Just a three and a half hour drive north of Auckland, the Bay of Islands encompasses 144 islands between Cape Brett and the Purerua Peninsula. Embark on a journey of discovery and enjoy the beauty of this areas endless coastlines and abundant marine wildlife.
Depart from Auckland and journey north via SH1. A short detour will lead you to The Kauri Museum where you can learn the history of mighty Tane Mahuta before having morning tea at the Gumdiggers Café next door. Browse Maori art at the Kings Theatre before arriving in Paihia - the ideal base for exploring the Bay of Islands.
Cruises from Paihia take visitors out and about in the bay; don't miss the Hole in the Rock at Cape Brett. It is also the gateway to some excellent day walks.
From the picturesque towns of Paihia, Russell and Kerikeri, you can access almost all the Bay has to offer. Whilst boating, fishing, and swimming with dolphins are some of the favourite maritime activities, the area is also rich with history and authentic Maori culture with plentiful stories to discover.
Embark on a voyage of marine discovery when you join a daily cruise, charter a yacht or hire a sea kayak. Explore around Tapeka Point - just north of Russell to experience an abundance of wildlife including penguins, dolphins, marlin, whales, gannets and more.
Enjoy a morning experience in Russell or Paihia before heading south to Auckland. En-route visit the historic Treaty House at Waitangi Treaty Grounds or stop in Whangarei Town Basin in the city centre. A detour towards the Tutukaka Coast to explore more pristine coastlines is also recommended.