Distance: 250km from Hitch Auckland City
Estimated travel time: 3.5 hours
Terrain: Normal
Recommended Vehicle: Hitch SUV


The Bay of Islands is located on the north-east of New Zealand’s North Island. Famous around the globe for its big-game fishing, it is one of the top sailing and fishing spots and a popular destination for tourists, with many stunning beaches and ocean activities.

The Bay of Islands is a magic place, where around 140 subtropical islands spring out of turquoise blue and perfectly calm waters. Hidden beaches, vacant islands and probably treasure can be found within a canoe paddle from Paihia or Russel. Russel is a 19th century whaling port, with colonial buildings and fantastic restaurants. Paihia is an idilic tranquil enclave with a couple of beachside eateries serving up fresh seafood.

Wherever the end of the road takes you to in The Bay Of Islands, it’ll be well worth the visit and will probably captivate your imagination. The drive along highway 1 from Auckland takes around 3.5 hours, however the drive is part of the fun, especially with a couple of tropical house playlists on the car stereo. All our Hitch Rental Cars have CD players and most have auxiliary or iPod/iPhone/Bluetooth connectivity.

Guest written by a Hitch employee and former NZ traveller. Hitch Car Rentals provides great value and affordable car rentals in Queenstown, Auckland and Christchurch, with free pickup services from airport to your vehicle.