Hole In The Rock
When you're done with the history trail, you can relax on a charter boat, which will take you out to the stunning Cape Brett, where you'll be able to see the 'Hole In The Rock'; a natural arch that has featured in many films.
This impressive 210 foot hole was formed by wind and waves over many centuries, creating one of the most naturally beautiful (and photographed) landmarks in New Zealand.
There are plenty of boating, sailing and jet-boating tour operators
to take around and through 'the hole' and give you ample opportunities for dolphin spotting. Alternatively, if you've got experienced sea legs, you can hire your own yacht from Opua and sail to one of the many beautiful islands that populate this region.
Make time to visit Paihia, the Bay's main tourist town. The wharf is a handy place to catch a cruise out to see the dolphins, or boat-hop over to the pretty little town of Russell. There are plenty of choices of hotel, motel and self-catering accommodation
with many offering fantastic sea views.
The town itself has a decent selection of restaurants
from casual dining places to fine dining establishments. Many are positioned to provide diners with glorious of views of the sea and as you'd expect there are some cracking fresh seafood restaurants to tempt you for a long lunch or night out.
The historic Waitangi Treaty Grounds
mark the place where the Treaty of Waitangi was first signed between the Maori and British Crown on 6 February 1840. The Treaty Grounds form part of the 506 hectare Waitangi National Trust estate, which was a gift to New Zealand by Lord and Lady Bledisloe in 1932. Visitors can enjoy the Treaty House, one of the world's largest Maori ceremonial war canoes ‘Ngatokimatawhaorua’, and the Naval flagstaff that marks the spot where the Treaty of Waitangi was first signed.
A short ferry ride from Paihia, this charming and historic town is well worth a visit. The small picturesque town offers visitors a selection of chamring cafes, restaurants and gift shops. There are also a modest number of hotel and Bed and breakfast options for those wanting to stay longer.
"It's so nice, they named it twice", is an apt tourist slogan for this fascinating little place. Full of history, Kerikeri
is home to New Zealand's oldest stone building; the Stone Store, and is also where you can visit the Mission House (also known as Kemp House), built in 1821 for the Reverend John Butler, under the watchful eye of the local Maori chief, Hongi Hika. There is also a vibrant arts scene in Kerikeri; the well-organised Arts & Crafts Trail will take you to over 20 creative outlets. The town is now considered the centre of Northland's glass art community.
Bay of islands Virtual Tour and Video
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