Just wanted to post info about our trip that may help others plan theirs! We stayed only for a short time and can recommend the following:
Darryls Dinner Cruise which takes you up to Haruru Falls, its a little pricey for the 3hr trip but the food was nice (BBQ style buffet) and the drinks on board were reasonably priced. The staff were excellent, Mike was our skipper for the evening and we were not only subjected to the pretty waterfalls but also the entertainment of the local teens jumping off the cliff into the waterfalls basin. I really do hope it was a safe place to jump but they clearly do it regularly and we were treated to a spectacular backflip by one particular individual! It all added to the entertainment value! (www.dinnercruise.co.nz)
We also took the Kayak tour with Island Kayaks which are located on the beach which is furthest away from haruru falls. (Barefoot) Dan was our guide and although clearly an experienced kayaker allowed us to take our time (it was my first time) and kept checking that we were OK. It only cost 55$ea and we were out for almost 4hrs. I have to say I am more than happy to get into a Kayak now thanks to his patience! (www.baybeachhire.co.nz)
We spent two hours on a 'rent a boat' located on paihia Wharf and that was fun but it is a difficult area to navigate due to so many islands and other craft in the water. Also when we originally went to book it no one was there and we had to return several times to catch someone!
We also visited Waimio (Kawiti Caves) which were fairly local. The glow worm caves were cool and the caves are owned by an original Maori family so I understand. After the tour through the cave, there was a small bushwalk back that was fascinating and beautiful.
Hope this helps anyone planning a visit!