Bay of Islands, New Zealand

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The Bay of Islands is an area in the Northland Region of the North Island of New Zealand. Located 60 km north-west of Whangarei, it is about 210 km by road to Cape Reinga at the northern tip of the country.

Bay of Islands, New Zealand , New Zealand
Bay of Islands, New Zealand

It is one of the most popular fishing, sailing and tourist destinations in the country, and has been renowned internationally for its big-game fishing since American author Zane Grey publicised it in the 1930s.

Bay of Islands, New Zealand , New Zealand

The bay itself is an irregular 16 km-wide inlet in the north-eastern coast of the island. A natural harbour, it has several arms which extend into the land, notably Waikare Inlet in the south and Kerikeri and Te Puna (Mangonui) inlets in the north-west. The small town of Russell is located at the end of a short peninsula that extends into the bay from the southeast.

Bay of Islands, New Zealand , New Zealand
Bay of Islands, New Zealand

Several islands lie to the north of this peninsula, notably Urupukapuka Island to the east and Moturoa Island to the north. The Purerua Peninsula extends to the west of the bay, north of Te Puna Inlet, and Cape Brett Peninsula extends 10 km into the Pacific Ocean at the eastern end of the bay.

Bay of Islands, New Zealand , New Zealand

Some areas of the park are very tidal. Watch out in particular for the estuaries at Torrent Bay and Awaroa - these can drain almost completely at low tide!So be aware of this before anchoring your boat in some places. In fact, at low tide it is possible to walk from Torrent Bay to Anchorage by walking across the empty estuary - this takes about 25 minutes, whereas the track around the outside of the estuary takes closer to 2 hours.

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