great barrier reef
| on the move
& bay of islands regional information | back to visitor information
region of Northland and the Bay of Islands stretches north from Auckland,
towards the warm waters of Polynesia, the ancestral home of New Zealand's
sunny lifestyle of Northland comes from its subtropical climate and the
array of beautiful islands, beaches and bays. The people of the North
have a passion for water sport - surfing, boating, game fishing, sailing
and diving. They also offer a great insight to the region's fascinating
Maori and European history.
It is believed
that the first Polynesian voyagers arrived in this region during the 11th
century, but it wasn't until after the landing of the British sea voyager
Captain Cook in 1769 that missionaries, whalers and traders arrived. The
Treaty of Waitangi, the document that founded bicultural New Zealand,
was signed in the Bay of Islands in 1840. There are plenty of of historical
buildings and museums that provide a unique insight into colonial New
suggested itineraries that include Northland,
please click here.
For a video preview of Northland and the Bay of Islands region, please click here.
and romantic spots like KariKari (location for the movie, The Piano).
Many West Coast beaches are wild with black sand and a backdrop of stunning
rainforest. The East Coast has gentler surf and golden sand.
- Have a
thermal swim at Waiwera (about an hour from Auckland).
- In the
9,000 hectares Waipoua Forest you'll find a 1200-year-old kauri tree
called Tane Mahuta (Lord of the Forest) which is 50 metres tall and
14 metres in girth.
up Ninety Mile Beach (actually only 56 miles) on your way to the northernmost
point of New Zealand and watch the Tasman Sea collide with the Pacific
Ocean. Climb the Cape Reinga lighthouse.
- Swim with
- Walk to
Haruru Falls - 3km from Paihia. The water falls in a horse shoe shape
- very rare and quite spectacular.
- Dive the
Rainbow Warrior or The Poor Knights (Jacques Cousteau rated it one of
the world's top 5 dive sites).
the islands on the Cream Trip (an old dairy run).
- Take a
relaxed or high-speed boat to the Hole In The Rock.
- Go deep-sea
- Hire a
board the incredible sand dunes at Hokianga.
- Find time
for the Clapham Clock Museum in Whangarei City.
the spot where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840 making NZ a
British colony and the Maori and Europeans one nation.
- Take a
seaplane out over the islands.
- Dine on
fresh seafood in Paihia or Russell or have a drink, a view and 18th
Century charm at Russell's Duke of Marlborough Hotel.