Major Towns in the Bay of Islands

Waitangi - Where the British and Maori signed the 1840 Treaty.

Paihia - Tourist centre for the Bay's activities, tours, cruises, motels, souvenir shops, restaurants, etc. all centrally located.

Opua - Recreational port and gateway to the Bay of Islands. Where two rivers meet and the bay stretches northward to the sea. What a view!

Russell - A historic site and the first capital of New Zealand. In 1830's whalers, rum and women, now tranquil and romantic.

Kawakawa - The town is known as "Train town of the north". Also famous for its public toilets, designed by Austrian architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser.

Kerikeri - Largest town commercial and business centre, Fruits & produce, arts and crafts, historic basin. A charming place to live.

Check out the Calender of Events for great things to do and see in the Bay Of Islands.

How to get there
The Bay of Islands is approximately 250 km north of Auckland.

By Air: Air New Zealand Link operates daily flight from Auckland airport to Kerikeri (Bay of Islands) airport. The flight time is approximately 45 minutes. Airport shuttles, taxies and rental cars available from the airport. From Kerikeri airport, 5 min. drive to Kerikeri town centre, 25 min. to Paihia, 30 min. to Opua and 45 min. to Russell.

By Coach: Northliner and InterCity operate a daily luxury express coach service from downtown Auckland to the Bay of Islands.

By Car/Campervan: The Bay of Islands is only three and half hour drive from Auckland via the East Coast Highway or five hours if you travel via the mighty Waipoua forest (the largest Kauri forest in N.Z.).

See Driving Map »

The warm water of the tropical South Pacific flow westward along the equator. When the current turn south it produces a semi-tropical maritime climate enjoyed by the Bay of Islands. The tempered environment influences the summer from getting too hot (Nov.- April, the seasons are reversed in the southern hemisphere). The Spring and Fall are mild and the bay area is referred to as "winterless".

Capt. Cook aboard HM Endeavour sailed in and named The Bay of Islands in 1769 and was welcomed by Maoris.
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