Bay of Islands

Renowned for its fishing, sailing and gorgeous beauty, Bay of Islands is just a three hour drive north of Auckland. Wander your way in the heart of Bay of Islands Maritime Park exhibiting from Whangaruru and Whangaroa where you can view the water playground for dolphins and whales. There are scenic cruises and exciting kayaking adventures departing from Russell and Paihia which takes on a journey exploring hidden coves, swimming stops and an opportunity to admire an array of sea life.

There’s more to discover on land than sea as you make your way into Waipoua Forest and be enamoured by the Giant Kauri Trees. Delve into serenity as you discover native wildlife and gaze upon the 2,000 years old Tane Mahuta Kauri, a 47 meters tall kauri tree. If you want the best of both worlds, a visit to Rainbow Falls would bring you to a 27m waterfall cascading into Weipekakoura River.

Mirrored like the starry skies, visit Kawiti Caves to admire the glow worms elegantly lighting the cave’s ceilings and as you make your way deeper into the cave, encounter the Bay of Islands Vintage Railway. Once outside, soak up some sunlight at Cape Reinga. Marked by the iconic ancient pohutukawa tree and lighthouse, this area plays a spiritual importance for Maori culture.

For more historical enriching experience, visit Waitangi Treaty Ground and Waka House exhibiting the largest ceremonial war canoe, traditional Maori song, dance and culture. Pompallier mission is also a popular attraction overlooking the Pomare Bay. There is an endless array of activities waiting for you to discover at the Bay of Islands.

Image credits: Greg Lois Nunes, Yathursan Gunaratnam