The Bay of Islands is one of the icons of Northland, 144 islands, Pohutukawa lined beaches, secluded bays and tranquil harbours offer a maritime playground for fishing, swimming, boating, diving or relaxing on the beach in the warm, northern sunshine.

Russell (Kororareka) is charming and elegant – full of historic buildings, good restaurants, cosmopolitan locals, great beaches and a range of accommodation options. Discover Russell’s exciting past by visiting the museum, cafe’s, restaurants and craft galleries.

A short ferry ride across the bay, the colourful holiday town of Paihia is fringed by golden beaches, pohutukawa trees and turquoise water. The town is a mix of friendly locals, relaxed holiday makers, vibrant cafe’s and a multitude of activities both on and off the water.

Make long weekend of it and take the time to enjoy and experience the Bay of Islands’ many activities, sample the local fare in the cafes and restaurants, explore the shops, or simply relax on the beach.

Close at hand is the “Pou Herenga Tai Twin Coast Cycle Trail” Experience part of the new 85km cycle –  cycle through tunnels, past lakes, native bush and farmland.

Visit the nearby Waitangi Treaty Grounds to wander through the historic buildings and heritage gardens. Or take a short drive to Kerikeri to browse around the Sunday morning Farmer’s Market and the many galleries, wineries and orchards.


Russell Sunset

Walking Urapukapuka Island

Bay of Islands has events on all year round – coming up are;

  • “it!” Bay of Islands Food and Wine Festival, Paihia– 25th October
  • The Bay of Islands Pastoral & Industrial Show – 8th November
  • Kerikeri Half Marathon – 15th November
  • Kerikeri Half Marathon Street Party – 15th November
  • State Bay of Islands Classic Ocean Swim – 22nd November
  • Paihia Christmas Parade – 5th December
  • New Year’s Eve Fireworks Display – Midnight
  • Paihia Summer Festival – 3rd to 11th   January
  • Bay of Islands Sailing week –21st – 23rd January
  • Waitangi Day Celebrations – 6th Feb

Also coming up during the year;

  • Waitangi Golf Pro-Am Tournament – 3rd, 4th, 5th April
  • The Great Bay of Islands Bathtub Racing Classic
  • The Bay of Islands Jazz and Blues Festival
  • The Bay of Islands Country Rock Festival
  • The Bay of Islands Walking Weekend
  • The Rally of the North
  • Jennian Homes Mothers Fun Run-Walk
  • Paihia Half Marathon
  • Matariki Festival
  • Paihia-Russell Scuba Snorkel Race

Activities At A Glance

  • Hire a bike and explore the newly opened Cycle Trail
  • Take a boat trip to the Hole in the Rock
  • Swim with the dolphins
  • Visit Waitangi the birth place of the nation
  • Kayak or walk to Haruru Falls
  • Catch a snapper or kingfish in the harbour
  • Go gamefishing out in the ocean
  • Dive the Canterbury or Rainbow Warrior
  • Play golf at Waitangi or the famed Kauri Cliffs Golf Courses
  • Visit boutique award winning vineyards and restaurants
  • Sail in the Bay of Islands
  • Visit Cape Reinga and the lighthouse
  • Plenty of walks
  • Skydive!
  • Parasail
  • Meet the locals – a friendly bunch
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Learn to carve
  • Go whale watching
  • Visit the Lord of The Forest “Tane Mahuta”
  • See the sights by air – helicopter or small plane
  • Relax on one of our many beaches
  • Watch the sun set with a drink on the waterfront
  • Cultural evenings
  • Learn to sail and/or wind surf
  • Go hiking

For further information on the Bay of Islands, how to get there, places to stay and things to do visit www.northlandnz.com