Premium Activities in the Bay of Islands
A special place like the Bay of Islands, with its turquoise waters and 144 breathtaking islands, deserve to be experienced in the most special of ways. By land, by sea or by air, you can do just that. Mix a scenic flight with adrenaline in a beach-landing skydive or keep things irresistibly simple with an indulgent spa treatment – it’s all here in Paihia, Kerikeri, Russell and the Bay of Islands. So, discover some of the most premium experiences in the bay with this list of luxury activities in the Bay of Islands.
For more advice on planning your getaway, be sure to browse The Luxury Guide to the Bay of Islands. Plus, pick a stunning place to stay with the 10 Best Luxury Accommodation in the Bay of Islands.
1. Winery Hop in a Jeep or Mustang Convertible
Whatever the weather, go from winery to winery tasting a range of varietals on the Rogue Pony wine tour. Not only will you experience the Bay of Islands’ most popular wineries, but it will be in style in your choice of a Jeep or Mustang convertible. Between wine tastings, enjoy a customised itinerary, perhaps stopping at Rainbow Falls, the Kerikeri Mission Station, or any attraction you’ve been dying to see. Find out more about Rogue Pony’s tours on Viator and Tripadvisor.
Location: Pick-ups available from accommodations in Paihia, Opua or Russell.
2. Experience a Scenic Flight Over the Bay of Islands
Nothing allows you to take in the magnificence of the bay’s 144 islands quite like a scenic flight. Salt Air offers an array of options to experience the Bay of Islands by air and on land. You could cruise to one of the islands before embarking on a helicopter flight over the Hole in the Rock on the Heli Cruise Island Escape. Or how about flying from Paihia to Ninety Mile Beach on the Cape Reinga Tour? Or, just keep things simple and enjoy the views on the Hole in the Rock helicopter flight. Take a look at Salt Air’s flights on Viator and Tripadvisor.
Location: Tours depart from Paihia Wharf.
3. Indulge in a Spa Day
Make sure you fit in some “you time” with a heavenly spa treatment. The Paihia Beach Resort & Spa Hotel is a great place to start, where you can indulge in a wide range of treatments, from facials to body polishes, at their on-site spa, La Spa Naturale. Alternatively, get pampered with a range of spa therapies at the Pure Bliss Spa of the Copthorne Hotel & Resort. And those staying at the Paroa Bay Winery can choose from four relaxing treatments.
Location: Paihia Beach Resort & Spa – 130 Marsden Road, Paihia, Copthorne Hotel & Resort – 1 Tau Henare Drive, Waitangi, and Paroa Bay Winery – 31 Otamarua Road, Russell.
4. Skydive onto a Beach
If relaxation is not your thing, then amp up your Bay of Islands experience to the next level with an adrenaline-pumping skydive! Offering one of the highest skydives in the country Skydive Bay of Islands does jumps from a whopping 20,000ft giving you 85 seconds of freefall. In good weather, you also have the unique experience of landing on the beach. Find out more about Skydive Bay of Islands on Viator and Tripadvisor. Plus, compare this skydive with others in the 11 Places to Tandem Skydive in New Zealand.
Location: 182 Wiroa Road, Kerikeri Airport. Pick-ups are available from central Paihia and Kerikeri.
5. Soar Over the Islands on a Private Parasailing Charter
For something a little closer to sea level, but still pretty darn high at 1,300ft, try parasailing over the islands in your very own private parasailing charter. Flying Kiwi Parasail offers a unique experience hiring a private charter for up to 12 people, picking you up from any private yacht, island or even your cruise ship anchored in the bay. Find out more about Flying Kiwi Parasail on Viator and Tripadvisor.
Location: Pick-up from anywhere in the bay.
6. Treat Yourself at the Fine Dining Restaurants and Wineries
Of course, no luxury getaway is complete without delectable dining. For fine dining, we recommend the Terra Restaurant (76 Marsden Road) with its seasonal menu of contemporary New Zealand cuisine. In Russell, indulge in the Northland fare of The Gables (19 The Strand), New Zealand’s oldest operating restaurant. And don’t forget to treat yourself to some of the wineries in the Bay of Islands, such as the Paroa Bay Winery (31 Otamarua Road, Russell), the Marsden Estate (Wiroa Road, Kerikeri) and Ake Ake Vineyard (165 Waimate North Road, Kerikeri). Check out The Foodie Guide to the Bay of Islands for more recommendations.
7. Enjoy a Bespoke Cruise of the Bay of Islands
The cruise is yours! Spend the day visiting several of the 144 islands in the bay, cruise over vibrant blue waters, swim and snorkel, hike on bush-clad islands, do some stand-up paddleboarding and more on the customised Bay of Islands cruise with Sea Shuttle Bay of Islands. The cruise is suitable for all ages and there are half-day to full-day options available. Learn more about Sea Shuttle Bay of Islands on Viator and Tripadvisor.
Location: Departure from Paihia Wharf.
8. Have a Swing at the Kauri Cliffs Golf Course
Last but certainly not least, be sure to leave some time to test your swing at one of the most scenic golf courses in New Zealand, the Kauri Cliffs Golf Course. The par-72 golf course is atop the dramatic cliffs of Takou Bay where views of the vast Pacific Ocean can be enjoyed from 15 holes. Alternatively, the Waitangi Golf Club and Bay of Islands Golf Club are also worth a visit. Learn more about New Zealand’s golf courses here.
Location: Tepene Tablelands Road, approximately 32km (20 miles) north of Kerikeri.
More About a Luxury Trip to the Bay of Islands
- 10 Must-Dos in the Bay of Islands
- 10 Best Luxury Accommodation in Paihia
- 10 Things to Do in the Bay of Islands with Kids
- The Complete Travel Guide to the Bay of Islands
That’s it for the best luxury activities in the Bay of Islands. Find even more tips to make your luxury getaway exceptional in The Luxury Travel Guide to New Zealand.