Consisting of 144 small islands, Bay of Islands is probably best seen from above. A close second is from the ship though, so you’re in for a treat ;)! This is definitely the place to book one of Princess’ shore excursions to make sure you get the most of your day and experience Bay of Islands in its totality.
Some of the options for shore excursions include: a helicopter ride over the islands, kayaking to a waterfall, boat rides to surrounding islands, parasailing, swimming with dolphins and many more.
We decided to make it a more active day, and opted for kayaking. If you did not book through the ship, you can easily find the kayaking spot and rent a kayak from there. Once you get a hang of it, it is just perfect. With the sun shining overhead and absolute quiet except for the water lazily lapping against the kayak, and the paddle gliding through the water, this is when you truly think: life’s good!
At a lazy pace you reach the waterfall after about an hour. On the way there, you will see lush greenery and birds all around, and I can guarantee you’ll envy everyone who has a house against the river banks ;).
Before heading back to the ship, take a walk through the small town of Paihai, and visit the local market.