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Bay of Islands & Northland

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The beautiful Bay of Islands are located in Northland of New Zealand's North Island and offers bays, beaches and islands lapping in the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean.
 
The main towns of the Bay of Islands are Paihia, Russell, WaitangiKerikeri and Kawakawa.
 
Russell was New Zealand's first Capital City and known then as Kororareka  The Hellhole of the Pacific, here infamous pirates and whalers of the Pacific High seas would come to attend the brothels after months away at seas
 
Waitangi Treaty Grounds is tjhe location of the signing of  Treaty of Waitangi with the British Crown  and Maori Cheifs in 1840, the signed agreements are the basis of New Zealand today.
 
The main activities in the Bay of Islands, are Water Activities and where you can enjoy the experience of  swimming with dolphins a place they call home and a friendly interaction is always a joy. If you want to the best we recommend The Cream Trip, the The Hole In The Rock or one of the Full Sailing Days on the Thomson Tucker all allowing you to see the .

Sub Regions

Russell

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Russell was New Zealand’s first capital of New Zealand. In early 1840's, the then Bishop Pompallier established the Roman Catholic mission in Russell. He started a Printing Business which assisted in the printing the Maori language to  religious texts. Russell today is a charming town with Cafe's, Restaurants and shops and galleries as well as a variety of Boutique Accommodation. The best way to reach Russell is via the Opua car ferry with this being the Main Tourist Route. There is a road to Russell but this is via a long detour and not recommended.

Whangarei

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Whangarei is a Port City by the Sea and is also Subtropical, with the highest point being Mount Parahaki, this was once the location of the largest Maori Pa in New Zealand. A Pa is a Fortified Maori Village. 

The Main town is located around the Quayside with its Heritage Buildings, shops and restaurants, being a vibrant place to meet and enjoy lunch in one of the Cafe's and Art Galleries and local museums, one of which is the Natural History Museum located in Maunu, West of the city centre. Here there is a Kiwi House where you can see our Iconic and National Flightless Bird. Why not visit the Whangarei Falls, which is most certainly one you will want to photograph

Paihia

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Paihia is the largest town in Northland, a town located on the Wharf means you have easy access to Water Activities, such as Island Cruising or Hole in The Rock, to Swim with Dolphin Tours. 

North of Paihia you can visit the beautiful Haruru Falls for leisure walks or perhaps a Kayak Tour. Visit  the Waitangi Treaty Grounds the very place where the British signed the Treaty with the Maori Chiefs from around New Zealand and what has shaped our Nation to what it is today. 

Board a Ferry across the Harbour to Russell, this was the former Capital of New Zealand with great shopping and Quayside Restaurants,

Travel North and visit the beautiful relaxed town of Kerikeri, or travel further North to experience 90 Mile Beach and Cape Reinga, New Zealand most Northern point and where the Tasman and Pacific Oceans meet. This is a sacred place to our Maori, their legend speaks of this point as being the departing place where the spirits of their loved ones leave Aotearoa

South of Paihia you will find Kawakawa a small town where you can visit the famous Hundertwasser toilets or the historic Village of Kaikohe, which is close by

You can also visit the West Coast and New Zealand's oldest Kauri Tree, called  Tane Mahuta, the Maori name for our Tree and means a Majestic Lord. Tane Mauta is located in the Waipoua Kauri Forest. 

Kerikeri

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The Town of Kerikeri has a long and rich history and one the home of a feared Maori Chief called Hongi Hika and whom in the early 1800'2 terrrorised many different Maori Tribes throughout the North Island regions.

The Mission Station, known locally as the Kemp House is the oldest building in New Zealand and dates back to around 1821 and built for Missionary Reverend John Butler as his home. Close by is the Stone Store located by the River and built in 1832, built by ex convicts from Australia as a place that could store large quantities of Wheat.

Today their are many shops and cafes, art galleries and the Craft Market located opposite the Farmer's Market, where locally made gifts and produce are available.

Northcape / Cape Reinga

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Cape Reinga is our most Northern Point of New Zealand and where the Tasman and Pacific Oceans meet and collide. You will see the Cape Reinga Light House and learn of the Maori Legend as this is the very place those who passed are said to leap to set their spirits free from an ancient Pohutakawa Tree that is said to be 800 years or so old and where they return to their homeland of Hawaiki,

There are Guided coach tours which depart daily from Paihia and some travel on 90 Mile Beach.

Kaitaia

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The Town of Kaitaia known as the gateway to our  far north, is the last town before Cape Reinga. 90 Mile Beach is a New Zealand Road, however Tourist rental vehicles are not allowed to be driven on the beach for safety reasons. You can enjoy a glass of New Zealand wine in the Kaitaia wine region which is again New Zealand most northern vineyard. Take a visit to the local museum and learn about the local Maori History and gum digging. The Maori cultural centre is a great place of interest and here you can understand about weaving and carving, or even give it a go for yourself. 

 

 

The Aperahama Church was built In 1837 and located to the West of Kaikohe

Kaikohe

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The Small Town of Kaikohe has a rich European and Maori Heritage ane where you can explore a local and historic pioneer village where you will see New Zealand's oldest Court House and other Historic Buildings located on the West coast of and North of Kaikohe. Enjoy the Twin Coast Discovery Highway with a stop at Monument HIll, which offers great views. You can visit thermal hot pools at Ginns Ngawha and Ngawha as well as Wairiki Pools, which are our most Northern geothermal locations.

The Aperahama Church was built in 1837 and lays West of the town of Kaikohe and is a pretty little church set in a paddock

Dargaville

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The town of Dargaville is a Northland Town set on a River and has a rather intriguing history.

Dargaville is a great place in which to explore the Kauri Coast, which is located on the Northern Wairoa River. There is a Maori Marae and Maori Settlements scattered around the regions. The township was established  in the 1870's by Joseph McMullen Dargaville, an Irish businessman, this being in the peak period of the felling of our Giant Kauri as well as gum digging. The area was largely settled by Dalamatian immigrants, their descendants are still living in Dargaville today. The other main industry here is Dairy farming as well as a main growing center for the New Zealand Kumara, a sweet potato. The town has a number Heritage Buildings of the 19th century, here you will find local and Art shops and Galleries as well as cafe's.