View of the nature's landscape along the coast of the Pacific ocean in Bay of Islands, New Zealand
NEW ZEALAND'S BAY OF BLUE

Cruise to Bay Of Islands, New Zealand

Look up — the Bay of Islands is said to have the world's second bluest sky after Rio de Janeiro. Located on the northwestern coast of New Zealand's North Island, the sea here is also a beautiful shade of turquoise, dotted with 144 subtropical islands of the area. Cruise to Bay of Islands and check out Urupukapuka Island, where you can hike through Maori village sites or relax on the white-sand beach. Visit the Waitangi Treaty Grounds — this is the site where the treaty that made New Zealand into its own nation was signed. Or head out on a dolphin spotting cruise to see the population of bottlenose dolphins that call these waters home.
National Language English
Currency Accepted New Zealand Dollar (NZD)

Things To Do in Bay Of Islands

Hole in the rock in Bay of Islands, New Zealand

The Hole in the Rock

Hole in the rock in Bay of Islands, New Zealand

Hole in the rock in Bay of Islands, New Zealand

The Hole in the Rock

Take a day trip to explore the bay and its pretty islands from close up, capped off with a trip through the Hole in the Rock. Carved by the sea and weather, the hole is 240 feet wide, though looks a lot smaller when you're heading toward it on your day-trip boat at speed. If conditions are right, don a wetsuit and jump in to swim with the bottlenose dolphins.

Close up of a maori canoe at Waitangi Treaty Grounds in New Zealand

Wander Waitangi

Close up of a maori canoe at Waitangi Treaty Grounds in New Zealand

Close up of a maori canoe at Waitangi Treaty Grounds in New Zealand

Wander Waitangi

New Zealand became a nation here, with the signing of the Waitangi Treaty between the Maori and the British in 1840. Visit the on-site Te Kongahu Museum and the intricately carved meeting house which often has Maori cultural performances. The largest Maori ceremonial war canoe in the world is here.

Paragliding through the mountains and bay in Bay of Islands, New Zealand
Paragliding through the mountains and bay in Bay of Islands, New Zealand

Fly Through the Sky

Judge if the sky is really the world's second-bluest via a parasailing trip to see the Bay of Islands from above with your cruise. Can you count all 144 islands? For a more adrenaline-soaked trip (though you're aiming to land away from the water) try tandem skydiving with an instructor.

Grilled whole red snapper with lemons and dill
Grilled whole red snapper with lemons and dill

Local Cuisine

Takeaway fish and chips is the perfect thing to eat near the water — the local style is whitefish fried crispy after a dip in batter, but you may see them frying up someone's catch of the day, too. In Russell, you'll find upscale spots serving bistro fare like local Hawkes Bay lamb, Northland pork and whole snapper.

Shopping for jade carving necklaces in Bay of Islands, New Zealand
Shopping for jade carving necklaces in Bay of Islands, New Zealand

Shopping

Look for New Zealand giftware like bone and jade carvings and handicrafts made from ancient kauri wood. The wood is from prehistoric trees found only on the top half of the North Island. The wood has been preserved for centuries in peat swamps and has an iridescent sheen.

Insider's Tips
Insider's Tips
1 Have your camera ready — dolphins are known to appear out of the blue.
2 It's possible to swim with the dolphins in the Bay of Islands, with strict rules to protect the animals.

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