Explore one of the prime locations in New Zealand
Among all the summertime holidaying destinations in New Zealand, Bay of Islands is one of the prime locations in the subtropical region that offers stunning history and lingering shots of crystal clear turquoise water. Over 144 underdeveloped islands between Purerua Peninsula and Cape Brett feature highly in the country's fishing, tourist and sailing promotions. Whether it's their famous big game fishing, diving, yachting, kayaking or cruising around the dolphins and whales, for those with love of water looking for action, you are completely spoiled for amazing choices with must-do activities on your bay of islands cruise. In addition, if you are not sure of the accommodation around Bay of Island, get your very own personalized stay experience at small and individually designed Te Koha Lodge.
Bay of the island also holds highly significant historical connection going back to NZ’s first permanent British establishment at Russel which is known as the birthplace of European colonization in the country. Rich in both geography and history, the Bay of Islands is also home to various natural and man-made highlights with Maori traditional exhibits mixed with European influence. If you are traveling to New Zealand and plan to see these amazing archipelago, here are the detailed breakdown of best places to visit in the region.
Relax at an overnight Bay of Islands cruise
The region offers diversity in individual scenic spots which makes it really challenging to cover all the major offerings in a day. Therefore, the overnight Bay of Islands cruise is highly popular as they follow a comprehensive and more robust itinerary while giving visitors laidback vibes. These cruises give you a great opportunity to meet fellow travelers and enjoy great facilities if bars, pools, fine decks and spacious windows to let you enjoy good views or bay's inherent beauty.
Spend a day spotting cruises and swim with dolphins
Since marine life is one of the primary drawcards of Bay of Island cruise, you can give yourself a little adventurous surprise with a large number of common and Bottlenose dolphins see all year round. Often called to be a true "bucket list" opportunity, swimming along with dolphins can give you a whole new picture of how the delightful ocean beings behave; to swim with them in their natural habitat is truly something out of the box. When the dolphin sightseeing is combined with the pleasant scenic beauty of island cruising, this covers an overall satisfying adventure package.
Find your way into the history at Waitangi Treaty Grounds
If your interest lies more in the history, then Waitangi Treaty Grounds is one place you are sure to visit during your travel to the bay of islands. It's where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed between the British crown and Maori locals. The grounds present a great display of Maori culture and it's both entertaining and educational. You are also in for traditional hangi meal and daily cultural performance which also encourage involvement from the audience. Enjoy the most beautiful places in New Zealand and get smitten by the history.
Hike to the Rainbow falls in Kerikeri
The reason is home to many hidden treasures and the historic town of Kerikeri welcomes you its nearby Rainbow Falls, the natural attraction that will make your visit worthwhile. The falls are located in the most scenic and serene spot which is easily accessible with a 4km short and steep hike. The hike will expose you to one of the most beautiful places in New Zealand with singing birds and running water to make your experience more tranquil and truly mesmerizing. The rainbow effect is very evident due to refracted sunlight through the water adding more charm and making it a great photographic location.
How about sailing adventures across the Bay of Islands area!
Sailing plays an important part in New Zealand's lifestyle and culture. Passages between the island areas are quite short allowing sailing vessels to find a way from one part to another and explore many natural sights. There are options like parasailing over the Bay of Islands that combines both adventure and colorful sights of the whole area with the Bay of Islands cruise.
Don’t forget the diving experience in Paihia and Putahataha
The renowned diving location offer tons of underwater activities for all the water enthusiasts with many shipwrecks and reefs in the temperate water of the bay. You will be surprised to see colorful tropical fishes such as Lord Howe Coral, Gold Ribbon, John Dory and many smaller anemones. The unique diving experience is a perfect getaway and a chance to see the peaceful home of various aquatic species and the occasional octopus.
Putahataha Island is also one most beautiful places in New Zealand due to its accessibility and high level of visibility into the marine world. The small cave opening under the water gives you a whole new experience to take away from your marine adventure with the Bay of Islands cruise.
The spiritual visit to Hole in the Rock
Located on the Piercy Island in the northernmost region of Cape Brett, this is one of the culturally significant places that also offers great sightseeing views for visitors. The unique formation and sacred customs and make Hole in the rock New Zealand's iconic attractions. It's one of the focal points during your bay of islands cruise and passing through the rock is known in Maori tradition to offer prayers upon the warriors. Combining mythology, with scenery and wildlife, the hole is almost 18m wide giving visitors emotional and satisfying experience and deserve to be bay of Islands true iconic structure.
While these are some of the must-visit places from New Zealand's scenic bay of islands cruise, the marine paradise and spectacular series of mini islands will give you the glimpse of some of the most beautiful places in New Zealand with the rare experience of once in a lifetime.
by Wayne Charles Olsen, Manager & Chef @tekohalodge.com