Bay of Islands, New Zealand
The Bay of Islands, New Zealand was given its name when Captain James Cook stopped here on his round the world journey in 1769. Anchoring at Roberton Island, Captain Cook made contact with the local Maori People and immediately started trading with them. Waitangi Treaty Grounds is a half hour walk along the beach from Paihia. At Waitangi you can learn more about the original settlers, and the local Maori - descendents still live here. See some of the world's largest war canoes in action each year on Waitangi Day.
The famous American author Zane Grey marveled at the beauty of the Bay of Islands in the 1930's. Zane Grey marveled at the antics of the local dolphins, the beauty of the beaches and islands, and returned again and again to take part in game fishing.
Wildlife in the Bay of Islands
Today, descendents of these dolphins still interact with swimmers on one of the daily swim with the dolphin trips. Besides the dolphins, there is abundant other wildlife. Birds include Blue Penguins, Gannets, Grey Warblers, Tui, Pukeko and the New Zealand Dotterel.
Jacques Cousteau rated the Poor Knights Islands as amongst the very best diving spots in the world. The poor Knights Islands has an abundance of marine wildlife, including Manta Rays, and Killer Whales. There are over 100 great dive sites in the Bay of Island region, with ship wrecks, coral, and rocky coastlines to dive around.
Bay of Islands Activities
You can explore the Bay of Islands on one of the many cruises, by chartering a yacht, or hiring a kayak. Big Game fishing at the Bay of Islands is as good as it gets, with Marlin, Snapper and Kingfish fishing available.
Play a game of golf at Waitangi National Reserve, on the 18-hole course created in 1945 that takes in spectacular elevated views of the Bay of Islands. In the region there are many tracks where you can go hiking, mountain biking or horse riding. Visit the amazing 2,000 year old Tane Mahuta, a giant Kauri Tree located in Waipou Forest with a 45 feet trunk circumference.
In the Bay of Islands, there are many excellent cafes and restaurants. Take a short ferry ride from the main accommodation centre of Paihia, to the historic village of Russell, formerly a whaling centre; visit the magnificent Haruru Falls, or KeriKeri with its orchards and historic buildings.
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