BAY OF ISLANDS
Made up of 140 sub tropical islands.
The Bay of Islands enjoys a sub-tropical climate. A typical summer has long spells of sunshine, warm balmy evenings and runs from November to early April, January and February being the hottest months. Winters are mostly mild. Much of the Bay’s hundreds of miles of coastline remain unspoiled, an aquatic paradise, a truly amazing playground teeming with wildlife and natural wonders.
A group of 150 islands huddled in their large bay on the east Northland coast has become a major draw for holidaymakers, who come for waters ports and superb coastal scenery. This area is also of huge historic significance, as the site of the signing of the 1840 Treaty of Waitangi. You can explore the islands - now designated a Historic and Maritime Park - by kayak, yacht, or sailing ship; you can also go fishing for marlin or shark, dive among shoals of blue maomao, swim with dolphins, bask on the beaches or jump out of a plane.
The Bay of Islands is one of New Zealand’s top summer destinations. It’s the perfect destination for water activities- such as fishing, kayaking, diving, whale watching, para-gliding, and more. However, it also houses several important heritage locations, including the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, the Pompallier Mission and Printery, and more. Alongside these landmarks are some beautiful natural wonders such as the Kawiti Caves, Urupukapuka Island, and Rainbow Falls. Once you’ve soared across all the water and visited all the points of interest, be sure to spend a day out at Paihia Harbor and check out the endless array of shops, places to eat, and more. Whether you’re looking for an adrenaline pumped day out on the water, or a chill day out on an isolated island or at the shops, Bay of Islands is sure to deliver.
Coastal Kayakers: Take a guided tour fit to your experience level and desire for adventure. Your tour guides will take you along the best kayaking routes while you learn of local ecology as well as Maori culture and legends in the area.
Pompallier Mission and Printery: Pompallier Mission was where religious texts were translated into Maori and printed and bound into books. Take a guided tour around the facility and explore the leather and book making production line and facilities for an insightful and informative tour.
Waitangi Treaty Grounds: These grounds are New Zealand’s more historic sites, as this is where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed between indigenous Maori and the British Crow. The area looks out over the Bay of Islands, equipped with a flagstaff, Maori carved meeting house, and the world’s largest single hulled canoe.
Rainbow Falls: Choose between the short and long walk up to the breathtaking lookout point. With its 360-degree panoramic views and perfect photo opportunities, it’s the perfect afternoon activity for some moderate exercise.
Urupukapuka Island: This island is the perfect place to spend the day or camp overnight. Throughout the day there are many boat charters out to this area, but it is also possible to kayak there from Rawhiti. The clear water and beaches make for the perfect trip location.
The Parrot Place: Get up close and personal with a stunning collection of birds in a natural environment. Snap pictures let the kids run off into the play area or kick back and enjoy some ice cream and drinks available at the “Sweet Tweets” Kiosk.
Kawiti Caves: Take a guided tour through the Kawiti Caves and learn of the spooky glow worms and rock formations on display. Come the end of your informative tour, you’ll be a certified Kawiti Cave expert and will have gotten a chance to see the glow worms up close!
Paihia Harbor: This area is packed full of places to eat, drink and stay. Go parasailing, take a helicopter tour around the area, or checkout one of the many shops open during the day. Whatever you’re looking for, you’ll find it at Paihia Harbor.