tour the bay
The Bay of Islands region is located in Northland, New Zealand and includes several popular destinations dotted around the 144 islands. The main places to visit are Paiha, Russel, Waitangi, Kerikeri, Kawakawa and Opua.
The Bay of Islands was the first area of New Zealand to be settled by Europeans.
Captain Cook was the first European to visit the area in 1769 and named it the Bay Of Islands after the 144 different islands. Some of the earliest New Zealand towns were Kerikeri, Russell and Paihia established in the 1820s.
New Zealands founding document, The Treaty Of Waitangi was signed in Waitangi, just north of Paihia. In 1840, Okiato became New Zealands first capital before being shifted to Auckland in 1841. Nowadays the Bay Of Islands New Zealand is a busy tourist spot.
The Bay Of Islands are around 1 hours drive north of Whangarei, or close to 3,5 hours driving time from the largest city of Auckland.
The Bay Of Islands are world famous for their Big Game Fishing. Huge Marlin and Snapper are caught regularly by the dozens of Fishing Charter boats available for hire. The Bay has dozens of historical sites and there is so much history to this area.
The Bay Of Islands NZ were judged the worlds second bluest sky in a 2006 study. In addition to fishing charters, island day cruises are a popular choice. The Hole in the Rock cruise out to Cape Brett is well known. There are so many bay islands and idyllic coastlines to explore. Most Bay Of Islands cruises also stopover at Otehei Bay on Urupukapuka Island. You can be sure there are plenty of things to do on your Bay Of Island holiday! You can find more information about Bay Of Islands Attractions and Activities
Paihia is full of action! The gateway to the Bay Of Islands, you can book all your tours and activities from here. This is also where most of the hotels and resorts are located.
Russell is a sleepy seaside town, rich in early pioneer history. There are beautifully restored historic buildings at every turn, everything within easy walking distance.
Waitangi is the “birthplace of our nation”. The Treaty of Waitangi was signed here in 1840. Traditionally Waitangi is a day trip for tourists staying in nearby Paihia.
Kerikeri is steeped in history. Some of New Zealands oldest buildings still stand and are a popular tourist spot. It is also the largest town in Northland.
Kawakawa is a small quaint town you pass by on your way to Opua, or Paihia. It is famous for the unique Hundertwasser Toilets in the centre of the Main Street.
Opua is a seaside port town and the Opua Marina is the first port of call for most leisure vessels arriving in New Zealand. This makes it popular for fishing and sailing.
Island hopping is a great way of visiting different places and getting your share of fun in the sun.