The Bay of Islands are a paradisal collection of holiday islands set in tranquil waters teeming with dolphins and other forms of marine life.
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.
Cruise ships will tender at Waitangi Wharf for all shore excursions. The wharf is on the Waitangi Treaty Grounds and it's just a 10 minute walk from there to the Treaty House.
At Waitangi, free shuttles can take you to Paihia i-SITE Visitor Information Centre, which is less than 5 minutes' drive or 2.1km (1.3 miles) away. From here, you can explore the town of Paihia or take a short ferry trip to Russell. Ferries to Russell cost NZ$6 one-way and NZ$10 return; they depart every 20 minutes from 7am to 10pm daily.
A number of cruise ships also tender to Russell. This is for independent travellers only. Russell is 50 metres (164 feet) from the tender pier.
The townships of Paihia and Russell are small and easily explored on foot. You will need to have a vehicle if exploring other parts of the Bay of Islands.
Taxis are available in the maritime precinct.
In the Bay of Islands, freephone 0508 3425 2 7433 (0505 DIAL A RIDE)
Not all taxis accept credit cards. Please ask your driver before boarding.
We recommend rental cars to be booked in advance. Find a rental car in the Bay of Islands.