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Bay of Islands Car Rental Deals

Big savings on car hire at Kerikeri Airport

Compare the best Kerikeri Airport car rental deals from Avis, Hertz, Budget, Thrifty & Dollar Car Rental.

  • Low prices
  • Choice of brands
  • No booking fees
  • Instant confirmations
  • Free cancellation on most cars
  • Unlimited mileage with most cars
4WD rental

Great value! I'll be telling my friends.

John W Australia

Easy and efficient. Competitive prices with good choices. Worth a try.

Tom H England

We booked ahead from Germany. Prices very reasonable, and a good choice of cars. Saved us time and money — would use again.

Andreas B Germany

Car Hire Options at Kerikeri Airport

There's a small number of car hire companies operating at Kerikeri Airport. You'll find them all here and can easily compare their best deals in one place. This means you don't have waste time trawling the Internet looking for options. Or have to pay exorbitant walk-up prices at the airport rental counter.

Kerikeri is gateway to the Bay of Islands, one of NZ's most popular holiday destinations.  So it's a good idea to book your rental car early, especially for travel during peak periods. Just put your travel details into the Search box at the top of the page to instantly compare a wide choice of vehicles at the very best prices.

On-Airport Rental Brands

At Kerikeri Airport all the car rental companies have check-in counters. So, unlike many airports, there are no "off-airport" rental companies which require you taking shuttle transfers to their depots.

Car rental counters are located on the ground floor in the Arrivals & Departures area. You will find them opposite the baggage carousel.

On-airport brands we offer:

Maximum Choice. Best Deals.

  • All the best deals in one place from different rental brands at Kerikeri Airport.
  • Instantly compare the best deals. No need to waste your time checking out multiple websites.
  • Easily filter results by price, brand, or type of vehicle.
  • And if you're finding it difficult to decide, check out the customer ratings to hear from those who've been there and done that.

Easy and efficient. Competitive prices with good choices. Worth a try.

Tom H England

Thanks for making things easy. Found a 4WD for much less than we had seen on other sites, and booked it — no worries.

Mark W Australia

Best car hire rate I could find. Recommended to a friend and she said same.

Jane A New Zealand

Kerikeri Airport Car Hire Tips

Why it makes sense to rent a car

There's no public transport from the airport into Kerikeri or Paihia, however, shuttle services and taxis are available.

The cost of a shuttle depends on the number of passengers, the shuttle company, and your destination. With SuperShuttle, a shared one-way ride into Kerikeri or Paihia will be about half the cost you would pay for a taxi. But being a shared ride can mean it's a slow trip with multiple stops as people get dropped off en route.

You can book exclusive shuttle use, and while the price will be higher it may be worth it if yours is a large group. The per-person cost drops with more people.

Taxis have the advantage of being quicker, but are typically more expensive than shuttles.

Depending on your travel plans, a rental car may well be a more cost effective option for you consider. In addition, having a rental car gives you the flexibility and freedom to travel at your own pace and roam further afield exploring the area. We have some suggestions at the bottom of the page.

Driving from the airport

Kerikeri Airport (more correctly named, Bay of Islands Airport), is just over 5 km from Kerikeri and only takes around 6 minutes. 

Once you've collected your rental car, follow the road out of  the airport and turn left onto Wairoa Road and follow this for 2.2 km to the roundabout. If you're heading into Kerikeri take the second exit and follow Kerikeri Road for 3.3 km into Kerikeri. 

If you're heading to Paihia, Waitangi or Opua, at the roundabout take the third exit into State Highway 10. Follow the road for 6.7 km and then turn left onto State Highway 11. Follow this for 12.6 km. At the roundabout with the beach directly in front of you turn left to go to Waitangi or right to go into Paihia. Opua is a further 5.5 km beyond Paihia (follow State Highway 11).

Return with a full tank

Stop at a nearby petrol station and top up the tank before returning your vehicle. The extra 5 or 10 minutes this takes will definitely save you money.

If you return the car with the tank not full then the rental company will charge a high price to top up the tank. These charges can be excessive, such as a $2.50 a litre surcharge on top of the fuel cost. Not a nice surprise to later find this charge on your credit card.

The closest petrol stations are in Kerikeri (BP and Caltex). If you're driving from the north on Highway 10 there are two petrol stations at Waipapa (Gull and BP).

Easy to compare the different rental companies in one place. Lots of choice which is great. Prices seemed cheaper than other sites including when I looked at booking direct

Glen M New Zealand

Better prices and variety than going direct

Heather H New Zealand

Second time I’ve used MateRates. Always a good deal.

Trevor B New Zealand

Attractions Near kerikeri

A rental car gives you the freedom and flexibility to make the most of your time exploring Kerikeri and surrounding Bay of Islands. Here are a few of the many attractions you might like to consider checking out. For more ideas, check out the Northland Tourism website....

Rainbow Falls

Rainbow Falls is a breathtaking 27-metre waterfall, just a few minutes away from Kerikeri. Park your rental car at the end of Rainbow Falls Road, then walk a short distance along the banks of the Kerikeri River toward the falls. Rainbow Falls is a single drop fall, with a curtain of water gushing down into a swimming hole. In total there are three great viewing platforms at the falls.

If you’re so inclined and feeling adventurous, clamber over the rocks and behind the falls. It can be rather muddy in this mossy cavern but the view and unique perspective from this angle are something quite special.

This is a picturesque and serene area with an abundance of native bush and trees including manuka, totara and puriri; listen out, too, for the sound of tui and fantails.

Bring snacks and supplies, as there’s a lovely picnic area just by the Rainbow Falls car park.

There’s an alternative route to the Rainbow Falls, too. Starting from the Kerikeri Basin, this option requires a little more time as the trail is 4 km long. The Kerikeri River Track passes by two very pretty spots — Wharepuke Falls and the Fairy Pools — before reaching Rainbow Falls. Another notable diversion along the way is the remains of an old hydroelectric station. This powerhouse was in operation between 1930 and 1967. You can even go inside for a look around, as the building is open to members of the public.

Kerikeri Mission Station

Dating back to 1819, the Kerikeri Mission Station was one of the first places in New Zealand where Maori and British came together. Local chiefs — eager to make the most of the many opportunities from the northern hemisphere — invited visitors to live amongst them.

Here lie two of the oldest surviving buildings in the entire country — The Stone Store and Kemp House — and they are just 5 minutes from central Kerikeri in your rental car. Built on land granted to the Reverend Samuel Marsden by the Ngapuhi chief, Hongi Hika, they hark back to the Church Missionary Society's second Anglican mission to New Zealand.

Kemp House is the oldest surviving building in New Zealand and the first substantial European home. Built by Reverend John Gare Butler, it was first occupied by missionaries George Clarke and James Kemp. It survived many turbulent and conflict-filled periods of time under the protection of Hongi Hika and has changed relatively little since then.

Guided tours delve into the building’s history and the struggles and triumphs of the families who lived here. These early missionaries played a large role in early New Zealand history, working to dispense the Christian message to local Maori.

Meanwhile, the Stone Store is the oldest surviving stone building in New Zealand, having been open for business since 1836. Designed by missionary John Hobbs and built by a convict named William Parrott, it was sited next door to Kemp House to store supplies for the mission, and constructed from sandstone, volcanic rocks and burnt shell mortar. Over the years it has served as a school, barracks and library, but mostly as a trading post and general store. Today you’ll find a range of goods similar to what would have been found here in the early 19th century, as well as other interesting Kiwiana merchandise.


An easy, 20-minute drive from Kerikeri in your rental car, Waitangi is the most significant historic site in New Zealand. It’s here that on 6 February 1840, a group of Maori chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi — this country’s founding document — with the British Crown. The Waitangi Treaty Grounds enjoy a prime spot on a bucolic headland overlooking the Pacific Ocean and include the Treaty House, the carved Meeting House and an enormous ceremonial war canoe.

There are daily guided tours through the treaty grounds that last just under an hour (evening packages of a hangi and concert are offered over the summer) that tackle the history of events that took place here and shaped modern New Zealand. Cultural performances are held in the meeting house, beginning with a fierce challenge outside, before you’re welcomed inside for a show of singing, poi, stick games, and the fearsome haka.

The Treaty House is among New Zealand’s oldest buildings and was originally built as the residence of British resident James Busby. Today it has been restored and lives on as a museum — a copy of the treaty document is among the displays. Across the lawn lies the carved meeting house, or whare runanga. It was finished in 1940, to mark the 100-year anniversary of the Treaty of Waitangi. The carvings represent major Maori tribes from all over New Zealand.

Then there’s the 35-metre giant war canoe crafted from huge kauri logs sourced from nearby Puketi Forest, which was also built especially for the centenary. Every year it is launched, once again, as part of a ceremony held on the anniversary of the treaty.

Matauri Bay

More than a kilometre of white sands and sparkling waters await you at Matauri Bay. But it’s more than just a pretty inlet.

Some of the first Polynesian arrivals to ever set foot in New Zealand landed at Matauri Bay; today, a 22-metre waka (canoe) that was built in 1990 to celebrate their migration can be seen at the northern end of the beach close to the campground.

This is also where early British missionary Reverend Samuel Marsden — said to have been the first to introduce Christianity to New Zealand — made his first landfall. Welcomed by Maori chief Hongi Hika, he and his colleagues then went on to establish the first mission station in the country. The Samuel Marsden Memorial Church, which you’ll see next to the road before the beach, is named in his memory.

Matauri Bay is popular with surfers, divers, and fishers. From the surrounding hills you can see all the way out to the Cavalli Islands, an ideal spot for diving (boats can be launched from the beach if you intend to head out there). These islands host an array of stunning and unique marine life, not to mention the remains of the Rainbow Warrior — the Greenpeace ship that was sunk in 1985 by the French during the height of the anti-nuclear protest movement.

On top of all that, Matauri Bay is also home to the luxury resort of Kauri Cliffs, where you’ll find one of the best golf courses on earth.

Matauri Bay is found 30 km north of Kerikeri — a quick drive in your rental car and the perfect destination for a coastal escape at any time of year, but especially in summer.