The beautiful Bay of Islands. Located north of Auckland on New Zealand's North Island is a beautiful and interesting part of the world. Who knew you could find out so much about New Zealand in one location?
When driving north from Auckland make sure you stop at Kawakawa, at the Hundertwasser toilets. These are designed by the Austrian born artist and are the only Hundertwasser structure in the Southern Hemisphere. The name mean nothing to you? It's still worth the 1 minute detour to take a look.
Once you reach the Bay of Islands area, take either the passenger ferry or the car ferry to the
township of Russell. This town is full of local history, a beautiful area and plenty of nice places to sit and enjoy the water view.
For something to view on your afternoon boat trip, the Hole in the rock as it is known, is a beautiful sight. Depending on the weather, some boats actually pass through from one side of the rock to the other. There are many options from the jet boat, to your typical cruise boat.
A trip to the Bay of Islands is not complete without a visit to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds. The Waitangi treaty is an interesting part of recent New Zealand history, but the grounds are gorgeous. For a true Maori experience make sure you check out the intricate carvings in the meeting house. DH was particularly fond of the Wakas (canoes - small ones shown).
On the Saturday night we took a cruise on the river on Darryl's Dinner Cruise, which takes you down the river to the Harura Falls. Personally I think this is a wonderful distraction while they prepare your meal.
The Bay of Islands is definitely a must stop location for your visit to the north island.