BAY OF ISLANDS
The first European to visit the area was Captain Cook, who named the region in 1769. The Bay of Islands was the first area in New Zealand to be settled by Europeans. Whalers arrived towards the end of the 18th century, while the first missionaries settled in 1814.
The Bay of Islands is one of the most popular fishing, sailing and tourist destinations in the country. This place is magic.
Zane Grey, an adventurer who was also one of the world's most popular authors at the time, rounded the headland of Cape Brett in what has been termed "the edge of the world", dolphins leaping through the crystal bow wave as he sailed past fabulous tropical islands. Zane Grey, whose tales of the Wild West have captivated millions of readers, was enthralled as he gazed at the beauty and spectacular scenery of the Bay of Islands.
The small town of Russell that will be covered separately, and is on the other side of the Bay is located at the end of a short peninsula that extends into the bay from the southeast.
Keri Keri is the commercial centre of the Bay of Islands. The Stone Store is ‘old’ building that has the history of the town presented. The Stone Store includes a museum, and gives an accurate insight into the building use of the early nineties.
Paihia, is the classic tourist destination. Cafes, bars, water activities and the main accommodation outlets are sited at Paihia. The hole in the rock is a must for first timers. This place jumps, and is the ‘gold coast’ equivalent in New Zealand.
The Treaty of Waitangi was signed on 6 February 1840, in the grounds of James Busby's Treaty house) at Waitangi. The Treaty guaranteed Maori rights to their land and also gave Maori the rights of British citizens. This is a big day in New Zealand’s history and while still considered contentious the Treaty document was signed in good faith at that time.
Waitangi is a very special place and has beautifully presented the history that is now New Zealand’s national day.