Visit Bay of Islands
The sun-filled Bay of Islands is one of New Zealand's top tourist draws, an area of beautiful sandy beaches and calm waters ideal for sailing and swimming.
Many base themselves in or close to Paihia, the main town, or in the nearby township of Russell, where whalers, merchants and escaped convicts once gathered.
Today, it's far more genteel, a place to wander around historic buildings or take a dolphin-watching cruise out at sea. Nearby are the orange, kiwi fruit and avocado orchards of Kerikeri, as well as wineries, craft shops and plenty of outdoor cafes.
Another local highlight is the Treaty House at Waitangi, near Paihia. This marks the site at which representatives of the Crown and a number of Maori chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi on 02 February 1840. The fact that not all Maori tribes signed the treaty ensures that it remains a contentious topic even now.
A Maori war canoe and a carved meeting house can both be seen on the estate, and Maori performances take place several times each day.
Top itineraries in Bay of Islands
Free car hire
Designed to showcase the best of New Zealand's North Island, this self-drive brings begins with Auckland and the Bay of Islands before dipping south past Coromandel's golden beaches and volcanic Rotorua. Then, via lakeside Taupo and the vineyards of Hawke's Bay, you'll end with a stay in Wellington.
From the subtropical beaches of the Bay of Islands, the geothermal pools of Rotorua and wine lands of Hawke's Bay to the majestic glaciers of Fox and Franz Josef and the towering peaks of the Southern Alps, New Zealand is home to some of the world's most spectacular driving routes.
Free car hire
Discover the Bay of Islands, Coromandel and Rotorua on the North Island and Kaikoura, Fox Glacier and Fiordland on the South Island at your own pace, with the chance to sample a full range of off-the-beaten track adventures and excursions.
Top places to stay in Bay of Islands
Set amid 6,000 acres of pristine coastal landscape near Matauri Bay in New Zealand's beautiful Bay of Islands around 160 miles north of Auckland, The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs enjoys a location unlike any other.
This family owned hideaway features stunning views out towards the Bay of Islands and plenty of individual touches throughout.
Whether it’s the innovative design, picturesque nature reserve setting or indulgent dining options, this is eco-friendly style at its best.
Meet our Bay of Islands experts
Speak to a tailor-made specialist on 020 7590 0614Meet the team