Other things to see & do in/around the Bay of Islands
The Packhouse Market
505 Kerikeri Road. Every Saturday morning, 8am-1.30pm. Without doubt the best market in Northland, and surely one of the best in New Zealand. A fantastic array of local produce, tasty food, arts and crafts, and some great live music too – well worth a visit.
Another one you’ll be driving right past – you gotta visit the Makana Chocolate Factory and sample some of their amazing creations; all hand made and using only the freshest natural ingredients.
The Stone Store You won’t miss this one; it’s right by the race site. Well worth a visit!
Where to start… One of the most beautiful parts of New Zealand and prime paddleboarding territory. Visit Russell, one-time capital of New Zealand and the ‘hell hole of the Pacific’, now one of the coolest little towns in the country. Take the boat trips from Paihia out around the islands to the Hole in the Rock, and swim with some dolphins along the way… Visit Waitangi Treaty Grounds, where it all started… Loads to see and do!
Waitangi Mountain Bike Park
If you like your offroad riding then you have to check out this amazing park – 40km of amazing trails of varying difficulty with great flow and features, from introductory downhill riding, jump trails, cross country and beginner trails. The trail network, designed by Jeff Carter from Southstar Trails, has grown rapidly over the past 2 years and the trails cater to all levels of ability. There are plenty of fast, flowing berms, rollers and jumps. Grade 2 and 3 runs are so well built, they’re still fun for more advanced riders. The downhill trails milk the most out of the vertical elevation available providing a lot of fun for a small amount of climbing. Not brought a bike? Plenty of great bikes for rent… Check it all out at https://ridewaitangi.nz/
Rather than repeat everything they’ve listed, here’s a great list of other local action on the RideWaitangi website.
If the surf is up then Matauri Bay, 30 minutes north of Kerikeri, holds a good wave in an easterly swell and is generally a fairly nice wave, not too hollow or mean. Further afield, Taupo Bay is usually excellent.