Austria Motel

36 Selwyn Rd, Paihia, Bay of Islands, New Zealand

  • ph +64 9 402 7480
  • ph/fax +64 9 402 7480
  • austria.motel@xtra.co.nz

THINGS TO DO

Bay of Islands Activities

The Bay of Islands is one of New Zealand’s most spectacular and stunning destinations to visit all year round and offers an extensive range of activities for land and water lovers alike. There is something for everyone – take a beautiful bush or coastal walk, or the ocean and islands make it the perfect place to swim with dolphins, view a variety of marine life, kayak, or play a game of golf at the Waitangi Golf Club with its stunning sea views and fascinating native fauna and flora.

Austria Motel is a booking agent for any of these activities with the local tour operators offering boat cruises, dolphin watching, fishing, sailing, parasailing, bus tours up Ninety Mile Beach to Cape Reinga, horse treks, and much more. We will also obtain the best possible discounts.

 

History

Regarded as the birthplace of New Zealand, the region affords a unique insight into Māori culture and early European settlement, making a visit to the Bay a must-do on any New Zealand itinerary. Once a booming, bustling and bawdy seafaring centre, it’s now a peaceful and pristine spot, and offers the perfect base from which to explore Northland.

Two of the must-see historical settlements are Waitangi, a 5 minute drive away or 20 minute coastal walk; and Russell, 15 minutes by ferry from the Paihia wharf.

Waitangi is where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed between the Maori and Pakeha in 1840’s and is the birthplace of New Zealand. A guided tour of the beautiful grounds overlooking the Bay of Islands is well worthwhile. Go back in history as you explore the original Governor General’s house, which has been restored as a museum, and see the 30 metre long waka.

Russell, a quaint and picturesque little village, was originally a whaling settlement and is home to the oldest pub in the country, a church with musket fire holes and many other historical buildings.

Waitangi history in Paihia, New Zealand

 

 

Water Activities

All boating and bus departures are just a 5 minute walk away, through the main shopping area to the waterfront; and we can arrange for bus tours to pick you up and drop off at the motel.

Boat tours include Hole in the Rock, ½ day and full day island visits, sailing, swimming with dolphins and much more.

You can also hire paddle boards, bicycles, catamarans and kayaks within a few minutes walk of Austria Motel.

water sports and activities in Bay of Islands

Kerikeri

Kerikeri is only a 15 minute drive north. See the Stone Store, New Zealand’s oldest building, and enjoy the nearby bushwalk and coastal waterways.

Kerikeri is widely known for its successful horticulture, niche food products, fabulous chocolates, boutique vineyards, art galleries, cafes and crafts. Foodies stock up on an abundance of fresh local foods at the weekend Farmer’s Market. And you could visit to the Kerikeri Mission Station and Pete’s Pioneers Transport Museum.

things to do in Kerikeri

RECOMMENDED ORGANISED TOURS – SPOIL YOURSELF AND HAVE MEMORABLE EXCURSIONS!

GreatSights Cape Reinga and Ninety Mile Beach

A visit to New Zealand is not complete without a journey to the top of the North Island – Cape Reinga (Te Rerenga Wairua). Uncover the wild beauty of this vast and untouched region that is rich in Maori culture and tradition.

This journey will take you to Cape Reinga, where according to Maori legend, spirits depart on their journey to the homeland – Hawaiki. On your way, visit the ancient Puketi Kauri Forest, with a 20 minute boardwalk past 1,000 year old Kauri trees and native bush. Stop for morning tea then later, enjoy a Buffet lunch at Houhora. On arrival at Cape Reinga, stand on the northern most tip of New Zealand and watch the Pacific Ocean collide with the Tasman Sea.

Then take the opportunity to try sandboarding down the massive sand dunes on boogie boards at Te Paki Stream – try it if you dare! A fun experience that is available to all passengers. Your journey along the vast and empty Ninety Mile Beach will provide striking contrasts to the busy and populated East Coast. Feel the sand between your toes as you help your driver guide dig for shellfish (conditions permitting) on Ninety Mile Beach.

This is an action packed day with opportunities to take photos or simply enjoy this unique part of New Zealand.

  • Sandboarding down giant sand dunes
  • Cape Reinga lighthouse
  • Puketi kauri forest
  • Historic commentary and Maori legends
  • Ninety mile beach
  • Exclusive BBQ lunch

Leave a living legacy by planting a native tree at Cape Reinga. Talk to your driver guide for more information

Cape Reinga tours pick up daily from the Austria Motel.

BOOK NOW – or see us at Reception to make your reservation

Cape Reinga tours

GreatSights Cream Trip – Day in the Bay

Take part in the Bay of Islands most famous cruise. The “Cream Trip” began in 1927 and remains a popular cruise with tourists today. You will have a full Day in the Bay including dolphin encounters and swimming ( additional fees apply), discovering the Hole in the Rock, delivering mail , boom netting , Island stopover for lunch and learning the history of the Bay of Islands through informative and interactive commentary.

BOOK NOW – or see us at Reception to make your reservation

local tourist attractions

GreatSights Dolphin Cruise to the Hole in the Rock

Cruise through the sheltered waters of the Bay of Islands on Dolphin Seeker, GreatSights purpose built dolphin and whale watching catamaran. Enjoy the large outdoor viewing decks as we cruise past the islands of the Bay. Keep a look out for common and bottlenose dolphins, whales and other marine life as we get you up close to the action from the comfort of Dolphin Seeker. The catamaran is licensed by DOC (the Department of Conservation) for dolphin viewing.

Enjoy the views as you cruise past the Cape Brett Lighthouse, before arriving at the majestic Hole in the Rock – hold your breath as the skipper navigates through the narrow space and admire the rock walls which soar above you. Take in the Grand Cathedral Cave before heading back into the sheltered waters of the Bay.

Lifetime Dolphin viewing Guarantee

In the unlikely event we are unsuccessful in viewing dolphins or whales on your trip, we will offer you a ‘go again for free’ voucher for another Dolphin Cruise to Hole in the Rock. Subject to availability.

  • Dolphin viewing
  • The largest outdoor viewing and seating decks in the Bay of Islands
  • The iconic Hole in the Rock
  • Informative commentary
  • Cruise past many of the 144 islands

BOOK NOW – or see us at Reception to make your reservation

GreatSights Dolphin Echo Experience

Get up close to view and swim with Dolphins in their natural environment in New Zealand’s warmest waters. Travel on our purpose built 35 seat intimate vessel with an experienced passionate crew which will get you as close as possible to these amazing creatures. Swim is included and wetsuit, snorkel and mask are supplied. Terms and conditions do apply.

Please note Dolphin Eco Experience is not available between end of April and end of October; swimming with dolphins is available as an optional extra on the Hole in the Rock cruise during this period.

Cape Reinga tours

BOOK NOW – or see us at Reception to make your reservation

Cape Reinga tours

GreatSights Hokianga day tour including Tane Mahuta

Journey into a unique part of New Zealand, first discovered by Kupe the voyager. Visit the 2.8 million year old Wairere Boulders and the Waipoua Forest, and meet a national icon, the mighty kauri tree Tāne Mahuta on a full-day tour from Paihia. Enjoy a lunch stop at the picturesque Hokianga harbour.

BOOK NOW – or see us at Reception to make your reservation

Cape Reinga tours

GreatSights GREAT VALUE TOUR COMBO DEAL

Hole in the Rock plus Cape Reinga plus Russell Passenger Ferry.

Explore the Bay by land and sea over two days, with a dolphin watching cruise and a trip to New Zealand’s northernmost point, Cape Reinga. Choose either a half-day Hole in the Rock cruise and explore the Bay in search of dolphins while visiting its highlights – or get into the water and swim with these amazing creatures on a Dolphin Eco Experience cruise.

BOOK NOW – or see us at Reception to make your reservation