Before you go anywhere in Paihia car hire should be your first idea. Getting from my kayaking trip to Haruru Falls without a car would have been the death of me. The main tourist hub in the Bay of Islands is home to many of a great cool thing to do and see and also acts like a great ase of operations’ to get your things together while you plan out your next steps.
I found myself spoilt for choice as I tried to decide what to do first. Rainbow Falls, Haruru Falls or hiking on Urupukapuka island? After a long breakfast of deliberation I finally settled on Urupukapuka island first, get the beautiful beaches and birdwatching checked off my list first. A quick pack of the bag and drive to the docks, from there it’s only a short boat ride over to this amazing gem of an island. Urupukapuka is full of trails so finding a way to walk isn’t exactly a problem. From the boat I went straight inland and up the first hill I could find, the whole landscape was absolutely amazing, such a vibrant yet soft green as the whole area screams HE SHIRE’ at you.
Wasn’t upset with the locals not being shy either, with loads of cool birds flying around and strutting their stuff, I’m not great with names but I’m pretty sure I definitely saw a Tomtit, I also suddenly found myself at one point surrounded by Pukekos.
After spending the day walking around Urupukapuka I ended up getting the ferry back around 5ish as I was already exhausted. The hills were gorgeous and green, the beaches were pristine and the wildlife was welcoming, but there’s only so much beautiful scenery and wildlife you can see in a day. I could see my hire car from the ferry as we pulled back into Paihia. Oh, I’ve never been so thankful to have a hire car as I was then. My whole body thanked me as I collapsed into the driver's seat and made my lazy way back through Paihia to my hotel.