The Splendid Bay of Islands

Pacific - Editor - 22 September 2008

The Splendid Bay of Islands

The Bay of Islands, located in New Zealand, is made up of approximately a hundred and fifty islands, of which some are unexplored. It is just as breathtaking now as it was ninety years ago when adventurer Zane Grey first laid his eyes on the magnificent Bay of Islands. Each of the main islands has their own unique attributes, attractions and activities to keep visitors busy, fascinated and relaxed at all times. Exploring the beauty of the Bay of Islands is a spectacular adventure and guarantees a memorable holiday.

Some of the most popular islands include Russell, Keri-Keri, Kawakawa, Opua, Waitangi and Paihai, of which Paihia is the main town. Here visitors will be able to enjoy the beauty of endless, picturesque beaches, while watching dolphins play in the surf. Activities such as scuba diving, fishing, parasailing, kayaking and skydiving await the restless traveler. At the end of a long day, friendly locals and vibrant cafés are ready to shower tourists with the warmth of the islands.

Traveling from island to island is the best way to experience all the wonders that the Bay of Islands in New Zealand has to offer. After taking in the sights and activities on Paihia, visitors are recommended to take a ferry trip across to Russell, to a historic town that was once the home of whalers and sailors that were on leave. Many boats still head to the Russell waterfront, while those seeking the historic treasures of the islands find themselves on the Waitiangi Treaty Grounds, where on 2 February 1840 the Treaty of Waitiangi was signed.

There are many different attractions on the islands, including the Stone Store, Haruru Falls, Puketi Forest, Memorial Library Museum, Wairere Boulders Nature Park, Mangungu Mission House, Omahuta Kauri Sanctuary, Koutu Boulders, the biggest Kauri Tree in New Zealand, Tane Mahuta and the artistic sandstone sculptures that decorate the dunes near Opononi. The ocean life and rare wildlife of the islands is also a major draw and there are therefore many ways to enjoy this diverse natural setting. Beach walks, bird watching, forest hikes, eco tours, yachting, kayaking and ocean cruises are just a few ways to discover the beauty of the islands, while restaurants, casinos, cafés and festivals, will carry visitors through the night.


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