Visiting Northland & Bay of Islands
The waters of the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea meet at Cape Reinga, mainland New Zealand's northernmost point.
This also marks the tip of Northland, a staunchly Maori province sometimes referred to as the ‘winterless north', thanks to the warm weather that make its upper reaches so popular with travellers.
Alongside its appealing climate, Northland is also known as the ‘birthplace of a nation'; it was here that the Maori first set foot in New Zealand and that the Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840, when the country's sovereignty was ceded to Britain.
In many ways the region's story is one of two halves, or rather of two coastlines. The majority of visitors make for the east coast, with its calm, safe bays and historic townships like Paihia and Russell in the scenic Bay of Islands - where golf, swimming, sailing, diving and dolphin encounters can be organised.
The long, straight west coast is much wilder, sporting vast empty beaches pounded by Tasman breakers. It's here that the Waipoua Forest shelters some of the country's last and mightiest kauri trees. One of these is known as Tane Mahuta, the ‘Lord of the Forest', an ancient specimen whose presence makes the human history of Northland seem like current affairs.
Top itineraries in Northland & Bay of Islands
Free car hire
This country-spanning tour takes in the best New Zealand's North and South islands. And, between stays in the Bay of Islands, Rotorua, Mt Cook and Queenstown, you'll call into some of the locations used in filming of The Lord of the Rings and, more recently, The Hobbit.
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 Northland & 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.
Having accommodated guests since the early 1900s, this is a chance to stay in luxury while absorbing the pioneering history and pristine nature of this unique region.
This family owned hideaway features stunning views out towards the Bay of Islands and plenty of individual touches throughout.
Where to go in Northland & 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.
When to go to Northland & Bay of Islands
Meet our Northland & Bay of Islands experts
Speak to a tailor-made specialist on 020 7590 0614Meet the team