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Stay in Opua or not?

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Aberdeen, Scotland
posts: 880
reviews: 211
Stay in Opua or not?

We're going to be visiting NZ and Opua next July to do some touristy things and more importantly to see a friend who lives in Opua. When i said we were planning on staying in Opua (and the Opua motel) she said not to, to stay in Paihia instead as there was nothing in Opua.

The Cape Reinga/90 mile beach tour will pick us up from the motel and we'll obviously have a hire car so transport won't be a problem but just not sure whether to stay there or look for somewhere in Paihia instead.

Can anyone advise me on what is best?

Greymouth, New...
Destination Expert
for South Island
posts: 3,440
reviews: 40
1. Re: Stay in Opua or not?

If you have a car, and only need your friends place for accomodation, then I would stay in Opua.

You are closer to the car ferry if you drive to Russel, and a car is useful there unless you do a tour.

The Bay of Islands isnt easy to get around with out a car unless staying right in Paihia, but as you have a car, parking in Paihia is really your only other concern if it is during a busy period. If taking a cruise out on the Bay, make sure yu have oarked where you have suffient time

Whangarei, Northland
Destination Expert
for Auckland, Whangarei
posts: 2,647
reviews: 34
2. Re: Stay in Opua or not?

Since you have a car, staying in Opua is a good option, its only 5-10 minutes to drive into Paihia, you are right by the Russell car ferry, there is a good cafe in Opua Marina complex, and it is generally a nice area and the Opua Motel, and also Waterview lodge, which is on the same stretch of road, have nice views over the marina.

As you are coming in July, Paihia will be fairly dead (middle of winter), so I would definitely choose to stay in Opua, and just drive into Paihia if you need for shopping and cafes

Wellington, New...
Destination Expert
for Wellington, Bay of Islands
posts: 9,308
reviews: 117
3. Re: Stay in Opua or not?

I have to disagree with the others. Opua has a small store and is the ferry terminal to Russell and thats it. Stay in Paihia and if you have to go to Opua or Russell by car make the journey specifically not the other way around. Paihia has so much more to offer.

Whangarei, Northland
Destination Expert
for Auckland, Whangarei
posts: 2,647
reviews: 34
4. Re: Stay in Opua or not?

Paihia definitely has more to offer in terms of shops, cafes, etc etc, but I was answering the question on the basis of whether Opua was a good place to stay, bearing in mind that is where your friends are.

So yes, Opua is a nice place to stay and since your main reason to be in the area is to see your friends, I would choose to stay in Opua, and drive to Paihia and/or other parts of Northland for sightseeing

Greymouth, New...
Destination Expert
for South Island
posts: 3,440
reviews: 40
5. Re: Stay in Opua or not?

I agree with Andychef, not all accomodation is right by the ferry. there are some outstanding properties all of which come under the catorgory of Opua.

Daytime is a lot more to do in Paihia as opposed to evenings other than for dining

I am sure this is not dissention in ranks of DEs, but just a share of the passion we all share for the region

Wellington, New...
Destination Expert
for Wellington, Bay of Islands
posts: 9,308
reviews: 117
6. Re: Stay in Opua or not?

No dissention in the ranks just a difference in preference. I would never consider staying in Opua unless it was with family or very close friends.

Aberdeen, Scotland
posts: 880
reviews: 211
7. Re: Stay in Opua or not?

Thanks for the advice guys. :)

We plan on getting to Paihia for lunchtime and then doing a cruise (either the Dolphin cruise's one or the Mack attack jetboat) to the Hole in the Rock. Evening would be going out with the friends (or perhaps they will entertain us on their boat) before we head to our accomodation.

Next day is that trip during the day and then out with the friends at night again before we head to Auckland the following day.

We will definitely have a hire car.

Is there anything else other than the Treaty Grounds worth going to see in the area?

8. Re: Stay in Opua or not?

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9. Re: Stay in Opua or not?

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