A Perfect Day: Bay of Islands

From the moment you wake, birdsong ringing in the trees, you’ll know you’re in for a special day.

Set on a thousand acres of beaches and rolling hills The Landing Residences is your base to explore the Bay of Islands’ unforgettable scenery, Māori heritage and knockout cuisine. Have a day of adventure by land, air and sea as you explore some of the world’s most beautiful landscapes.

8AM: Enjoy a gourmet breakfast prepared by your personal chef, before heading out on a light hike in the Moturua Island Scenic Reserve, a lush, protected home to native New Zealand birds. Thanks to the conservation efforts of Project Island Song, you might get a glimpse of the North Island robin, reintroduced to the island after becoming regionally extinct, not to mention cheeky fantails, silver eyes, finches, sparrows, tui, blackbirds and thrushes, flitting among the ferns, manuka, kanuka and pohutukawa trees. Follow in the footsteps of Captain James Cook who dropped anchor here, or make your way to the Mine Control Station, built during World War II, before heading back to The Landing.

Northland & Bay of Islands
Enjoy the secluded bay. , Northland & Bay of Islands

By The Landing Residences

Relax and unwind in the idyllic bay.

10AM: The most impressive way to appreciate the jewel-like colours of Bay of Islands is to head out on the water so you’ll want to join your guide for a taste of the world’s best fishing spots. Venturing from shore to the Cape Brett Peninsula, you’ll motor to the famous Hole in the Rock, where Māori warriors once paddled their canoes beneath the stunning arches. Prepare to sit back and relax as you drop anchor in secluded, sheltered waters. But don’t get too comfortable. Snapper and striped marlin are abundant all year round, and before too long you might find yourself wrestling with an almighty kingfish. In the meantime, keep a watch out for bottlenose dolphins, whales and New Zealand fur seals.

Northland & Bay of Islands
Cape Brett, Northland & Bay of Islands

By Cameron Miller

Cape Brett Lighthouse and Hole in the Rock Bay of Islands

12.30PM: Freshen up for your personal 4WD tour through The Landing gardens, orchard, farms and vineyard. Enjoy a wine tasting in the cellar with the winemaker, and whet your appetite for lunch by viewing the abundance of fresh vegetables, herbs and fruit growing on the property. Gain insight into the Maori culture by exploring the unique archaeological sites, restored wetlands, regenerated native bush and bird sanctuaries. There are photo opportunities aplenty at the recently excavated 1814 mission house: an old Maori village, colonial homestead sites, ancient commemorative Norfolk pine, and early settler graves. Wander through the architecturally impressive Cooper Residence, home to a fine collection of rare and historic books, colonial and early Maori artifacts. Maori and Pakeha (white New Zealander) art is for sale, so if something inspires you, you can take a slice of paradise home.

Northland & Bay of Islands
Gardens at The Landing, Northland & Bay of Islands

By The Landing Residences

Experience fresh and flavourful food straight from the gardens at The Landing Residences

1.30PM: Make the most of the Bay of Islands’ subtropical climate by selecting a picturesque spot outside for lunch. Choose between the gardens, courtyard or even the jetty for the ultimate ocean view. The chef will prepare your fresh catch-of-the-day however you please, whether it’s oven-roasted, pan-seared or barbecued New Zealand-style, paired with fresh produce sourced directly from the property, and award-winning Landing Chardonnay. 

Northland & Bay of Islands
The Landing fine dining, Northland & Bay of Islands

By The Landing Residences

Experience fine dining at The Landing Residences

3PM: Indulge in a once-in-a-lifetime experience with a VIP helicopter tour to Cape Reinga (Te Rerenga Wairua) at the northern tip of the North Island. Take in the rugged beauty of Northland’s West Coast as you fly over the vast expanse of Ninety Mile Beach, landing on the sand for a photo. Your flight will continue over the breathtaking Northland countryside, native forest and remote white-sand beaches before touching down again for your private tour of the Cape. Visit the iconic lighthouse for that all-important photo stop where the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean meet, and where Maori legend says spirits departed on their journey home to Hawaiki (their mythical home). On the flight back, look out for the impressive swathes of pure white silica to the east, and the sheer cliffs of the Whangaroa Harbour.

Northland & Bay of Islands
Cape Reinga, Northland & Bay of Islands

By Ben Crawford

Maori spirits are said to travel after death to the Pohutukawa tree on Cape Reinga.

6PM: Settle in for a glass of your favourite Landing’s wine as the sun drops into the ocean. While you’ve been out, The Landing team have been busy diving for crayfish and scallops, foraging for fresh produce, and buying locally made cheeses and chocolates, ready for you to enjoy at dinner under the stars. 

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

By The Landing Residences

Delight in local delicacies and wine.

Where to Next?

A Perfect Day: Central North Island →

A Perfect Day: Canterbury →

A Perfect Day →