Looking for a unique, kiwi experience? Take a boat trip with Barefoot Sailing Adventures
Boat cruises to explore the idyllic islands are very popular and cater to all tastes. Take an ocean safari to swim with dolphins, sail on a yacht, cruise straight to an island for a walk and a picnic, or go on a fishing charter. You can even paddle a traditional Maori canoe. The Bay of Islands was the first piece of New Zealand to be settled by Europeans. Key historical attractions here include New Zealand's first capital, Russell, and the house where New Zealand's most important document, the Treaty of Waitangi, was signed in 1840.
We hope to help you fill your day with some of the wonderful activities available.
Here are a few suggestions.
For a thrilling experience of the bay, why not jump on a helicopter and fly across the islands. It really puts the bay into perspective. Or steel yourself for a Jet Ski Ride to the Hole in the Rock. For a more sedate option float up in the air above the Bay of Islands in a parasail. The views are spectacular!
There are also more sedate half-day Hole in the Rock tours, where - if you’re lucky - you might see dolphins playing in the bow wake of the boats.
There are plenty of local walks if you fancy stretching your legs - around the Treaty Grounds along the coast, or up to the viewing point via the School Road track. To capture a bit of local history, take one of the local tours or, to get a sense of life in Northland, visit the charming towns of Kawakawa and Opua, taking in the Glow Worm caves on your way home. If you want something more of a workout, try kayaking or cycling part of the Twin Coast Cycle Way.
There’s a regular artisan market on Paihia’s village green where you can purchase locally made arts and crafts, then hop on a the ferry to Russell for a stroll around this beautifully preserved village. Visit the historic church and Pompalier House. Round it off with afternoon tea at the Duke of Marlborough.