So I have officially started my first Contiki Tour: New Zealand Grand Explorer, 15 days of travel around both North and South Island New Zealand.
Although I have traveled throughout New Zealand quite extensively, I never seem to lose that sense of wonder that only comes from visiting a place for the first time. Bay of Islands is one of those places that I was simply blown away by.
Referred to as the birthplace of New Zealand, Bay of Islands is where Captain Cook and the first European settlers landed in New Zealand back in the 1700′s, and, where New Zealand’s founding document, the Treaty of Waitangi, was signed between the British Crown and the Maori people of New Zealand.
Present day, the Bay of Islands is used by most kiwis as a summer home and as a very popular vacation spot.
Last time I traveled up north to visit Paihia I did a Horse Treking tour and I never got a chance to venture out onto the water. Big mistake! Please take my advice and if you ever find yourself in this part of the country take one of the many boats or trips available out into the bay.
So we spent a total of two days up in the Bay of Islands, and in those days I got a chance to parasail and swim with dolphins!
Day 1: Parasailing
View from the parasail!
Day 2: Swimming with Dolphins
On the second day I took a dolphin watching and sailing trip out into the bay. After 6 hours I am happy to report I swam with dolphins, captured stunning islands on film, and returned back to my hotel sans sunburn.
One of the little treats from our sailing trip was a stop over at Moturua Island, one of the 144 islands that make up the Bay of Islands.
A national park, Moturua Island is government protected and hence gives us a wonderful snapshot of the raw, natural beauty that is New Zealand.
I hope you have enjoyed our venture up into Northland, Paihia and the Bay of Islands. Next stop Waitomo Caves!