A three hour drive (or 35 minute flight) north of Auckland, Bay of Islands is an aquatic playground of 144 islands off the coast of Paihia, popular for sailing, kayaking and swimming with dolphins. From waterfalls to wine, Bay of Islands has it all. Go see for yourself and live the Kiwi Dream.
Awaken Your Spirit
If you want to spot dolphins in the Bay of Islands, Paihia is the perfect place to start, with tours departing daily from Paihia Wharf. Cruise to the ‘Hole in the Rock’ at the tip of Cape Brett and spot the dolphins (or even swim with them!). The Dolphin Seeker is a purpose-built dolphin and whale-watching catamaran. The passionate guide and skipper ensures everyone gets a good look. Wake up at sunrise to clear blue skies, set sail and watch the dolphins play.
Escape the Ordinary
Bay of Islands has been rated one of the top-ten best diving sites in the world. You can dive the ancient shipwrecks and come face-to-face with exotic marine life.
But that’s not the only way to explore the Bay of Islands … how about Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP)? With its sheltered coves, bays and inlets SUP is the perfect way to explore the Bay of Islands. For the best spots head to Paihia, Russell or Kerikeri.
For the thrill-seekers out there, why not take in the islands from a different perspective? How about from 16,000 feet? See the curve of the Earth and experience the 144 islands from the air! One of the most scenic and picturesque sky-dives you can do in New Zealand!
Soak up the History
Explore the historic Waitangi Treaty Grounds, as it marks the beginning of New Zealand as a nation. It’s one of the country’s most significant sites, where both the indigenous Maori people and the British joined in signing the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, New Zealand’s founding document. Not only is it a great place to learn about Maori culture, but the grounds are also stunning, sitting right on the water with surrounding gardens to explore.
Make a Splash
Haruru is where you’ll find the famous Haruru Falls. Haruru means “big noise.” You need to get right underneath these magic horseshoe-shaped falls to feel their full power. Sea kayaking tours depart from the beach about 200 meters south of the Waitangi Bridge.
Savour the Journey
Exploring 144 Islands can take it out of you. So you’ll probably need a drink (any excuse). Take a scenic wine tour through lush countryside, stand next to giant Kauri trees and wander around some of NZ’s oldest buildings. Enjoy complimentary tastings, a relaxing lunch overlooking the vines and picturesque waterfalls. Now THAT sounds like the Kiwi dream.