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Bay of Islands

Practical information on Bay of Islands

  • Beach / Seaside Resort
  • Nature Reserve / Wildlife Observation / Safari
  • Viewpoint
  • Extreme Sports
  • Port
  • Water Sports
  • Museums
  • Place or Historical Monument
  • Essential
5 / 5 - One review
How to get there
158km from Auckland by car or by bus
When to go
Between October and March
Minimum stay
2 to 3 days

Reviews of Bay of Islands

Emmanuelle Bluman Seasoned Traveller
157 written opinions

If holidaying in New Zealand, the superb Bay of Islands region is located to the north of Auckland. People head there to enjoy the beautiful beaches and walk through the forests of kauri trees, which are New Zealand's national tree.

My suggestion:
Set aside a few days and head to Cape Reinga: there is an enormous range of things to do, and more than a few kilometers to travel to get there. 
My review

I fell in love with the Bay of Islands region. After a brief stopover at Whangarei, I chose to spend a few days in Paiha. The town is full of backpacker hotels that overlook the sea, and the relaxed atmosphere is very appealing. On the opposite side of the bay, Russell is more sophisticated, but Waitangi is the essential destination to learn about the history of the Maoris and the arrival of the British on the island. If you can take a boat trip, head toward Hole in the Rock.

After seeing all that, head to the north of the Bay of Islands, stopping off at Mangonui to enjoy some of New Zealand's finest fish and chips, before heading out to the lighthouse at Cape Reinga. Cape Reinga holds a special, mystical significance for the Maoris, and it is a sublime place, with a view from the peninsula that takes your breath away. Don't forget to take a walk along the Te Paki sand dunes, either. 

Heading back down the west coast, there are kauri forests that you also must not miss: in short, they are an essential part of the natural landscape of North Island.