Bay of Islands


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.

Bay of Islands 2

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.

Bay of Islands 4

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.

Russell Bay of Islands

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 Parasailing Bay of Islands

 View from the parasail!

Parasailing, Bay of Islands


Day 2: Swimming with Dolphins

Dolphins Bay of Islands 2

Dolphins Bay of Islands

Carino Sailing & Dolphins Boat Trip

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.

Carino Sailing

Carino Sailing Bay of Islands

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.

Moturua Island

A national park, Moturua Island is government protected and hence gives us a wonderful snapshot of the raw, natural beauty that is New Zealand.

Moturua Island Bay of Islands

Moturua Island Bay of Islands 3

Moturua Island Bay of Islands 6

Moturua Island Bay of Islands 7

I hope you have enjoyed our venture up into Northland, Paihia and the Bay of Islands. Next stop Waitomo Caves!


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  • Reply
    January 24, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    Thanks for the Video and Pics Nadine—I’m relly enjoying them–Great presentation- makes it the next best thing to being there–well almost :-)

  • Reply
    Alex Criswell
    January 24, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    So amazing… You are making a really good case in convincing me that I must go to New Zealand someday, but I’m thinking that I should really go when its summer there so I can go in the water and do all the awesome things you have been doing. So probably not where I will end up going for my grad trip, but a new and awesome opportunity just came up! I am applying for an internship working in my field (mechanical engineering) in Germany! It would be for 3-6 months starting this summer and I would get travel and living expenses included plus some extra :) The opportunity for some free travel and great work experience is sooo exciting lol … I hope I get it! In the mean time … looking forward to more videos, pictures and all that you do!


  • Reply
    January 25, 2012 at 5:55 am

    Amazing pictures, Nadine! Not so sure about the para-sailing , though! lol

  • Reply
    January 26, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    Oh my gosh, that looks like so much fun!! i want to go :)

  • What are you thoughts?