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19 Best Bay of Islands Attractions Every Tourist Must See

The Bay of Islands is the birthplace of New Zealand, 200 km north of Auckland city and 160 km short of the very top of the country at Cape Reinga.

Top Attractions

The early history of the European in New Zealand focuses on The Treaty of Waitangi and the grounds where it was signed. The Treaty House, built in 1832 is open for visitors, as is the carved Marae (maori meeting house). A cultural experience is part of the tour, with dancing, singing, and poi. Waitangi means weeping waters.

Local Tip

Stay for an evening Hangi and Concert. A Hangi is a Maori traditional meal cooked in an underground oven.

History

The oldest stone building surviving in New Zealand is the Stone Store at Kerikeri (Maori for digging). The store is a delightful museum of yesteryear. Next to the Stone Store is the oldest wooden building in New Zealand, Kemp House. Over the river find Maori history at Rewa’s Village. The first capital of New Zealand was Russell and there you will find a church with bullet holes remaining from the Maori Wars in the 1840s. Also here you will find Pompallier Mission. See how thick the walls are!

Day Tours

The Bay of Islands is a wonderful area for water activities. Famous for deep sea fishing and boating, try an adventurous jet boat, ‘Mack Attack’ or ‘Excitor’, out amongst the 144 islands of the Bay. The ‘Cream Trip’ from ‘Fullers’ is also a great tour, going through the “Hole in the Rock’. Sail the Bay on a tall ship- the ‘R Tucker Thompson’. Travel to the top of New Zealand in a bus tour, via 90-mile beach. Drive across to the west coast to see the giant Kauri trees in Waipoua Forest.

19 Most Popular Attractions in Bay of Islands

1. Rewa’s Village

  • Adult $5; Child $1
  • 64 9-407 6454
  • Rewa's Village, Landing Road, Kerikeri, New Zealand
  • Daily 9.30am-4.30pm

2. Russell Museum

  • Adult $10; Child $3
  • 09 403 7701
  • Russell Museum, York Street, Russell, New Zealand
  • Daily 10am-4pm
  • 1

3. The Pioneer Village in Kaikohe New Zealand

  • Adult $15; Child $5
  • 064 9 401 0816
  • Pioneer Village,Heritage Mid-North, Kaikohe, Recreation Road, Kaikohe, New Zealand
  • Mon to Fri 10am-4pm
  • 1

4. Russell- Orongo Bay Holiday Park

  • Hotel varies from $38-$145
  • 64 9-403 7704
  • Russell - Orongo Bay Holiday Park, Russell Road, Russell, New Zealand
  • Daily 10am onwards

5. Horse Trek’n Bay of Islands

  • Prices from $120 to $240
  • 64 27 233 3490
  • Horse Trek'n Limited, Paihia, New Zealand
  • Daily 10am-4pm

6. Marsden Estate

  • Wine prices vary from $9-$40
  • 64 9-407 9398
  • Marsden Estate Limited, Wiroa Road, Kerikeri, New Zealand
  • Daily 10am-5pm

7. Ake Ake Vineyard

  • Tastings $5 per person; free if purchase wine or have lunch in the restaurant
  • 64 9 401 7137
  • Ake Ake Vineyard & Restaurant, Waimate North Road, Kerikeri, New Zealand
  • Daily 10.30am-4.30 pm

8. Paihia, Bay of Islands

  • Hotel varies from $38-$145
  • 64 9 402 7345
  • Paihia (Bay of Islands), Paihia, Northland, New Zealand
  • Daily 10am-5pm
  • 4

Tickets & Tours

9. Haruru Falls

  • Activity varies from $20-$500
  • 64 (0) 9 402 7525
  • Haruru Falls, Haruru Falls Road, Waitangi, New Zealand
  • Daily
  • 1

Tickets & Tours

10. Waitangi Treaty Grounds

  • Adult $25; Child Free
  • 64 (0)9 402 7437
  • Waitangi Treaty Grounds, Tau Henare Drive, Waitangi, New Zealand
  • Jan to Feb: 9am-7pm; Mar to Dec: 9am-5pm
  • 1

Tickets & Tours

11. Doubtless Bay

  • Free
  • 64 (0)9 406 2046
  • Doubtless Bay
  • Daily
  • 1

12. Paroa Bay Winery

  • Wine prices vary
  • 64 9-403 7928
  • Paroa Bay Winery, Otamarua Road, Russell, New Zealand
  • Summer: Daily 11am-6pm; Winter Tue to Sat 11am-4:30pm

13. Karikari Estate

  • Wine prices vary
  • 64 9 408 7222
  • Karikari Estate, Karikari Peninsula, Northland, New Zealand
  • Daily 11am-4pm

14. Aroha Island Ecological Centre

  • Activity varies from $35-$100
  • 64 9-407 5243
  • Aroha Island Ecological Center, Rangitane Road, Kerikeri, New Zealand
  • Daily 9:30am-5:30pm

15. Marty’s Golf Range

  • Adult $15; Child $10
  • 64 9-401 6608
  • Martys Golf Range, Archery & Cafe, State Highway, Kerikeri, New Zealand
  • Tue to Sun 8am-5:30pm

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