General Overview

The Bay of Islands is made up of a cluster of small towns positioned on or near to a stunning coastline rich in natural beauty and resources. A popular holiday destination for locals and international visitors alike, there’s a vast range of accommodation, cafes, restaurants, activities, history and culture to suit all tastes – all on offer in this magical region. Whether you wish to explore this incredible natural playground by boat, helicopter, car, coach or on foot, there are myriad choices available to suit your needs.

Famous for its golden sand beaches and crystal clear water, the Bay of Islands offers some of the most spectacular coastal scenery in New Zealand. Cruises out on the bay are numerous and varied – including the world famous Hole in the Rock – more relaxed sailing style adventures, parasailing, kayaking, snorkelling, diving and much more.  As a world renowned fishing area for both big game and light-tackle fishing, there are many charter companies to choose from.

History and Culture

The Bay of Islands is rich in culture and heritage, with a variety of historic sites and places of interest to be discovered. The region is steeped in Maori history, and New Zealand’s first capital city, Russell, is located here. And of course the Treaty of Waitangi, arguably New Zealand’s founding document, was signed at Waitangi.

The Bay of Islands is also the perfect gateway to a variety of beautiful and spiritually important places such as Cape Reinga and the Waipoua Kauri Forest.


As part of the ‘Winterless North’, the Bay of Islands enjoys a semi-tropical climate in the summer and a slightly cooler climate in winter. From November to March, the average temperature is around 24 degrees, dropping to an average of around 16 degrees between May and September. Bring layers and plenty of sunscreen all year round, and pack wet weather gear if you’re coming in spring or autumn.


Whether you’ve come to the Bay of Islands with a five star budget or are looking for free fun and a high quality campground, you’ll be delighted with what’s on offer throughout the region. The Bay has activities, food, accommodation and travel options to suit all budgets and all kinds of traveller.