Getting there

Drive from Auckland to the Bay of Islands in about three hours and take in the beautiful landscapes. If you prefer simply to sit back and enjoy the scenery, book a coach and be here in about five hours. If you want to get straight into your visit, you can fly from Auckland to Kerikeri in less than an hour.


The Bay of Islands is a pleasant three-hour drive north of Auckland via the east coast highway. Alternatively, you can take the less-travelled Kauri Coast route via the Hokianga on the way there or back.


GreatSights®, New Zealand’s premier sightseeing tour company, runs daily services to and from Paihia. Experienced and knowledgeable drivers will provide informative and entertaining commentary as you travel through the scenic Northland countryside to the beautiful Bay of Islands.

InterCity Coachlines operate multiple daily bus services to Paihia, Kerikeri and other destinations throughout Northland. Coaches depart downtown Auckland from the InterCity SkyCity terminal at 102 Hobson Street and connect with services throughout New Zealand. Fares on InterCity Coachlines start from just $1 (plus booking fee).


Flights are a quick 40 minute journey from Auckland, making your journey to the Bay of Islands quick and hassle-free. The closest airport is at Kerikeri, 23km northwest of Paihia and airport transfers can be arranged at the airport or via most hotels. For more information about flying to the Bay of Islands, visit Air New Zealand.

By water

Or make your way up the coast in a yacht or launch, then shelter in one of the Bay’s many secluded coves. The Paihia Russell Passenger Ferry and Opua Vehicle Ferry are the ferry options in the Bay.

Getting around

By car or coach is the easiest way to get around the Bay of Islands. State Highway 1 runs through the Bay of Islands, and activities, towns and sites of interest are well signposted. Travelling by car gives you the freedom to stop and look around if you see something interesting, while travelling by coach allows you to sit back and let someone else worry about the driving.

Of course, you could always charter a boat for an intimate tour of the Bay and some of the 144 islands that gave it its name.