Edelweiss Motel, Paihia, Bay of Islands is great for an overnight stay, but we encourage you to slow down, and stay longer. Take your time. Edelweiss Motel is the perfect base to discover the Bay of Islands and subtropical Northland.
Here’s our top 15 things to do in the area:
- Relax by the Year Round Heated Swimming Pool at the Motel or on the beach, just a short stroll away.
- Waitangi Treaty House – The Bay has the honour of being the birthplace of New Zealand. A visit to the Waitangi Treaty house is a must and will help you appreciate the diverse Maori and European history of the area. The Treaty of Waitangi (an agreement between the Maori people and the British), was signed at the Waitangi Treaty House in 1840.
- Get out on the water and discover Motukokako and Urupukapuka Islands with a Bay of Islands Hole in the Rock Cruise. A relaxing way to discover the Bay!
- Swim with Dolphins – A fabulous marine experience. Weather permitting you will normally see dolphins and sometimes see semi-resident whales and penguins. This tour has a flexible route, which means each trip is spontaneous and unique. Throughout the tour a full commentary is given on places of historical, and geological interest as well as various aspects of conservation and the environment.
- Across the water from Paihia is the historic town of Russell, New Zealand’s first capital. A trip on the ferry across the Bay is a favourite with the kids. Have a drink at the Duke of Marlborough – the first licensed establishment in New Zealand.
- Dive the remains of the Greenpeace vessel The Rainbow Warrior at Matauri Bay. Bombed in Auckland Harbour by French Secret Service Agents on July 10, 1985, it was re-floated and relocated to the Cavalli Islands in 1987 and is now one of Northlands best dive sites, home to an array of marine life.
- Unusual but impressive – visit Kawakawa’s famous Hundertwasser Toilets. Designed by internationally-renowned artist, ecologist and architect, Freidrich Hundertwasser, this is the only structure he ever built in the Southern Hemisphere.
- Take a trip back in time on the Bay of Islands Vintage Railway, not many places where a steam train literally goes down the middle of a state highway! #OnlyInNewZealand
- Tempt your tastebuds at the local Vineyards and Orchards.
- Cape Reinga – There are several tours to the top of the country and its well worth it. Visit the famous kauri forests to see some of the oldest trees in the world, travel up Ninety Mile Beach or sledge down massive sand dunes.
- Help paddle a 45ft traditional Maori Waka (canoe) with Taiamai Waka Tours on a river teaming with fish and native bird wild life, surrounded by native bush.
- Pick up provisions at the Paihia Farmers Market every Thursday from 2pm ’til dusk, and Kerikeri Farmers Market (Sundays 9am – 12 noon). Have a picnic on the beach or cook on the Barbecue.
- Go Fishing – the Bay has great waters for fishing Snapper, Kingfish, Trevally, Kahawai and is world famous for its deep sea and big game fishing, including the major billfish, marlin and game sharks. Catch too much? We can put you in touch with locals who can prep and smoke your catch.
- Music festivals – The Bay of Islands is getting a reputation for small festivals with big hearts. August brings the Bay of Islands Jazz and Blues Festival in August; Country Rock Music Festival in May, and the IT Festival in October always featuring great New Zealand bands, playing just 5-10 minutes walk from us
- Enjoy a quiet moment at the stone Church of St Paul’s in Paihia. This was built on the site of New Zealand’s first church which was made of reeds. Take in other interesting facts following the heritage trail along the waterfront.