You have to laugh at names sometimes, when somewhere is given the obvious name instead of a poetic one. The Bay of Islands is indeed a bay with islands in it…144 of them to be precise. If you head North of Auckland for a few hours to Paihia (pronounced “pie-here”…check out the photo of the shop), you will arrive at the tourist hotspot. While Paihia itself is fairly small, the Bay is beautiful with abundant marine life and plenty of companies wanting to help you see it. The first capital of New Zealand, Russell, lives there too and marks a pretty diversion.
The nearby Waitangi treaty grounds is yet again a beautiful spot and marks the place where New Zealand was born in 1840. They are still undoing the wrongs this treaty led to with reconciliation with the Maori to this day. The phrase “Lost in Translation” is certainly apt.
We saw dolphins out in the harbour and I was thankful for the ability to shoot in burst mode!
The nearby surrounds were certainly also worth a look, with Kerikeri (complete with Parrot Place so I could indulge a former passion) and various coastal routes providing wonderful scenes. Those are actual sand dunes to the North of Hokianga Harbour…huge.