Located over 200 km north of Auckland on New Zealand’s north island lies the tropical haven of the Bay of Islands. Skirting the edge of the northern tip of the island, the Bay of Islands is replete with stunning white sand beaches, perfect surf and a dizzying array of diving opportunities in a part of the world that not many people associate with having a tropical climate. Bay of Islands is considered to be a micro-region and is one of New Zealand’s most visited tourist destinations. The Bay of Islands is also a world-renowned destination for big-game fishing and attracts sport fishermen from across the globe to take part in the sport. The archipelago comprises over 140 separate islands that can be reached either via sea or via air.
The Bay of Islands also hold huge historical and cultural significance to the identity of New Zealand as a nation. Around 7 centuries prior, a seafaring canoe carrying the first of the Maori Ngāpuhi tribe arrived on the shores of the Bay of Islands, marking them as the first settlers of the area. The fabled Captain Cook followed soon after, marking the advent of European settlements as well.
Walking trails and seaside walkways give you sweeping vista views of the ocean and they even lead into dense forested areas where visitors can marvel at the majestic and ancient Kauri trees that are endemic to the region. The Waitangi Treaty Grounds, the region where the Waitangi Treaty, New Zealand’s founding document, was signed and also houses museums which showcases the rich and deeply held Maori customs and culture.
Charming and culture-rich towns of Paihia and Waitangi where tourists can learn the true breadth of the body of traditions that the Maori people have preserved their ways of life. From regions like Russell, a chock-full of cafes that serve up Instagram-ready fare contrasted against the Matauri Bay are all the perfect reasons to visit the region.
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