Bay of Islands
A three hour drive north of Auckland is the stunning Bay of Islands. Encompassing 144 islands between Cape Brett and the Purerua Peninsula, this region is a subtropical paradise.
The Bay of Islands has captivated explorers, adventurers and modern day travellers alike for hundreds of years. Once considered the ‘edge of the world’ Captain James Cook gave the bay its modern name, Bay of Islands, in 1769 when he was exploring the region. With white sandy beaches, sky blue waters and abundant marine life, the Bay of Islands is a paradise where you’ll feel like you’re sitting on the edge of the world.
The Bay of Islands was where the first European settlers arrived and forged the first relationships with the local Maori. Here you can visit the Waitangi Treaty Reserve, a historic piece of land where in 1840 the British Empire and Maori tribes signed a treaty to establish Britain’s governance of New Zealand in exchange for the protection of Maori tribes. This land was gifted back to the Maori people by Lord Bledisloe in 1932. Today the land is of deep cultural importance to New Zealanders, signifying the union of Maori and European cultures and the welcoming of visitors from other lands to New Zealand.
A scenic cruise through the Bay of Islands to Cape Brett will take you past the Cape Brett Lighthouse and to the ‘Hole in the Rock’, a unique island rock formation. The Islands also feature a range of activities that you can take part in including dolphin watching, beach driving, sailing, sea-kayaking or you can take things a little slower and simply enjoy the sea and the sunshine.