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

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

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. 

Waitangi

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.

Kerikeri

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 citrus orchards.

Hokianga Harbour

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

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.