Ferry to Russell in the Bay of Islands

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#1
Highland Park, IL & Boca Raton, FL
764 Posts
Joined Sep 2002
Our cruise ship stops in the Bay of Islands and we tender to Waitangi Wharf. We would like to take the ferry from Paihia to Russell. Is it easy to get from the wharf to Paihia?

We had thought of taking a lunch cruise to Russel but decided we didn't need the big meal and that going by ferry would give us time to look around.
#2
Melbourne, Australia
2,604 Posts
Joined Dec 2008
We are doing the same in February so I read threads in CC and Trip Advisor. Others have said that it is a short walk, about 20-30 minutes, from Waitangi to Paihia. I think they also said the ferry is about a 6-8 minutes trip. You could go to the Port of Calls section here and check it out as well as Trip Advisor.

Barbara
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Barbara

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#3
SF Bay Area, CA
154 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
When we visited the Bay of Islands last year on the Dawn Princess, the community provided free shuttle buses from the Waitangi jetty to the wharf in Paihia (and back).
#4
Australia
76 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
We did this cruise last year and took the ferry to Russell. We took the shuttle to save time, although we did see quite a few people walking. It is a fairly flat walk. The ferry ride to Russell is quite quick. Bay of Islands is a lovely spot to stop. We walked up to the top of the look out when we got to Russell. A little bit steep in parts but very a nice view from the top, and down hill all the way back down, lol.
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#5
Highland Park, IL & Boca Raton, FL
764 Posts
Joined Sep 2002
Originally posted by cruisechaos
When we visited the Bay of Islands last year on the Dawn Princess, the community provided free shuttle buses from the Waitangi jetty to the wharf in Paihia (and back).
I hope the same shuttle service will be offered when we visit on the Silver Shadow later this month. Our ship is much smaller.
#6
Whidbey Island, WA
693 Posts
Joined Apr 2010
We just returned a few days ago from a cruise to NZ and as others have written, we took a free shuttle to Paihia. In Paihia there is an icenter staffed by locals that helps you see what is available for the day and to book tours. We booked a Catamaran tour to the Hole in the Rock and it was lovely...lots of stops to photograph the dolphins swimming in the wake of our boat and interesting descriptions of the culture and history of the area. We even stopped at a small island for 1/2 hour to explore on our own or with a Maiori guide. Many of us on board chose to get off on the way back in Russell. Lots of nice shops and restaurants around the small town and we ate at a wonderful historical hotel out on their veranda...the green lipped mussels were incredible and fish and chips were, too. The ferry back to Paihia was easy to catch, several run throughout the day, and it was a quick trip. Enjoy your NZ days!! ~~Judy
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#7
Henderson, NV USA
287 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
Originally posted by Islandgirl4242
We just returned a few days ago from a cruise to NZ and as others have written, we took a free shuttle to Paihia. In Paihia there is an icenter staffed by locals that helps you see what is available for the day and to book tours. We booked a Catamaran tour to the Hole in the Rock and it was lovely...lots of stops to photograph the dolphins swimming in the wake of our boat and interesting descriptions of the culture and history of the area. We even stopped at a small island for 1/2 hour to explore on our own or with a Maiori guide. Many of us on board chose to get off on the way back in Russell. Lots of nice shops and restaurants around the small town and we ate at a wonderful historical hotel out on their veranda...the green lipped mussels were incredible and fish and chips were, too. The ferry back to Paihia was easy to catch, several run throughout the day, and it was a quick trip. Enjoy your NZ days!! ~~Judy
We're sailing on RCL Radiance of the Seas and was trying to book a private tour with Fullers. How soon were you able to get off your ship? We arrive in port @ 8:00am. How long did the free shuttle take. The tour starts at 9:00am. RCL offers the same tour but instead of $74 for the 4-hour tour booking directly, they want $159. It's ridiculous.
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#8
California
6,288 Posts
Joined May 2000
Originally posted by platterb
We're sailing on RCL Radiance of the Seas and was trying to book a private tour with Fullers. How soon were you able to get off your ship? We arrive in port @ 8:00am. How long did the free shuttle take. The tour starts at 9:00am. RCL offers the same tour but instead of $74 for the 4-hour tour booking directly, they want $159. It's ridiculous.
We, too, are in the same boat (no pun intended!). It's too risky for us to book the 9:00am departure w/Fullers as there's no guarantee we can make it to their dock in Paihia after tendering/shuttling from the ship. And their afternoon tour returns too late to catch the last tender back to the ship. Are there generally other private tour operators who operate similar trips to the Hole in the Rock from Paihia that we can likely book right on the spot once we arrive?
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#9
Orewa , Auckland , N.Z.
18,891 Posts
Joined Jun 2001
Its only about 15 minutes across the bay on the ferry. Runs throughout the day

https://www.dolphincruises.co.nz/the...rry-timetable/

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#10
Australia
1,051 Posts
Joined Feb 2011
Originally posted by platterb
We're sailing on RCL Radiance of the Seas and was trying to book a private tour with Fullers. How soon were you able to get off your ship? We arrive in port @ 8:00am. How long did the free shuttle take. The tour starts at 9:00am. RCL offers the same tour but instead of $74 for the 4-hour tour booking directly, they want $159. It's ridiculous.
We were on the Radiance last month and did the 9am Fullers Dolphin cruise. We had no problems catching the first tender off the boat (8am) as it is the early bird tender and you don't need a tender ticket. The free shuttle is waiting for you and the bus drops you off right in front of Fullers office were you pick up your tickets.We got to the office before 8.30am so had plenty of time to walk down the pier to the boat.
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#11
14,848 Posts
Joined Jan 2004
I was in the Bay of Islands yesterday on Celebrity Solstice. Knowing that a lot of tour groups would be at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds in the morning, I saved that for the afternoon. I took the free shuttle bus from the Waitangi Wharf to Paihia, and then the 9:00 ferry to Russell. The ferries run every 20 minutes, operated by 3 companies. I made the right choice, as Russell was prety quiet first thing Sunday morning.

I opted to walk from Paihia to the Treaty Grounds in the afternoon, and it took me about 30 minutes. There wasn't a tour bus in sight when I arrived just after 1:30, and there weren't more than a dozen people on my 2:00 guided tour.
#12
Florida
66 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
WE tendered to Waitangi and then took the free shuttle bus to Paiha , walked 50 feet to the ferry ticket booth, paid our RT ticket and boarded and left in minutes to Russell . This is a small ferry and goes back and forth all day when ships are in Not expensive and certianly not worth the money to use a shore excursion.

WE walked the whole Island to the beach on the far side Lunch along the water front would be fine We returned to our chip.

We did also walk all of Paiha and the Waitangi historic park.

This was one of the most enjoyable days in the sun for us

Take th ferry and feel the freedom of setting your own pace .
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#13
Cherry Hill, New Jersey
22 Posts
Joined Jan 2014
Do most ships have the free shuttle Waitangi to Paiha in the Bay of Islands? Also, do you know if they accept credit cards for the roundtrip tickets to Russell or the Catamaran to Hole in the Rock?
#14
Ontario, Canada
528 Posts
Joined Dec 2008
Originally posted by Rotorman
... do you know if they accept credit cards for the roundtrip tickets to Russell or the Catamaran to Hole in the Rock?
Yes, credit cards were accepted at the sales offices on the Paihia wharf and on the Russell wharf when we were there in November 2013.

John
#15
590 Posts
Joined May 2007
It's been a few years ago but we had a great day in the Bay of Islands when visiting via a Holland America cruise. First we hiked all along the coastal trail of the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, then took the shuttle bus to Paihia and then a ferry to Russell. It was a fantastic day - see photos and more details in our blog post http://www.travelingwiththejones.com...s-new-zealand/
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#16
Clayton, OH USA
183 Posts
Joined Jan 2002
Originally posted by travelinjones
It's been a few years ago but we had a great day in the Bay of Islands when visiting via a Holland America cruise. First we hiked all along the coastal trail of the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, then took the shuttle bus to Paihia and then a ferry to Russell. It was a fantastic day - see photos and more details in our blog post http://www.travelingwiththejones.com...s-new-zealand/
Sounds like a wonderful day! Love the pictures. The fish and chips look mouth watering. How long did it take to hike the coastal trail of Waitangi?