New Zealand: Paihia

Bay of Islands is pretty much the last big-ticket item I needed to see in New Zealand. A three hour drive north from Auckland takes to the beach town of Paihia – the gateway to the Bay of Islands and the UNESCO World Heritage Site. The waterfront has a nice grey sand beach and the piers lure tourists with nice restaurants and water tours and trips to the islands. And while its perhaps paradise compared to the cold New York, it’s rather lame vs the French Polynesia.