay of Islands from Auckland, you’ll find this an easy to navigate route up SH1 that will take around three hours. If you have more time, there are plenty of points of interest en route to rest, go for a walk, or have something to eat. Any stops will add to your travel time and it is good to bear in mind that SH1 is often winding and hilly, so leave plenty of time for what is a very pleasant, scenic journey.
Sometimes it’s better to just sit back, relax and have someone else do the driving! If you’re looking to take a relaxing bus journey, there are a couple of national bus companies that offer daily services from Auckland to the Bay of Islands and back, the most affordable being nakedbus.com. Buses depart from SkyCity coach terminal, downtown Auckland. Please be aware that travelling time from Auckland to the Bay of Islands is approximately 4 hours.
Air New Zealand operate a flight direct from Auckland to the Bay of Islands (Kerikeri) airport which is a 25 minute drive from central Paihia. These scenic flights are a convenient 40 minute journey from Auckland, making your journey to the stunning Bay of Islands quick and hassle-free. For more information about flying to the Bay of Islands, visit airnewzealand.co.nz.
Where to Stay
We have lots of amazing accommodation operators in the Bay of Islands and we highly recommend you stay on for a couple of extra nights after your cruise with us. If you have any questions feel free to reach out otherwise you can browse dates, prices and information right here.
We took a group of 25 international students from a high school on the overnight cruise. This is the second time we have done the overnight cruise, as the first group we took also thoroughly enjoyed it. When you leave Paihia you travel out to one of the Islands to anchor overnight. You get to shoot paint balls at a fake duck they tow behind the boat, go fishing, go night kayaking and swimming. The night kayaking was the students favourite part as we got to see the Bioluminescent Algae which was amazing and a once in a lifetime experience!Nicole
I came on this as a optional extra with my top deck tour... This would have to have been one of the best 22 hours in my life I had such a great time especially with the night kayaking seeing all the stars and the water that lights up..... The crew put on many fun activities are are all so friendly the really do a great job.... I would have happily paid double for this experience it was worth every cent I'm coming to do the north and south island with a friend in April I will be doing this again for sure as I had such a great time......... THANKS GUYS!!!!! HIGHLY RECOMMENDEDMiska Dombroski
I went on The Rock with friends from school and we had a great 24 hours! There were tons of fun things to do on the boat from playing pool, fishing, and even night kayaking! The captain and crew were very knowledgeable about the Bay of Islands and very friendly! It felt like I was hanging out with friends instead of the crew. I would 100% recommend this to anyone who wants to see the Bay of Islands. Visited May 2016TSanders904
Would do it again without a doubt! I did this on Wednesday and had the best time!Beeb93