Bay of Islands: Play more every day

The subtropical Bay of Islands is home to an epic marine playground. Below, we've put together what we think is the ultimate day in the Bay of Islands.

Northland & Bay of Islands
Piercy Island, Bay of Islands, Northland & Bay of Islands

By InterCity Group

Northland & Bay of Islands
Bay of Islands, Northland & Bay of Islands

By InterCity

Northland & Bay of Islands
Waitangi Marae, Northland & Bay of Islands

By Sara Orme

New Zealand
Island Adventurer , New Zealand

By Fullers GreatSights Bay of Islands

Northland runs from Auckland to the very tip of New Zealand at Cape Reinga – and it’s a nature-lovers paradise. Here, pods of whales and dolphins frequent crystal-clear waters and emerald islands dot sheltered harbours. Some of the best diving in the world can be found at the Poor Knights, while the Bay of Islands is famous for its warm waters and top-notch fishing. 

Inspired? Check out our Bay of Islands - Boats to Bonfires clip, and then use the one-day itinerary suggestions below to make the ultimate Northland day a reality. Bring your swimmers, and a sense of adventure! 

9am - Dive the Bay of Islands

Start the day with a dive amongst the crystal-clear waters of the Bay of Islands. Underwater caves, pinnacles and tunnels combine with a massive array of colourful fish, dolphins, and sometimes whales and sharks combine to offer one unforgettable diving experience.  

Make it happen: The expert team at Dive! Tutukaka helped to bring the diving experience in our video to life.

11am - Explore caves, make a splash

Because the Bay of Islands is located so far north, it enjoys a warmer temperature than most of New Zealand – meaning that swimming and exploring the ocean is simply awesome. Venture into enormous ocean caverns, and jump off the boat with friends – it feels like the ultimate freedom! 

Make it happen: Take a boat cruise from Paihia to get out on the water and explore.

4pm - Go fishing and catch your dinner

It’s a well-known local secret that the Bay of Islands offers some of the best fishing in the country. Once described as the ‘angler’s El Dorado,’ this is a top destination for salt water fishing. Grab a rod, and catch your dinner – snapper, a large white-flesh fish with a pinky-red colour – is commonly caught, as are terakihi, kingfish and kahawai. 

Make it happen: Choose one of Northland's many fishing charter operators, or get your hands on a fishing rod and some bait and fish from the wharf or the rocks.

6pm - Feast on an outdoor BBQ dinner

Kiwis love BBQ’s. There’s nothing better than cooking your catch in the open air while toasting to an awesome day on the water. Savour tasty morsels from the sea hot off the grill – you can’t get better than that!

9pm - Party into the night

Celebrate a one-of-a-kind, action-packed day in New Zealand by catching up with newfound friends and letting your hair down.

Wondering what else to pack in to your New Zealand adventure? Check out our Backpacking itineraries for more inspiration.

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