An early Christian missionary, Henry Williams, settled in Paihia in 1823 and built New Zealand's first church here. Adjacent Waitangi is where representatives of the English Crown and a number of Maori chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi on 6 February 1840. The estate is a must-see for anyone interested in New Zealand's history and culture.
Marsden Road is the main waterfront road. The commercial centre is around the junction of Marsden Road and Williams Road. The wharf from where most of the maritime activities depart is here. The Maritime Building next to the wharf houses two tour companies.
Several cruises that depart from Paihia are approved by the Department of Conservation to seek dolphins and whales in the wild. Some tours allow you to swim in the sheltered bay with both common and bottlenose dolphins. Cruises may also see baleen whales, orca, seals, fish, penguins and other sea and bird life.
The Bay of Islands Visitor Information Centre is at the wharf, phone +64 9 402-7345, fax +64 9 402-7314, (email: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org), open summer 08:00-19:00; shoulder 08:00-18:00; winter 08:00-17:00.