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Tai Tokerau campus – life’s a beach in sunny Paihia

Tai Tokerau

Tai Tokerau campus – life’s a beach in sunny Paihia

Located in the heart of New Zealand’s stunning Bay of Islands, sunny Paihia is a vibrant coastal resort town and a hot Kiwi favourite for year-round holidays thanks to its sub-tropical climate, friendly people and laidback lifestyle. It’s also home to our Tai Tokerau campus!

Paihia is just a 3-hour drive from Auckland and a great base to explore the Far North. The closest airport is in Kerikeri, 23km northwest of Paihia, which is where our Culinary School is located.

Paihia’s main industry is tourism and the wharf is the best jump-off point to the Bay of Islands’ adventures, offering scenic cruises to the famous Hole in the Rock, swimming with dolphins, sailing around the islands, fishing and scuba diving.

The Bay of Islands is also famous for its hospitality, with fine dining restaurants, laidback cafes and bars and farmers markets serving up top-quality fresh seafood and a variety of local food and drinks.

Paihia Town Beach is popular and easily accessible, and at the northern end of the township is Te Tii Bay, a stunning, golden sand beach lined with pohutukawa trees (known as New Zealand’s Christmas tree for their bright red blooms in December).

Take a 10-minute ferry ride across the bay to Russell, the site of New Zealand’s first capital. Don’t miss visiting the old Duke of Marlborough hotel for a bite or a night.

A must-do whilst in Northland is a visit to Waitangi and the Treaty Grounds, where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed between the British and Maori in 1840. It’s just a five-minute drive or a 25-minute walk from Paihia.

Kerikeri is also steeped in history. Commonly known as the ‘Cradle of the Nation’, it was the site of New Zealand’s first permanent mission station and has some of the most historic buildings in the country.

Local tips:

  • Check out Sullivan’s Beach – a beautiful, secluded bay where locals love to swim
  • Enjoy the Bay’s best fresh seafood and a sunset with the sand between your toes
  • If you’re a diver or Kiwi history buff, dive the Rainbow Warrior shipwreck, a Greenpeace boat which was bombed and sunk by French secret service agents in 1985.
  • Walk to Haruru Falls, a horseshoe-shaped waterfall, from the Waitangi Treaty Grounds or access it via kayak. Legend has it that there’s a taniwha which lives in the lagoon below!
  • Take a road trip to 90-Mile Beach and Cape Reinga, the northern tip of New Zealand
  • Check out the great lineup of events throughout the year.