About 3 hours north of Auckland lies a tiny village called Paihia. It’s the tourism center of Northland (all the area north of Auckland), so it has a good amount of infrastructure for such a small town. There’s numerous budget hotels and motels to choose from.
The town is only about 2 square blocks, but you don’t come here for the town. People come here to relax and bask in the amazing scenery. There’s miles of beach for swimming and kayaking. Paihia is in the area called the Bay of Islands, so the water is littered with tiny islands.
This place is ideal for sitting on the beach with a good book, or hanging out under the shade, enjoying an ice cream cone. Or, you could take part in one of the multitudes of activities offered in the area. Brochures are strewn about everywhere, each one vying for your wallet’s attention. There’s fishing trips, bay cruises, helicopter rides, and dozens of kayaking tours. I’d say get out on the water, then head on to another town. You only need about a day here, but it’s worth stopping by. The scenery is hard to beat.