- Beach / Seaside Resort
- Nature Reserve / Wildlife Observation / Safari
- Hiking / Trekking
Set in Northland, Bay of Islands is famous for its beaches, which makes it a popular New Zealand destination, particularly during the summer. The town of Paihia is full of restaurants and coffee shops, many of which have outdoor terraces for when the weather is good. It's a laid back place and I quickly felt at home.
A short boat crossing got me to Russell, a town with several museums that has kept its colonial architecture and where one of the exhibitions showcases Maori art.
Several trails lead off from this market town, which gave me the chance to explore its amazing coastline. My first walk took me to an isolated bay, accessible at low tide and which has a panoramic view of Paihia. Along the way I spied a baby Kiwi looking for food, which is, apparently, a very rare sight. These native, iconic New Zealand birds are nocturnal, so hard to spot. One local couple told me that I'd had the chance to witness something that 4.5 million residents had not!
The second trail led to Tapeka Point, on which a lighthouse sits looking across the sea. And likewise, the view of the coast was breathtaking.