After leaving Auckland for the second time, we head north for the town of Paihia. We have ourselves booked in for 2 nights, but after seeing all there is to do here, you could easily stay 3 or 4 nights.
Paihia is backpacker heaven, there a dozen backpacker establishments all located next door to one another on Kings road which is just a stone’s throw from the beach. A word to the wise, if you are planning on cooking while you are here, pick up groceries ahead of time, there are a few small grocery stores in town, but it is more expensive than other places.
On our first day, since we have arrived around noon, we decide to do the half day boat cruise around the Bay of Islands. A boat cruise of some sort is a must do in this town, and there are lots to choose from. Be sure to check out who has the best deal going since it can be a bit pricey. After trying some hokey pokey ice cream, the Australian favourite flavor, we head out on the Fullers half day boat cruise. The swells are quite high out on the water today and a few passengers are seasick. Unfortunately for us, since the water is so rough, it means we can’t venture out to the Hole in the Rock, out on the cape, so we buy the postcard instead. We cruise around all the islands, stopping to see a house where Queen Elizabeth stayed when visiting New Zealand several years ago.
On our way back, we come across 2 different pods of dolphins, my first time seeing dolphins out in the open ocean. They follow our boat along for a while and we take a few hundred shots and live video feed. Heading back to mainland, we walk around this small little town for a while. There is basically one small strip and a few side streets that comprise the town, but you could see how it would be a great party place in the summer. We venture out tonight down to Pipi’s bar which is down at the X base backpackers next door. Have a few drinks and meet some folks who are signed up for our bus tour tomorrow to 90 mile beach and Cape Reigna, off to bed early since we need to catch our bus at 7 am!