10 Reasons to visit the Bay of Islands

One of the perks of interning for an adventure travel company is the opportunity to get out there and do really cool tours around this gorgeous country of ours. In November, we sent our lovely graphic design intern, Maartje, who hails from the Netherlands, up north to check out Paihia and the Bay of Islands.

After a long rainy spring, the sun finally came out just in time for my tour north of Auckland to the Bay of Islands. I couldn’t wait to check out the beaches and water activities I’d heard so much about from my friends and co-workers. From my base in Paihia, I headed out to explore some of the wonderful things Northland has to offer. The highlights of my trip were an eco-cruise around the Bay of Islands and a day trip to Cape Reinga, the northern tip of New Zealand.

Rather than a wordy essay I thought I would share 10 photos from my tour to show you why the Bay of Islands is worth a visit during summer (although I hear it’s pretty nice all year round).

1. Picnic lunches in the sunshine with breathtaking seaside views

seaside backpacks
Drop your backpack and enjoy the view

2. Take a day trip from Paihia to Cape Reinga

Cape Reinga is the northernmost point of New Zealand, go there to watch two oceans collide.

Cape Reinga
The northernmost point in New Zealand, Cape Reinga

3. Eco-cruise around the Bay of Islands and see dolphins

friendly dolphin
Playful dolphins off the Bay of Islands

4. …and sail by the infamous ‘Hole in the Rock’

This is a must-see for visitors and locals alike.

Hole in the Rock
Don’t miss the Hole in the Rock

5. Surf the MASSIVE sand dunes near 90 Mile Beach

McLennan_Intercity_2013_178
Surfing, but not as we know it!

6. Drive by bus on 90 Mile Beach at 100km/h

New Zealanders consider 90 Mile Beach a road!

McLennan_Intercity_2013_069
Catch a bus over 90 mile beach

7. Explore a few of the hundreds of islands by kayak

McLennan_Intercity_2013_103

8. Discover secluded beaches while you’re doing it!

secluded beach

9. Experience small-town New Zealand in Paihia

And maybe play a tune in the park!

pianos in the park

10. Find some eye candy at secluded beaches

eye candy

…and for the guys too!

eye candy 2

The Bay of Islands trip isn’t featured in our current tours of North Island, but we’ve got some amazing destinations, accommodation and activities lined up. Check out all our current NZ tours.

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Intern @ Stray

Being an intern at Stray Travel is more than gaining work experience. You'll be actively participating in an iconic Kiwi brand. Stray is a travel company that likes to do things a little differently. And the same will go for your assignments as an intern. It'll be an action-packed ride. Check out the blog posts from our previous interns.

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  • Bay of Island’s is one of the North Island’s most fantastic destinations! The beauty of the perfect, sandy beaches and the glistening turquoise water alongside them was awe-inspiring. I had such an amazing time touring the Bay of Islands on a catamaran and I even had the chance to swim with the dolphins that surfaced beside the vessel. It’s these reasons, and much more, that put Bay of Islands in my list of the Top 10 Things to do on the North Island of New Zealand.

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