Bay of Islands New Zealand

Beaches, sunshine, water activities and a rich history – it’s the perfect combination for anyone looking for an offbeat holiday away from the crowds. When you visit the Bay of Islands, you are stepping inside a subtropical micro-region that is renowned for its spectacular beauty and ancient history. Barely three hours away from Auckland, your trip to Bay of Islands’ 144 islands will be the trip of a lifetime.


The Bay of Islands is a region that lies on the east coast of the Far North District on New Zealand’s North Island.


The average temperature in the Bay of Islands doesn’t vary too much and the weather is pleasant all year through. The months of January-February and then June are the busiest for tourism, taking the prices of hotels and flights up. April is a good time to visit if you wish to save on costs.


What can you expect at Bay of Islands? A cornucopia of beautiful beaches, hidden coves, serene harbours, inviting waters, a stunning coastline and lush forests, with a heady mix of a unique history.

Paihia: Begin your journey of exploration of the Bay of Islands with Paihia. There is an abundance of coves and beaches that are just a hint of all that lies beyond. Book yourself a seat on the many cruises that leave from the wharf daily.

Kerikeri: Take a step back into history at Kerikeri. Duck into art galleries and also understand the culture of this wonderful nation. Enjoy a meal made only from the freshest of local produce. A charming place, this town is full of character and flavour.

Waitangi Treaty Grounds: This is where the historical treaty was signed between the Māori tribes and the representatives of the British Crown. Enjoy a culturally enriching experience at these hallowed grounds and understand New Zealand’s early history.

Russell: Walk along the streets of this quaint town and gaze at years of history that comes out through the old buildings. A coastline brimming with cafes, restaurants and art galleries makes Russell a truly romantic destination.

Kawakawa: Imagine a town being world famous for the Hundertwasser toilets. Designed by the town's famous Austrian resident, Freidensreich Hundertwasser, this is a trip worth your time.

Matauri Bay: If you like water sports, then Matauri Bay is the place to be. This picturesque beach settlement lies north of the Bay of Islands and besides being popular with surfers and divers, it attracts golfers too.

Kaikohe: The town of Kaikohe has the right blend of rich Māori culture and a European heritage. Do make the time to visit this small town when you are holidaying in Bay of Islands.

Okaihau: Sitting snug between Kaitaia and Whangarei is Okaihau, a friendly country town. Drop in to experience a classic Northland pub and also explore the interesting fire service museum that this town is home to.

Recommended for:

A trip to Bay of Islands has to be on the list of must-visit places for anyone looking to step away from the grind. The quiet getaway with its secret coves and stunning beaches will soothe the soul of every weary traveller. If you are in need of a soul-cleansing vacation, then book your tickets to Bay of Islands today.

Interesting facts about the Bay of Islands:

The Bay of Islands has quite an interesting history surrounding it. But this doesn’t take away from the fact that it is counted among some of the most beautiful destinations in the world. Here are some things to know about it before you visit:

  • The Bay of Islands is the birthplace of modern day New Zealand. But did you know that it was once a busy seafaring and political base that combined Māori and European culture?
  • The Bay of Islands is today a tourist attraction and it offers plenty of holiday fun and water adventures for the complete family. Enjoy delicious food and wine to go with it.
  • Bay of Islands is one of New Zealand’s most popular fishing, sailing and tourist destinations. It shot to fame after American author Zane Grey publicised it in the 1930s.
  • The bay is 16 kilometres wide and its irregular shape plus the 260 sq km drowned valley system forms a natural harbour.
  • The Bay of Islands is made up of 144 islands, the largest of which is Urupukapuka.
  • Bay of Islands was first inhabited about 700 years ago, when Mataatua, one of the large Māori migration canoes was sailed to the Bay of Islands by Puhi, an ancestor of the Ngapuhi iwi (the largest tribe in the country today). The Māori settled and their population spread throughout the bay and on many of the smaller islands. These people went on to establish some of the present-day tribes, including the Ngati Miru at Kerikeri.
  • The first European to set foot on the islands was Captain Cook, who gave the region its name in 1769. He was later followed by several people, including missionaries.
  • The first pure European child recorded as having been born in New Zealand is Thomas King, who was born in 1815 at Oihi Bay in the Bay of Islands.
  • It is believed that the Bay of Islands has the second bluest sky in the world, after Rio de Janeiro.
  • The Treaty of Waitangi was drawn up, translated and signed by 43 Northland chiefs and later by over 500 other Māori chiefs in 1840. Till date, this treaty is consulted while making any additions or modifications to New Zealand law and society.
  • The Bay of Islands lies in the northern most region of New Zealand. This imbues a sub-tropical climate to the region, thus giving rise to various flora and fauna that aren't seen anywhere else in the country.
  • The numerous small islands and untouched beaches are what make the Bay of Islands a tourist hot spot and a global attraction.
  • From Cape Reinga, the northern most point of Northland, visitors can get the spectacular view of the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean colliding.
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