Have you discovered Urupukapuka Island yet? Jump on the ferry to Otehei Bay and explore Northland's best kept secret...FIND OUT MORE

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  • America's Cup Sailing Experience
  • Auckland Harbour Dinner Cruise
  • Auckland Harbour Sailing
  • High Tea Harbour Cruise
  • Discover the Bay
  • Ocean Adventure
  • Otehei Bay Ferry

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Bay of Islands Family Friendly Activities

The best family friendly activities to do in the Bay of Islands

If you’re looking for a family holiday that has endless options to keep all ages amused, look no further than the Bay of Islands. There are so many different things to do, from the educational to adventurous, you’ll be spoilt for choice. We’ve narrowed down some of our favourites below:

Waitangi Treaty Grounds

An absolute must do when visiting the Bay of Islands. Fondly known as the birthplace of the nation, the Waitangi Treaty Grounds are the location of where New Zealand’s recent history began back in 1840 on the 6th of February when the Treaty of Waitangi was signed. To visit the grounds is an educational and important experience for all ages. It also happens to have the most beautiful and expansive grounds for the kids to have a good run-around.


Makana Chocolate Factory

This ain’t no ordinary confectionery shop. Go on and treat yourself and all your senses by heading to Makana Chocolate factory in Kerikeri. Taste all the delicious samples while you watch the chocolate being made in store. Who knew watching chocolate being made could be just as satisfying as eating it.


Head over to Otehei Bay on Urupukapuka Island

Jump on the Explore ferry from Paihia/Russell to head over to Otehei Bay on Urupukapuka Island. The ferry journey is a scenic 45 minute trip, where you can sit back and watch the scenery pass by, and maybe, if you’re lucky, spot a pod of dolphins as well as other wildlife unique to the area. Once on the island you can fill your day with swimming at the safe secluded beaches, go on one of the many walks, hire a kayak, dine at the onsite café, enjoy a cold beverage from the bar, tuck into an ice cream, or do all of the above!


Action World Paihia

Action World has a 12m high inflatable slide, a flying trapeze, circus high wire and climbing wall. Need we say more…?


Visit Cape Reinga

Jump on the Dune Rider Coach for an easy and fun trip to visit to the top of the North Island. This full day coach experience crams a lot in one day.  Drive along 90 Mile Beach, stop at Te Paki Sand Dunes where you can climb up and boogie board down, and visit Cape Reinga where you can watch two oceans collide. That’s a lot of activities to fit in one day!


View Dolphins in the wild

To see these playful mammals in the wild is an unforgettable experience. There are hundreds of dolphins in the Bay of Islands, many with juveniles in their pods which is exciting as it means that generations to come will have the privilege of coexisting with these intelligent and beautiful mammals. Along with viewing these dolphins and other marine mammals, it is important that you familiarise yourself with the conservation efforts being made in the Bay of Islands to protect them too! Education is key to help protect these amazing animals! 


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