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Bay of Islands, New Zealand

Northland & Bay of Islands

New Zealand's winterless north

New Zealand tailor-made holidays


The warm waters of the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea meet at Cape Reinga, mainland New Zealand's northernmost point. This region, known as the Bay of Islands, 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 holidaymakers.


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 long, straight west coast is wild and rugged, 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.

Northland's Kauri Coast

Bay of Islands

The majority of visitors, however, make for the east coast, with its calm, safe bays and historic townships such Paihia and Russell in the scenic Bay of Islands. Here, between secluded beaches and impossibly scenic coastal stretches, it's possible to swim, sail and dive in pristine waters. And, out among the 150 islands themselves, marine encounters abound with cruises taking in the best beauty spots while seeking out the resident dolphins and migrating whales.   

Paihia, Bay of Islands


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Special offers in Northland & Bay of Islands

Rotorua, New Zealand

Cultural Highlights of New Zealand

19-day tailor-made self-drive from £2,955 pp incl. flights


Free car hire

Free car hire offer – Save up to £410pp
Book by: 31 January 2020

A tip-to-toe tour of New Zealand, taking in the best of its landscapes and culture, and calling into filming locations from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

Cathedral Cove, Coromandel, New Zealand.

Best of New Zealand's North Island

17-day tailor-made self-drive from £2,440 pp incl. flights


Free car hire

Flight & free car hire offer – Save up to £455pp
Book by: 31 January 2020

Between stunning volcanic landscapes, sub-tropical beaches and world-class wineries, this fly-drive holiday showcases the best of New Zealand's North Island.

Bay of Islands, New Zealand

Wilderness Highlights of New Zealand

23-day tailor-made self-drive from £5,920 pp incl. flights


Free car hire

Free car hire offer – Save up to £475pp
Book by: 31 January 2020

Discover the spectacular landscapes of New Zealand's north and south islands on this fly-drive holiday, which includes a journey across the Southern Alps aboard the iconic TranzAlpine Express.

Top itineraries in Northland & Bay of Islands

Maui Ultima Elite

New Zealand by Motorhome

20-day motorhome self-drive from £2,965 pp incl. flights

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.

Mount Cook National Park, New Zealand

New Zealand Getaway

20-day escorted tour from £4,370 pp incl. flights

This New Zealand Getaway, Travelmarvel by APT escorted tour offers great value and is ideal for those looking to see all the highlights of New Zealand in the company of others, with expert guides and a comfortable hotel at the end of your action-packed days.

Self Drive, Mt Cook, New Zealand

New Zealand Wonderland

21-day escorted tour from £6,145 pp incl. flights

Discover the best New Zealand has to offer on this comprehensive and popular and fully-guided tour with APT Touring.

Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown, Otago, New Zealand

Ultimate New Zealand

22-day small-group tour from £7,015 pp incl. flights

A spectacular small-group tour combining luxury coach and railway journeys, lake and fjord cruises, taking in everything from city slicking and quaint township sophistication to New Zealand’s stunning natural world.

See all itinerary ideas

Top places to stay in Northland & Bay of Islands

Spa at The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs, New Zealand

The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs, Matauri Bay

Designer lodge

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.

Tiki Tiki Ora balcony view, New Zealand

Tiki Tiki Ora, Bay of Islands

Small & intimate b&b

This family owned hideaway features stunning views out towards the Bay of Islands and plenty of individual touches throughout.

The Sanctuary @ Bay of Islands

The Sanctuary @ Bay of Islands

Traditional lodge

Whether it’s the innovative design, picturesque nature reserve setting or indulgent dining options, this is eco-friendly style at its best.

Eagles Nest exterior, New Zealand

Eagles Nest, Bay of Islands

Contemporary hotel

‘World’s Leading Boutique Villa Resort’ three years running in the World Travel Awards and winner of the ‘World’s Best Luxury Coastal Hotel’ in the 2012 World Luxury Hotel Awards, this is the Bay of Islands at its most luxurious.

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Where to go in Northland & Bay of Islands

Bay Of Islands North Island New Zealand

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

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Meet our Northland & Bay of Islands experts

Speak to a tailor-made specialist on 020 7590 0614

Meet the team

Why book with Wexas Travel?

At Wexas, we specialise in bespoke travel experiences. Our itineraries are just samples of what we can arrange, and can be changed depending on your precise needs, finances and ideas by our experienced destination specialists.

Contact one of our consultants on 020 7590 0614 to discuss how we can tailor your holiday.

Learn why Wexas is the leader in creating luxury holidays. What is tailor-made travel?

Expert advice & support

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Let our travel specialists curate the perfect holiday:

  • Inspirational ideas based on experience
  • Established for over 45 years
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Every step of the way

Every step of the way

Our services are with you from start to finish:

  • Dedicated personal consultants
  • Wexas Travel App
  • Free airport lounges on qualifying bookings
  • Care and guidance pre, post and during holiday
  • Full financial security: ABTA & ATOL protected