Exploring paradise: the top 10 spots to visit along the Bay of Islands
New Zealand's Bay of Islands is a stunning destination known for its picturesque coastlines, pristine beaches, and a cluster of beautiful islands scattered throughout the bay. Located in the North Island, this region offers an array of natural wonders, rich Maori history, and countless opportunities for outdoor activities. If you're planning a trip to this idyllic part of the world, here are some of the best coastlines and islands you must explore.
Paihia, often referred to as the "gateway to the Bay of Islands," is a charming coastal town with a fabulous beach that's perfect for sunbathing, swimming, and water sports. Its proximity to various tour operators makes it an excellent starting point for island-hopping adventures. You can take a ferry to several islands from here and embark on unforgettable journeys.
Just a short ferry ride away from Paihia lies the historic town of Russell. This tranquil and charming village is home to some of the Bay of Islands' most beautiful beaches. Long Beach, with its golden sands and serene atmosphere, is a highlight. Spend a day exploring the historic sites in Russell before relaxing on the beach.
For a taste of untouched wilderness, make your way to Urupukapuka Island. This island is the largest in the Bay of Islands and offers numerous walking tracks and viewpoints for hikers and nature enthusiasts. The stunning Otehei Bay is perfect for a picnic, snorkeling, and kayaking.
Motuarohia Island, also known as Roberton Island, is famous for its twin lagoons, a paradise for snorkelers. It's an excellent spot to discover the region's marine life, including colourful fish and crustaceans. Don't forget to climb to the lookout point for a panoramic view of the bay.
Waewaetorea Island is a hidden gem of the Bay of Islands, accessible only by private boat or on guided tours. Its secluded beaches and crystal-clear waters make it a perfect spot for a peaceful getaway. Nature lovers will appreciate the island's pristine landscapes and abundant birdlife.
Tapeka Point Beach
Tapeka Point Beach is known for its stunning views of the bay and the historic Tapeka Point Maori Pa site. This beach is ideal for families with young children, as it offers calm waters and a gentle slope into the sea. It's also an excellent spot for collecting seashells and exploring rock pools.
Cape Brett and the Hole in the Rock
Venturing further out into the Bay of Islands, Cape Brett is a must-visit destination. The hike to Cape Brett Hut offers breathtaking views, and the iconic Hole in the Rock is an unforgettable sight. Tour operators offer excursions that take you through this natural wonder, often accompanied by the chance to spot dolphins.
The Bay of Islands is a dream destination for those seeking natural beauty, outdoor adventures, and a taste of New Zealand's rich history and culture. With its stunning coastlines, pristine beaches, and enchanting islands, this region is a paradise for travelers. Whether you're into hiking, water sports, or simply lounging on the beach, the Bay of Islands has something for everyone. Make sure to add these coastlines and islands to your itinerary for an unforgettable journey through this breathtaking part of New Zealand.