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For the more adventurous walkers there is a great one day walk called the "Full Circle Day Walk".
Start from Paihia and walk around the coast to Opua. There is a marked trail that starts under the bridge on Seaview Rd at the Te Haumi River. That part takes 2 - 2 1/2 hours and has great views over the harbour.
Then catch the car ferry from Opua to Okiato. Cost is only $1 per passenger. The walk to Russell is then done 6 stages.
Stage one is a 10 min walk up the hill to Pipiroa Rd. You can visit the site of New Zealand's first capital here. All there is left is a deep well. Worth the visit though.
The next stage is a 35 minute walk through wetland and native bush which is labelled with tree types.
Then there is another stage which is 35 minutes through bush.
Stage 4 is another 35 minutes down to raupo and mangroves along a boardwalk.
Stage 5 is across another boardwalk and through more bush to eventually come out by a rubbish dump.
It is then another 25 minutes along quiet roads to the ferry at Russell. This part of the trip is not very well sign posted so is worth using a GPS for.
The ferry back to Paihia is about 20 minutes and costs $7. Great epic walk for the day and at this time, it doesn't seem to be used by many tourists. A printable route map is available at www.boiwalkways.co.nz