Shrouded in forest or speckled with farms and holiday homes, islands have a special charm that kicks in the moment you step ashore.
Not counting the North and South Islands, our largest island is Rakiura - known to most as Stewart Island. This southern paradise is home to our newest national park. It’s a place for hiking, bird watching and star gazing.
Other islands devoted to the protection of wildlife include Kapiti north of Wellington and Tiritiri Matangi in the Hauraki Gulf.
From Auckland city, you can catch ferries to populated islands such as Waiheke and Great Barrier. Waiheke is a picturesque blend of farmland, forest, beaches, vineyards and olive groves. Great Barrier has the kind of rugged, untouched beauty that appeals to adventurers.
Further north you can discover the Bay of Islands, a large area of offshore islands between Cape Brett and the Purerua Peninsula. Charter a boat, hire a kayak or catch a cruise to enjoy this spectacular maritime playground.