Paihia - Bay of Islands, New Zealand
Paihia, the " Jewel of the Bay of Islands" is central and a good starting point for your adventures in the Bay. Varied activities and accommodation are offered, with something to delight everyone.
Experience a half or full day scenic cruise, get out on a jet-ski or kayak, sail on a majestic "Tall ship", dive wrecks or swim with dolphins. Sky dive, parasail or take a scenic flight. Scroll around the shops, sample the many superb restaurants, café's and bars, or simply relax on the beach and take in the fabulous scenery.
The Waitangi National Reserve, St. Pauls Church and other historic sites, safe beaches and walking tracks are handy to town. Whether you want to jump out of the sky, dive under the ocean or explore the shore, Paihia can point you in the right direction.
From luxury hotels and resorts to well appointed motels, a choice of campsites and buzzing backpackers, Paihia is well equipped to cater for her many visitors.
History Reverend Henry Williams was searching for a site of the third Bay of Islands church mission station. His priority of protection came from chief Te Koki. Their agreement established the seed of Paihia in 1823 and the big Norfolk pine tree opposite Paihia Beach marks the location of his house. It was a difficult location and the mission closed in 1850.Beach access was poor and there were no roads.
By 1890 Paihia consisted of five houses and a church. Farmers herded their cattle to Stockyard Point for shipping to Auckland. Remnants of the original wharf still defies the Pacific and makes a good fishing spot.
Commerce took it's time to reach Paihia and it was not until 1920 that some enterprising person opened a drapery store. Paihia remained isolated until the second world war. A road via Opua opened Paihia to people who didn't have boats. It quickly established itself as the most popular seaside resort in the north. From it's hard earned beginning, Paihia is now the main centre for the Bay of Islands.
Places of interest: Stone Church, Paihia Look Out Track, Paihia-Opua Coastal Walk, Beaches, Adventure World
Maori place name: Good here. It is believed to be a word of mixed origin, pai (good), hia (may be here).
Major Towns in the Bay of Islands:
Waitangi | Paihia | Opua | Russell | Kerikeri | Kawakawa
Bay of Islands History