Visiting cruise ships

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Queen Mary II Bay of Islands

© Northland Inc

The Bay of Islands is a marine playground with a multitude of ways to enjoy the water. Incredible marine life including dolphins can be found playing amongst the 144 islands, most famous of which is the Hole in the Rock.

Queen Mary II in the Bay of Islands
Queen Mary II in the Bay of Islands

Arrival Port:

Waitangi Wharf and Russell Wharf

Distance to the city:

  • Waitangi is 2.1km (1.3 miles) away from Paihia. You can either take a leisurely 20 minute walk to Paihia or a 3 minute drive with the free shuttle bus.
  • The tender wharf in Russell is in the middle of the Russell waterfront.

Transport Options

  • Cruise ships tender at Waitangi Wharf for shore excursions. The Waitangi wharf is 10 minutes walk from the Waitangi Treaty Grounds.
  • At Waitangi wharf, free shuttles are provided that transfer you (3 minute drive) to Paihia i-SITE Visitor Centre and wharf. Bay of Islands ambassadors are on board the free shuttles and are able to assist with maps and information.
  • From Paihia wharf, you can easily catch a short ferry trip to Russell. Ferries to Russell cost NZ$ 7 one-way and NZ$ 12 return. Ferries depart every 20 mins from 7am - 10pm daily.
  • A number of cruise ships also tender to Russell. This is for independent travellers only.
  • The townships of Paihia and Russell are small and easily explored on foot. You will need to have a vehicle or join a tour if exploring other parts of the Bay of Islands.
  • Taxi Service Paihia Taxis & Tours: +64 9 402 7506,
  • Charges for taxis range between NZD 70 and 90 per hour.

Making international calls

To make an international phone call, you need to dial ‘00’ followed by your country code, area code, and then your phone number.

Where to find...

  • ATM machines/ Banks: You will find them mostly in Paihia.
  • Credit cards with “Smart Card” technology: Smart cards are payment cards that carry an embedded microchip allowing them to store encrypted, confidential information, and carry multiple applications from different industries alongside debit, credit, or prepaid payment applications. Please note these cards, which often have no magnetic strip, are not accepted everywhere in New Zealand. You may experience problems using these cards, and we therefore recommend you contact your card provider for further information before arriving in New Zealand.

Shopping Hours

  • Weekdays: 8.30am to 6pm;
  • Saturdays: 8:30am to 5pm;
  • Sundays: 10am to 4pm

Nearest Supermarket

  • Countdown: 9 Blackbridge Road, Paihia, +64 9 402 5524
  • Four Square: 41 Williams Road, Paihia +64 9 402 8002

Nearest Internet Café

  • Boots off: Williams Road, Paihia;
  • Traders Mall:York Street, Russell
  • Maritime Building: Marsden Road, Paihia

Post Office

  • Paihia Central Post Shop: 2 Williams Road, Paihia, +64 9 402 8623
  • Russell Post Shop: Russell Book Shop, York Street, Russell, +64 9 403 7674

Church Services

  • Bay of Islands Co-operating Parish (Methodist): i) 35 Kings Road, Paihia, +64 9 402 8125. ii) 4 Wellington Street, Russell, +64 9 402 5558;
  • St Paul's Anglican Church: Marsden Road, Paihia, +64 9 403 8373
  • Christ Church Historic Anglican Church: Church Street, Russell, +64 9 403 7696

Doctor & Dentist

  • Bay View Medical Centre: 7 Bayview Road, Paihia, +64 9 402 7132
  • Paihia Medical Services: 20 Joyces Road, Paihia, +64 9 402 8407
  • Dentist - Paihia Dental Surgery: 1A Joyces Road, Paihia, +64 9 402 7714

Souvenir Stores

Recommended Shopping

  • Paihia for souvenir and boutique shopping, pharmacy and general stores.
  • Russell for arts and crafts, and cafés.


  • Paihia Wharf Lookout: opposite village green, Paihia
  • Waitangi Treaty Grounds: Waitangi
  • Mt. Bledisloe Look Out: Waitangi
  • Flagstaff Hill: Russell

The size of Northland

Population 150,000
Land Area 12,600 km²

Expected Cruise Ship Arrivals - Bay of Islands

Cruise ship arrivals - Bay of Islands