Bay of Islands
Northland New Zealand
The Bay of Islands contains
approximately 150 small islands and a number of sheltered inlets,
making this an extremely attractive coastal area. The most popular bases
for visitors to the Bay of Islands are Russell and Paihia. There is
a regular 10 minute passenger boat service between Paihia and
Russell. Plus a vehicle ferry from Opua, south of Paihia for those
wishing to drive to Russell.
Russell is a quiet
and picturesque settlement located across the water from Paihia.
Russell has its own restaurants and a few shops, plus there are
several historic sites around Russell, the Christ Church built 1836,
New Zealand's oldest church. Pompallier House, museum to the Roman
Catholic Mission built in 1842, and Flagstaff Hill. This peaceful
village belies its torrid past when it was once the Nations Capital
experiencing, with that, the social, political, religious and racial
upheavals of the 1800ís, that are depicted in a fascinating audio
visual that can be seen in the local museum.
Paihia is a resort
popular with both overseas visitors and as a holiday destination for
the residents of Auckland. It is a well developed area with many
hotels and motor inns, shops and restaurants. A number of scenic
cruises and water based activities operate from both Russell and
Paihia, these include swimming with dolphins, big game
fishing, sea kayaking, a day on the bay sailing aboard an
ocean racing sloop, and diving. Tours to other areas of
Northland operate from here, including. an excellent Half Day
fly/drive trip. This is a great way to view some of the remote
features of Northland including Cape Reinga, 90 Mile Beach, Kauri
Cliffs, Whangaroa Harbour and Doubtless Bay.
Minutes from Paihia
is Waitangi where the historic Treaty House is open to the public.
The Treaty of Waitangi was signed here in 1840 that marked the
official start of a formal relationship between Maori and the
British Crown. A number of issues related to this document remain
controversial and many historical grievances remain unresolved. A
review and settlement process known as the Waitangi Tribunal has
been working towards addressing those claims that have been formally
presented. The original copy of the Treaty is housed in a permanent
display at the National Archives in Wellington.
28km northwest of
Paihia .is Kerikeri, located at the head of the Kerikeri Inlet. The
Stone Store and Mission House are historic points of interest,
whilst the surrounding countryside features New Zealandís premier
The harbour is a
sheltered waterway that is significant in the history of Maori
settlement. It is now known for its scenic splendor and eco system
that includes 300 metre high sand dunes. The third oldest European
settlement in New Zealand is located at Rawene a six kilometer
diversion from the highway.
Waipoua Forest is
New Zealand's largest sub-tropical rainforest that has been the
subject of conservation efforts since the 1950s.
This is home to the giant Kauri Trees of Northland, Visit Tane
Mahuta, 'God of the forest', a Kauri that has an impressive 12m
girth and believed to be around 1400 years old. Explore some of the
scenic walkways that lead to other significant trees, some believed
to be up to 3,000 years old.