Paihia, the main tourist town in North Island, is the perfect base for exploring the coves and beaches of the Bay of Islands. It’s beautiful sandy shores call out to sun worshippers, offering stunning views across the bay. Not just a sleepy town, Paihia boasts vibrant weekend farmers’ markets bursting with some of the region’s finest produce, as well as a bustling town center replete with cozy cafes, restaurants and shops. Paihia’s heritage is aptly showcased through the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, which not only mark the site of the country’s founding but also host Treaty House, a giant Maori canoe and museum. Outside of this quaint town, there’s plenty for adventure travelers – from walking and cycling trails such as the Opua Forest Paihia Lookout Track, kayaking in the wharf, deep-sea fishing, and island hopping to swimming with dolphins at the iconic Hole in the Rock of Cape Brett.