The Bay of Islands is a subtropical paradise known for its stunning beaches, water activities, beauty and history. The Bay of Islands is one of New Zealand's great holiday destinations filled with many attractions, activities and things to do. A t... Show More
Tourist Information About Bay of Islands
The Bay of Islands is a subtropical paradise known for its stunning beaches, water activities, beauty and history. The Bay of Islands is one of New Zealand's great holiday destinations filled with many attractions, activities and things to do. A three hour drive or 35 minute flight north of Auckland, the Bay of Islands encompasses 144 islands and is historically significant being where the first European settlers arrived in New Zealand. The Bay of Islands is a maritime adventure playground with an abundance of wildlife including penguins, dolphins, marlin, whales, gannets and more. Many of the islands here have walking tracks. A choice of tour operators offering great activities in the region including excellent tours and trips around the area. The best things to do out on the water are fishing charters, kayaking, sailing, scenic flights, dolphin cruises out to the Hole in the Rock and both scuba and free diving in the Bay of Islands Maritime Park. On land the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, beautiful walks, cycling, wildlife reserves and many tours and attractions to choose from. There are also many small towns including Russell and Paihia throughout the Bay of Islands with great restaurants, bars, arts and crafts and entertainment.
Tourist Attractions in the Bay of Islands
1. Take A Scenic Helicopter Flight
The Bay of Islands is one of New Zealand's most spectacular destinations to take a scenic Helicopter flight in New Zealand. The Bay of Islands offers some of the best coastal and island scenery attractions in New Zealand with 144 islands! This helicopter scenic flight is an incredible activity offering exceptional views of these beautiful islands leading to the infamous “Hole in the Rock". Another thing to do is to take a Hole in the Rock Helicopter Landing Experience landing by helicopter on an exclusive helipad on top of the island.
2. Sailing Experiences and Yachting day Adventures
The Bay of Islands in Northland is New Zealand’s top location for yachting activities. Set amongst the beautiful coastline filled with islands and bays with secluded and stunning beaches. Get right out into the clearer waters of the Bay of Islands rich with fish life, sea birds, dolphins and wildlife. Experience these attractions with a relaxing yacht tour on a 50 foot catamaran, a stunning 42ft classic cutter rig yacht, join the Barefoot Sailing crew for a magical Island Hopper Sailing Cruise experience or take an historic tall ship sailing experience with the R Tucker Thompson. Many of these yacht day trips even let you help sail, offer paddleboards, kayaks, snorkelling gear and lunch!
3. Fishing Activities in the Bay of Islands
Take one of the excellent fishing charter boats to catch Snapper or Kingfish in one of the best fishing locations in New Zealand. Fish with calm seas right in the bay of Islands, further out you may encounter a huge array of sea and bird life which in itself is a major attraction and in turn attracts the game fish that we are so privileged to be able to catch in New Zealand. Big Game Fishing is a great activity in New Zealand and plentiful here out from the Bay of Islands. From the stripe marlin to black and blue marlin you just never know what can jump on your lure or bait. With a huge amount of deep water reefs the Hapuka is another fish that is a must do and try in New Zealand. For bookings: Days Out Fishing Charters and Wildblue Bay of Islands Fishing for highly professional fishing guides – with all the local knowledge on where to catch fish!
4. Cruise to the Hole in the Rock, Bay of islands
The Hole in the Rock is one of the Bay of Islands most famous attractions! There are many different types of activities developed around viewing this stunning natural feature in the Bay of islands. Take a Fullers boat cruise with the Cream Trip Day in the Bay where you can also view dolphins or boom net alongside the vessel and is also known as the most extensive historical cruise in the Bay of Islands. Discover the Bay with Explore NZ with a nature guide on-board, or take a fast boat for a trilling Ocean Adventure and have the option of stopping at Otehei Bay on Urupukapuka island on your way back. If conditions permit, your skipper will expertly guide the ship through the narrow space. You can also visit the Hole in the Rock by helicopter and several other boat tours including jet boats and jet skis! The Hole in the Rock is located right out at the entrance to the Bay of Islands and you will usually see dolphins and marine wildlife attractions along the way and enjoy the stunning scenery.
5. Go Diving in the Bay of Islands
The Bay of Islands has spectacular reefs and protected marine reserves making it amazing attraction for divers. The best thing to do is to dive with a local! Experience the top dive sites with a huge diversity of marine life. Reef diving in the Bay of islands is stunning any time of year with swim-trough’s, caves, canyons, walls, boulders and off-shore pinnacles. You don’t need a dive license to enjoy the reefs and marine life in the Bay of Islands, the marine reserves in the BOI makes this a snorkeling or Free Diving paradise for any level. Snorkelling is an excellent activity here with a huge variety of marine life able to be experienced in the shallows. There are excellent wreck dive sites in the area and stunning reefs. The Canterbury Wreck and Reef Dive is a great dive trip within the Bay of islands and the Rainbow Warrior Wreck and Reef Dive is situated at the stunning Cavalli Islands just a short hop from the Bay of Islands.
6. Bay of Islands Parasailing
If you want a fun and exciting activity for all ages and the whole family try Parasailing! Bay of Islands Parasail has New Zealand's highest parasailing at 1300ft with incredible views over the stunning Bay of Islands. With specially designed boats for this amazing activity to make it safe and easy to catch the wind, a fun thing to do and incredible way to see the Bay of Islands from the air. Bay of Islands Parasail has 20 years of experience and a perfect safety record, take-off and landing is easy, fun and safe. Suitable for all ages as no physical restrictions. For extra fun in summer we can dip your toes into the water during your parasail, but there is no getting wet unless you want to! There are tandem and triple flights available all with insane views over the Bay of Islands.
7. Waitangi Mountain Bike Park
The Waitangi Mountain Bike Park is an amazing new attraction for the Bay of Islands, A World-Class Mountain Bike Park just a few minutes out of Paihia. A great activity to do all year round for all age groups. It offers 30 trails of varying difficulty with great flow and features, from introductory downhill riding, jump trails, cross country and beginner trails. It’s the perfect introduction to mountain biking with lots of easy, scenic trails that you can take at your own pace. You can hire a bike from Paihia Mountain Bikes and also during Weekends, School and Public Holidays there are Waitangi MTB Park Uplift Shuttles. This service will pick you up from the bottom of the tracks in the Waitangi Mountain Bike Park and drop you back at the top of the tracks – a fantastic service allowing you to skip the uphill ride and get straight into the fun of the downhills.
8. Visit Waitangi Treaty Grounds
The Waitangi Treaty Grounds is one of New Zealand’s main attractions not to be missed being one of New Zealand’s most significant historic sites. Waitangi Treaty Grounds is a place where much of New Zealand's history was shaped through the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, Te Tiriti o Waitangi in 1840. There are plenty of things to do here with Waitangi’s contemporary museums, activities such as Māori cultural performances in an authentic Meeting House, informative guided tours, a carving studio, the world’s largest ceremonial war canoe, and a pretty little café, all with stunning views over the Bay of Islands. Visitors to Waitangi Treaty Grounds purchase an Experience which includes a guided tour (50 minutes), a Māori cultural performance (30 minutes), entry to the two museums, the Treaty House, the carved Meeting House, and grounds with the ceremonial war canoe. Waitangi by Night is available from December to March. Experience Waitangi like never before with after-hours museum access, a gourmet barbecue and games on the Treaty Grounds.
9. Go on a Thunder Trike Tour
Feel the exhilarating wind in your hair experience on a unique NZ made V8 Chev Thunder Trike activity! This is one of the more unique attractions you can experience in your life! Enjoying the sights, sounds and smells on a V8 Trike is an awesome thing to do in the stunning Bay of Islands making the most of the incredible views. Bring your camera, sunglasses and sense of adventure for this fun attraction. Built in Christchurch New Zealand and powered by a 5.7L 350 Chevrolet Edelbrock motor, these trikes are the ultimate in power and excitement. NO HELMETS REQUIRED – due to the fact that the trikes are registered as convertible cars and come complete with full seat belts. You can enjoy the wind in your face and experience the adrenaline!
10. Wine and Beer Tasting Tours in the Bay of Islands
The Bay of Islands and its beautiful wines with Northlands sub-tropical climate and history of the first vineyards in New Zealand, is an excellent place to check out the local vineyard attractions. Being the warmest growing region in New Zealand with warm spring temperatures, sunny dry summers and crisp autumn days with limited rain, the fruit ripens early giving full-bodied, rich flavours. The area is uniquely suited to Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, and Syrah, and with a climate similar to the Mediterranean, a selection of beautiful smooth reds. In particular, Syrah’s, Pinotage’s and the popular red, Chambourcin. Vineyards are usually small family boutique affairs and to avoid drinking and driving, a fun thing to do is to take some great wine tour activities that are offered in the area. Wine Tasting & Scenic Adventure, Wine and Beer Tasting & Lunch Adventures and Craft Beer & Wine Tour Northland is the place where the first vines were planted in New Zealand, in the Bay of Islands by the missionary, Reverend Samuel Marsden in 1819. This area is the foundation of the New Zealand wine industry and produces many award winning wines.
11. Take a Relaxing Sunset Cruise in the Bay of Islands
This is an excellent thing to do after a great day out in the Bay of Islands and before you adventure out again for dinner! The Sundowner Evening Sailing Cruise is an awesome activity you can squeeze into your day, an early evening cruise leaving from Paihia at 5.00pm and returning 7.00pm. The boat pulls right up to the beach where you can step aboard from the shore line. Sail the inner area of the Bay of Islands, making the most of the beautiful sea breeze on route to a fun swim destination and enjoy the beauty of our sheltered anchorage while sipping on a complimentary drink before sailing home on the sea breeze. A great start to a night out with friends and family, a romantic getaway, or just the perfect way to end the day! Watch the wind fill the sails, kick back and enjoy the tranquillity.
12. Day trip to Cape Reinga and 90 Mile Beach
Visit the Cape Reinga by bus tour for a fun stress free activity with an experienced guide to tell you about the special history of this area. Cape Reinga offers the ultimate northern New Zealand experience where the two oceans collide! Visit the main attractions including the stunning 90 mile beach along the way and at the top of New Zealand walk the path to the Cape Reinga lighthouse located right at the very top edge of NZ. This is an incredible attraction where you will hear the crashing of the two oceans the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean in a spectacular swirl of currents, take time to absorb the atmosphere of this place you can almost feel the power! Visit the immense sand dunes of Te Paki Stream – climb to the top, the views are spellbinding, and try out the unique and fun activity of sandboarding!