The Bay Of Islands: An Overview

Encompassing 144 islands between Cape Brett and the Purerua Peninsula, this network of drowned-valleys, located on the northern tip of New Zealand is is known not only for its beauty but its history, culture and the incredible activities on offer. Gear up for a trip of cultural education and adrenaline overloading, it is no wonder this destination is a favourite at Original Travel.

Captain Cook dropped anchor off the Bay of Islands in 1769 and then went on to name the region, making it the first area in New Zealand to be settled by Europeans. Turns out, the good Captain knew more than to stop at a place just for its looks, as the waters surrounding the network of islands are, to this day, famous for big game fishing. The area is all about big experiences and once in a lifetime experiences, our tailor-made trips are the perfect way to make sure you don't miss out on anything.

Why not take a helicopter flight up to Cape Reinga, flying over the 90mile beach and the Waipoa Forest. More aerial delights can be experienced through an exclusive helicopter flight, landing on the Hole in the Rock, Motu Kokako, get lost in its history during a tour of the island with a Maori guide. Catch and release marlin fishing can be arranged for anyone wanting to take on the high seas. You can ride horses along the beach at Wairoa Bay or trace ancient paths through Kauri forests with a local Maori guide. The area, with its wealth of history and culture provides fascinating insights into pre-European Maori history and European colonisation.

While you are in the area, head to Russell and take a step back in time. The town's original plan and street names dating from 1843 are still intact and it is home to some of New Zealand's oldest and most significant historic buildings. Once known as the 'hell-hole of the Pacific' the town's rich history is centred around its shore-station heritage and whaling past. Despite its tumultuous past the area is now an idyllic, unspoilt area with two hundred years of history for visitors to enjoy.

You cannot visit the Bay of Islands without going to Waitangi, it's centre is one of the country's most spectacular and historic places. In 1840 the Treaty of Waitangi, New Zealand's founding document, declaring the country's independence, was signed and the area is well worth a visit for any traveller wanting to learn more about New Zealand's history.

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Bay of Islands
Bay of Islands
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Map of Bay of Islands

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