One Day in the Bay of Islands

March 12, 2016 4

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New Zealand, Russell, Bay of Islands, travel tips, travel blog

New Zealand, Russell, Bay of Islands, travel tips, travel blog

New Zealand, Russell, Bay of Islands, travel tips, travel blog

I have taken you to Auckland and some of my favorite addresses in New Zealand’s biggest city and now it is time to move out from the urban surroundings and discover a bit of what New Zealand is certainly most known for – its lush and beautiful nature. For that we move a few driving hours north of the city to the Bay of Islands – a subtropical paradise with historical significance for New Zealand and some of the most beautiful sunsets I have seen so far!

New Zealand, Russell, Bay of Islands, travel tips, travel blog

New Zealand, Russell, Bay of Islands, travel tips, travel blog

New Zealand, Russell, Bay of Islands, travel tips, travel blog

The Bay of Islands has shaped New Zealand’s history as this was the place (namely Waitangi) where the founding treaty was signed between the indigenous Maori representatives and the European settlers and where New Zealand’s first capital Russell was founded. Today Russell is a small, dreamy village on the shores of the Bay of Islands, with a lovely beach, two fine restaurants and lots of nature. And even though this seems like there’s not a lot to do in Russell, think twice: the bounty of nature is more than an invitation to go and explore!

New Zealand, Russell, Bay of Islands, travel tips, travel blog

New Zealand, Russell, Bay of Islands, travel tips, travel blog

New Zealand, Russell, Bay of Islands, travel tips, travel blog

New Zealand, Russell, Bay of Islands, travel tips, travel blog

The easiest way to explore the vast Bay of Islands is on one of the cruise ships. Most cruise ships take their passengers on a big roundtrip throughout the bay, often accompanied by dolphins, and the highlight being a visit of the famous Hole in the Rock – if currents allow the boats take you through the hole for that inevitable pirate feeling. Later the boat takes course to one of the many islands where a barbecue is offered – another Kiwi tradition. Sit on the lawn, relax and eat. And feel a bit like a Kiwi.

New Zealand, Russell, Bay of Islands, travel tips, travel blog

New Zealand, Russell, Bay of Islands, travel tips, travel blog

New Zealand, Russell, Bay of Islands, travel tips, travel blog

But it’s not only the organized cruise trips that make a visit to the Bay of Islands interesting. You can visit the treaty grounds in Waitangi, explore the surroundings by foot – many times you will find small paths through the bush taking you to other settlements and beaches.

New Zealand, Russell, Bay of Islands, travel tips, travel blog

New Zealand, Russell, Bay of Islands, travel tips, travel blog

New Zealand, Russell, Bay of Islands, travel tips, travel blog

New Zealand, Russell, Bay of Islands, travel tips, travel blog

New Zealand, Russell, Bay of Islands, travel tips, travel blog

New Zealand, Russell, Bay of Islands, travel tips, travel blog

For me personally there was another highlight: Staying at Kereru Cottage run by a wonderful local couple. You are literally living with them in their beautiful little house surrounded with a lush garden – its fruits being part of the delicious breakfast. I am still thinking of the sweet passionfruit from their garden served for breakfast! And it got me dreaming of having such a wonderful garden myself. Someday. Somewhere.

Photography by Igor Josifovic

9 Comments

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9 Comments

  • Reply Kyana March 12, 2016 at 19:57

    Beautiful photos!

    • Reply Igor March 12, 2016 at 20:40

      Thank you Kyana!

  • Reply Hayley French March 12, 2016 at 21:29

    So pleased you loved our little but beautiful country!

    • Reply Igor March 12, 2016 at 21:46

      I enjoyed every bit. And driving in a car from the north to the south it didn’t seem that little:-)

  • Reply Brian Griggs March 13, 2016 at 11:36

    Hi…..always follow your blog..love the gardens and your pics are superb
    what camera do you have ?
    Brian.. South of France nr Toulouse

    • Reply Igor March 13, 2016 at 13:04

      Hi Brian. I use a Nikon D3100, but also my iPhone 6S. Some of the pics here (for example the sunset pics) had been taken with my iPhone 6S. Hope this helps!

  • Reply mel March 14, 2016 at 00:20

    Oh those dolphins! It really is a magical place, I’m so glad you got lovely weather there and were able to get through the rock. The b&b looks so cute! Beautiful photos as usual Igor. M x

    • Reply Igor March 14, 2016 at 08:14

      Thank you my dear!! This was also inspired by your travels of course – thanks for all the wonderful insider tips!

  • Reply Pilot Mark March 1, 2017 at 02:07

    A Beautiful string of photographs Igor! The Bay of Islands certainly is a picturesque destination. I was fascinated not only by the scenic landscape but also the historical significance of the nearby towns of Russel and Paihia. This is such a fantastic destination, and that’s why it made it onto my list of Top Ten Things to do on the North Island of New Zealand.

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