The Bay of Islands is arguably the jewel in the crown of Northland. It is surrounded by a number of different townships all with their own unique identy and all offering differing experiences. But the Bay itself is a location of natural beauty, amazing beaches plenty of  islands which make for an idyllic place to explore on the water.

The townships of this historic bay are infused with both Maori and European history. You’ll find out why the Bay of Islands is considered to be the birthplace of New Zealand as a bi-cultural nation. You’ll also see how Maori culture and lifestyle has adapted to modern times.

Plan what to do in Paihia with an itinerary including R. Tucker Thompson

Wherever you are in the Bay of Islands, there are plenty of things to do, so make sure you allow enough time to come sailing,  swim with the dolphins, visit Cape Reinga (Wiarua Rerenga) or head over to the stunning West Coast to see Tane Mahuta and the stunning sand dunes. On the way up or back, allow enough time to Dive the Poor Knights, one of the best diving spots in the world.

For more information about the various towns and accommodation options, check out where to stay.

The most important thing to remember is allow enough time! Too many people arrive with just a day to see it all – and invariably they are disappointed.

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