Bay of Islands, New Zealand
Waitangi National Reserve is located at Paihia in the Bay of Islands, North Island. It is the location where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed between the Maoris and the British in 1840 when the Maoris allowed the British to rule New Zealand.
Waitangi National Reserve covers a total area of approximately 500 hectares. Among its attractions are Waitangi Treaty House which was constructed in 1834, Maori Meeting House (Whare Runanga), Maori Canoes and the visitor Center. A 35 yard long canoe which can carry up to 140 people is located at the reserve.
Other attractions at Waitangi National Reserve worth visiting are the stone house, Kerikeri Mission House and Pataka storehouse.
Visitor Information Centre of Maritime and Historic Park is located at Russell Town in the Bay of Islands, North Island. Bay of Islands consist of approximately 150 small islands, many of them are uninhabited. Approximately 40 locations in the islands are part of Maritime and Historic Park. Many of these islands in the archipelago are very scenic and picturesque.
Various activities at the Maritime and Historic Park can be arranged by Bay of Islands Travel Information Network such as swimming with the dolphins, scuba diving, fishing, sailing and sea kayaking.
Hole in the Rock is located at Percy Island, off the coast of Cape Brett at Bay of Islands in the northern coast of North Island, New Zealand. The hole is approximately 65 metre high above sea-level. This is a great tourist attractions. Thousands of foreign tourists travelled by jetboats from the coast to the island just to see the hole in the rock. The Hole in the Rock is a natural formation created by strong winds and waves over the past centuries.
A visit to the bay of Islands would not be complete without a visit to the hole in the rock. I would suggest you check out the weather and book on the day rather that pre book and have to endure high seas, wind or rain.
Most cruises leave from Paihia, which is a small town, in the centre of the Bay of Islands, that has good well equiped services.
Tours start at around $65.00 for a 2 hour cruise.
TIP... Avoid the weekends as the area is a weekend escape for people living in Auckland and Paihia becomes over crowded!
Bay of Islands is another remarkably beautiful area, with some indeed pretty ferns. One of the main attractions is historical Waitangi, where the treaty with the same name was signed between Maoris and Pakehas (descendents of the original European colonizers), to protect the original inhabitants' right to land and fishing. The Maori meeting house and the huge waka (war canoe) are great sights.
On the East Coast of Northland, Opua, Waitangi, Paihia, Russell and Kerikeri all make up part of the Bay of Islands which totals approx 150 islands. The Bay of Islands could be considered the birthplace of New Zealand with the Treaty of Waitangi having its signing in the area at Waitangi. This led to Waitangi being the temporary capital of the fledgling New Zealand until it was moved to Auckland in 1841 then Wellington in 1865.
The Church Missionary Society established a mission at Paihia in 1823 (following one at Kerikeri in 1819) and set up New Zealand’s first printing press in 1835. The oldest Church in NZ is located at Russell. A ferry service can take you and your car across the bay from Paihia for a visit.
Nearby Kerikeri is the largest of the towns and is central to a booming agricultural industry. It hasone of New Zealands oldest colonial buidlings in the old Stone Store. Also of significance to see is the Kororipo pâ site.
The Bay of Islands is a must see in New Zealand. It is a beautiful place with much history and has stunning views up the coast. It's also a great spot for fishing with several operators running fishing expeditions. A couple of nice beaches add to the reasons you'd want to visit here!!
Located in the sub-tropical north, the Bay of Islands is famous for deep-sea fishing as well as its wonderful scenery. New Zealand's first European colonists settled n the area. The bay's irregular 800-km(500 mile) coastline embraces 150 islands.
Several people had mentioned to me that i should visit the Hundertwasser toilets which is in the small town of Kawakawa in the northern region of New Zealand.
These toilets were designed by Austrian architect Frienenriech Hundertwasser,who lived in the town from 1975 until his death in 2000.The toilets are a mixture of ceramic tiles,bottle glass windows,mosaic tiling,copper handwork,cobblestone floors and a grass roof.
I must say it seemed a bit strange taking photos inside a toilet block.
So named because of the 150 or so islands which are found in the bays, this area was the site of New Zealand's first European settlement and today is a very popular tourist attraction.
Most people see the the area from one of the many cruise ships which ply the area and we are no exeption.
We go down to the quay to board the cruiser for the Hole in the Rock cruise. The boat is a nice, modern catamaran. We find our little spot on top deck where we settle down with the packed luch they provided us with and a glass of wine to watch the islands float by. It is extremely windy up here, so much so that the wine is actually blwon out of the glass, but the view is worth the discomfort.
Our first stop is Russell, then in and out of the islands and bays, out into the open sea and on towards "the hole". I am disappointed not to see dolphins, especially as the skipper said he'd not only seen dolphins this mroning, but a whale too. All we see is a measly little sunfish and a few birds!
The cruise may, weather permitting, go through the opening in the rock off Cape Brett. There is a big lead up to it, the captain slows the boat down, everybody takes their positions on deck snapping away with their cameras....
The hole in the rock is actually quite impressive. I wasn't expecting much, but its comparatively small size compared with the boat and the captain's skill in manoeuvrering the large craft rather impresses me.
have thoroughly enjoyed this afternoon's cruise and am looking forward to the subsea adventure when we stop at Otehei Bay, but it is not to be. It is not running today due to algae restricting visibility. We go for a hike to the top of the hill for a view of the surrounding bays instead.
I only spent an afternoon on the beach here in Paihia, while heading to Tutukaka for diving, but it is easy to see how you could spent at least a few days in the Bay of Islands area...
Quite attractive, though like most of NZ the water is a little chilly for my tastes...
The Bay of Islands is an aquatic playground with 144 islands and a myriad of secluded beaches.
Pahia is the main centre to the area and although it gets busy in peak season it is not eactly a huge place. From here you can:
Go swimming with dolphins, sailing, big game fishing and kayaking
Take the ‘Hole in the Rock’ cruise to the tip of Cape Brett
Visit Waitangi National Reserve, where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840
Look around Pompallier, in Russell, an original rammed earth Catholic Missionary House
Walk to Haruru Falls - 3km from Paihia. The water falls in a horse shoe shape - very rare and quite spectacular
Its a great place to kick back and relax for a couple of days.
Its amazing to think that Russell was once the capital of New Zealand. The capital was moved to Auckland after it was decided that Russell was crime ridden, lawless and full of drunkards. Go there now and nothing could be further from the truth. Its a quiet little place with white picked fences, quiet lanes, gift shops and cafes.
Russell was the first permanent European settlement and sea port in New Zealand.
When European and American ships began visiting New Zealand in the early 1800s the indigenous Mâori quickly recognised there were great advantages in trading with these strangers, who they called tauiwi.
The Bay of Islands offered a safe anchorage and had a high Mâori population. To attract ships, Mâori began to supply food and timber. What Mâori wanted were respect, plus firearms, grog other goods of European manufacture.
Russell developed as a result of this trade but soon earned a very bad reputation, a community without laws, and became known as the "Hell Hole of the Pacific".
The Excitor - This is an 90 minute return trip to the Hole in The Rock in the Bay of Islands.The Excitor makes several passes through the Hole in the Rock (weather permitting). It also stops at places of interest throughout the journey and gives you time to take photos. We stopped at the Cathedral Cave and we saw the Cape Brett lighthouse.
Fax (09) 402 7158
After that delicious chicken and chips we start walking along the coast and found out that kayaking place. I was not very keen about doing that kayaking as I can’t swim but after the encouragement of all my friends I decided to risk my life. You want to know the final output of that risk. I had really miserable two hours in the open sea and yes I am still alive.
The Bay of Islands is without question the most overrated tourist destination in New Zealand. The area is nice, but it really is nothing special. If you want picturesque islands and world-class sailing, head to the South Pacific. If you want fishing, head to Stewart Island. If you want diving, head to the Poor Knights Islands. If you want to go dolphin spotting, head to Kaikoura, Oamaru, or even Auckland. The Bay of Islands is second class when it comes to nearly everything and simply isn’t worth the time and effort it takes to visit. If, however, you do end up visiting the area, I suggest getting away from Pahia and visiting Russell, walking the Waitangi Treaty grounds, and going up to Cape Reinga. 90 Mile Beach (which is actually 64 miles long) is largely a waste of time, with sandboarding the giant dunes the only real drawing card.