Where to stay Bay of Islands?

Feb 5th, 2006, 08:28 AM
  #1  
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Where to stay Bay of Islands?

In mid-March, after two weeks on South Island, my wife and I and our grown son will fly to Auckland, rent a car and drive to the Bay of Islands for 3 nights. We want to visit the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, swim with dolphins, perhaps snorkel. My son will probably want to tramp and kayak a bit, while we R&R and enjoy the sites.
I admit to being confused by the available info as to where to stay. Russell, Paihia, Kerikeri? Ensuite is required. 5 star luxury is not required. Motels, heritage, inns, etc.
I think we will also take an extra day to drive up to Cape Reinga, and spend that night in Kaitaia before driving down to Auckland for our trip back to USA.
I may be a little late trying to find a place, but any information from this wonderful bunch of travelers will be welcome. Thanks.
Bill.
BillJ is offline  
Feb 5th, 2006, 02:36 PM
  #2  
 
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Hi Bill

Of the three places you have described the one I would stay in would be Russel. I say that it is the quietest of the three and the best looking. However it does have one drawback. You are dependant upon the car ferry to Opua or the passenger ferry accross to Paihia to get to the main road.

Paihia is a nice place, very much a tourist town. It is where all the Northland excursions leave from. Bus tours to Cape Reinga, boat trips out round the bay etc. (Though the boat trips do call into Russell on the way out if there are pax for the trips).

Kerikeri is a nice place too. It has its pieces of history with the old mission house, the stone store and a mock up of an oroginal Maori village/pa site. It is more of a service town for the local area, but don't let that put you off. It has some nice cafes, and a couple of good vinyards to try out.

Of the three places, accomodation is more limited in Russell. In saying that, if you check out local listings you should not have too much trouble booking for mid march.

The following link may help you a bit.

http://www.bay-of-islands.co.nz/accomm/

When we go north we usually stay with family or friends so as far as types of accomodation and quality I can't help much.

I do have a suggestion. Even though you have a rental car, I would suggest you leave it in the BOI and take a bus tour up to Cape Reinga. It is further than you think and it would be a shame to miss the sights if you are concentrating upon driving. Plus it means you only have a three and a half hour trip back to Auckland the next day not a five hour one.
Kiwi_acct is offline  
Feb 5th, 2006, 02:53 PM
  #3  
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Thank you for the information. I appreciate it. I was wondering about the tour bus idea, since apparantly they don't want their rental cars on 90 mile beach, but the buses can. I kinda thought I could drive to Kaitaia and maybe pick up a tour from there., then stay there that night.
At any rate, I will now begin to review the accomodation site you gave me. Thanks again.
BillJ is offline  
Feb 5th, 2006, 03:44 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
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Hi Bill

Th following guys do a pick up in Awanui, which is about 4 mile north of Kaitaia at eth junctiosn of highway 10 and 1.

http://www.dunerider.co.nz/capetour.htm

Since they do a bit of a side trip round the Kauri Kingdom (really a shop which carves small statues and wooden clocks out of ancient swamp kauri) you may be able to leave your car there. Worth contacting them to find out.

I do not know what the trip is like. The only times I go onto the ninety mile is when I am up visiting my wifes rellies that live in Kaitaia and Waipapakauri. Therefore no need for the tour bus.
Kiwi_acct is offline  
Feb 5th, 2006, 03:45 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
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There are these guys too, who leave from Kaitaia itself. But again I do not know about the quality of the tour.

http://www.ahipara.co.nz/caperunner/
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