The Bay of Islands is one of the most beautiful bays and one of the most popular recreational areas in New Zealand. Located at the extreme northern tip of the North Island, it is also the historic gateway to the most remote major land mass on Earth. It is not only popular with outdoors enthusiasts but also with New Zealand history buffs.
The first Maori arrivals to New Zealand explored the Bay of Islands when they first arrived about seven hundred years ago. Captain Cook first ‘discovered’ New Zealand at the bay in 1769, which later became home to the first European settlements on the islands. The Flagstaff War between the British settlers and Maori natives in the bay area in the 19th century. American author Zan Grey popularized the bay in the public imagination in his writings in the 1930s.
The Bay of Islands is technically a drowned valley dotted with an estimated 144 islands. An excellent natural harbor, New Zealand’s oldest and most historic towns are along its shore. Once a major center for the South Pacific whaling industry, the Bay of Islands is now famous for its big game fish.
The Bay of Islands is hugely a hugely popular vacation area, with quaint towns and villages, beaches and fleets of boats. Not surprisingly, the bay draws large numbers of fisherman, and hundreds of charter craft and private boats support this activity. Web: www.visitboi.co.nz (official website).