The Bay of Islands
The Bay of Islands is located in the northern area of New Zealand’s North Island and is close to the northern tip. Much of Northlands’ extensive coastline remains unspoilt - an aquatic playground for adventure activities and escapist relaxation. Whangarei and Opua are renowned throughout the Pacific as attractive havens for yachts.
This beautiful region is known for its great water activities like kayaking, sailing, fishing, snorkeling or diving. Moreover each town has its own culture and lifestyle.
Take a look at a our Guide to Northland's Festivals
Activities & Attractions...
Historical Cream Cruise in the Bay of Islands
How about a fabulous cruise in a pristine marine environment. The 'Cream Cruise' is the most comprehensive one day cruise in the Bay of Islands and follows original Fullers trip, started back in 1927 delivering mail, essential supplies, and collecting cream from the early settlements dotted throughout the bay of Islands. Today the cruise is onboard a very modern, multi-level catamaran you’ll experience the many idyllic bays, locals homes and the prominent natural landmarks like the 'Hole in the Rock' near Cape Brett. The opportunity to stop at the tranquil Urupukaopuka Island to go for a bush walk or just relax on the beach. Marine mammals are abundant so the chance to see whales, seals, dolphins and other wildlife is high. If you wish to swim with the dolphins this option is also available.
Diving the Rainbow Warrior
Come and explore the historical and controversial Greenpeace flagship, The Rainbow Warrior. Bombed in Auckland Harbour by French Secret Service agents on July 10th 1985, the wreck was relocated off the Cavalli Islands two years later.
This artificial reef has matured into an ever growing host to marine life. The wreck is a splendour of colour with jewel coloured anemones clinging to the rails in hues of purple, yellow and blue. It is the home to schools of Golden Snapper, Kingfish and John Dory. Don't miss the opportunity to dive on one of the world's most famous wrecks.
|Dive Site||Profile||Viz||Temp||Notes / Restrictions|
10-18 m (33 to 60ft)
10-15 m (32-50ft)
15-22°C (59-72 °F)
Must be advanced diver to penetrate
Dune Rider 4wd Adventure Cape Reinga
A full day tour from Paihia (Bay of Islands) in a unique 4WD Dune Vehicle to Cape Reinga via 90 Mile Beach. After making our way along this huge stretch of sand we arrive at our northern-most destination - Cape Reinga. Here the green waters of the Tasman Sea meet the blue of the Pacific, the sea meets the land and the sky covers all. This is a spiritual place, for Cape Reinga is where the souls of the Maori deceased leave Aotearoa (New Zealand) and swim across the Pacific Ocean to Hawaiiki - the Polynesian spiritual homeland.
- Visit Gumdigger’s Park, a replica 1900s gumdiggers camp on an ancient buried Kauri forest
- A walk to Cape Reinga lighthouse and view meeting of the two seas
- Driving along 90 mile beach and stop to wet your feet
- Climbing huge sand dunes and boogie boarding down
- Visiting the Ancient Kauri Kingdom workshop
- A stop for fish'n'chips at the famous Mangonui fish shop! (optional extra)
Departures: Trip departs Paihia daily at 7:30am
Classic Sailing in the Bay of Islands
Aboard this classic single mast sailing boat you can get a real feel for the beautiful Bay of Islands and why people love it up here. There is nothing quite like the sound of the sea lapping against the hull and the smell of salt air to make you feel invigorated while sailing the sparkling waters of one of the richest sailing areas in the country
With over 150 islands and bays to choose from, we disembark and swim, kayak, snorkel or encourage you to go for a stroll on one of the many secluded white sandy beaches. We can drop anchor and have lunch in historic seaside town of Russell or maybe visit the well-known “Hole in the Rock”
This is your day so we are completely flexible, feel free to sit back and relax, or get a real thrill and get active and be part in the sailing of this beautiful vessel.
Departures: Daily over the summer months December to March
Dolphin Swimming Bay of Islands
Make the most of this opportunity to swim and interact with New Zealand dolphins in their natural environment. We seek out the many playful dolphins that live within the sheltered pristine waters of the Bay of Islands and jump into the warmest waters in the country and snorkel with these inquisitive creatures - an experience you will never forget!
The crew has an intimate knowledge of dolphin behavior, and with limited people onboard it means that this is a very up-close and personal experience. You are given the option of wetsuits & snorkelling gear and are instructed on how to behave while interacting. Hot showers are available for use after swimming.
- Departures: Departs Paihia 8.00am & 12.30pm.
- Trip Duration: 4 hours.
- Season: 1st December 2016 - 30th April 2017
Giant Kauri Forest Guided Walk - Paihia
Enjoy a guided walk through the ‘Land of The Giants’ Taking an in-depth look into our native giant Kauri forests and flora and faun. Meet Te Tungi o Te Tui - The mighty Queen of the Forest. This an ancient forest in the heart of Northland and is one of New Zealand’s most precious of New Zealand natural habitats. Home to Te Tangi o te Tui Puketi, two of the largest living kauri in the world, with a height 50.9 m (167 ft) - estimated to be many thousands of years old. The birdlife in the forest are both rare and beautiful, including the beautiful kereru, kaka, kakariki, and tui as many others. If you decide on a night walk you may see (certainly hear) kiwi and morepork. The giant kauris inspire a sense of awe and respect for their size and antiquity. Their massive trunks and towering canopies are an unforgettable sight.
Māori Cultural Tour of Waitangi
On February 6th, 1840, Maori and British Crown representatives signed New Zealand's founding document, the Treaty of Waitangi in the Waitangi Treaty House. Located a short five minute drive from Northland’s Paihia, Waitangi is a fascinating place to learn about early New Zealand history – the audiovisual presentations and live Kapahaka performances help to bring the past to life. Enjoy the intricate carvings of the treaty house itself, and marvel at one of the largest Maori war canoes in the country. The Treaty Grounds are part of a 1000-acre National Trust Estate, showcasing vibrant native birdlife, beautiful gardens and a mangrove boardwalk with ocean views.
Opening Hours: Open daily except Christmas Day.
26 December to 29 February: 9am to 6pm and 1 March to 24 December: 9am to 5pm
Round of Golf at Kauri Cliffs
The golf course, designed by David Harman, is an eye-popping 6510 metre, par 72 that overlooks the stunning Cavalli Islands. Kauri Cliffs was named 49th best golf course in the world by Golf magazine and awarded Best New International Golf Course.
The Cliffs has several amazing holes, but two really stand out. The signature hole is seven, a mid-length par-3 along the ocean with the stunning Cavalli Islands to the right and a tee shot that is all carry over an inlet fjord, Kauri's answer to Cypress Point. The fourth is a very reachable and very risky par-5 that Michael Campbell, the resort's touring pro and New Zealand's top golfer, calls among the five best par-5s in the world.
18 Holes, Par 72
- Ranked no. 49 in the world
- Spectacular cliff top golf holes
- Best golf resort in Australasia by Golf Digest
Sea Kayaking in the Bay of Islands
For a unique Northland experience join the guided day sea kayaking adventure. You are able to choose from a large range of both single and double kayaks on your tour that cater to all levels and experience. Your friendly guides will regale you with local legends and point out historical points of interest as you explore the mysterious
mangrove forest and the Haruru waterfalls, while the experienced and friendly guides will regale you with local legends and point out different examples of marine life and historical points of interest along the way.. See the Bay up close and personal, away from the crowds. A truly memorable adventure.
Departures: From Paihia daily at 10am. Half-day or full-day options available - No experience necessary.