Monday 16 May 2022

J&J Bay of Islands

Such a beautiful scenic drive up to the Bay of Islands and we were excited to enjoy the last of New Zealand's summer in this sub-tropical region. Northland features numerous beaches and islands to explore and its ideal for a leisurely road trip in a campervan. We had the ability to stop, sightsee, and spend as long as we wanted in each stunning location. We did a quick car ferry ride between Opua and Okiato on our way to Russell. We drove straight onto the ferry and parked up while we enjoyed the 15-minute ride which was fun and scenic to do.
We arrived in Russell which is a charming town and was once the capital of New Zealand. Here we found peaceful streets lined with beautiful historic wooden buildings. This is such a beautiful little town. We loved our time here and already planning another trip back in the future.

We stayed at Russell Top 10 Holiday Park. It was the perfect place to base ourselves with easy walking distance to great restaurants, heritage buildings, walks and beaches. We booked one of their powered sites. Arlo also loved that they had a jumping pillow and playground. Very family friendly and the perfect location for a relaxed holiday atmosphere.

They even had cheeky Weka that were very friendly and would come right up and say hello!

The next day I had booked us something a bit special….a 42ft classic cutter rig yacht day cruise around the Bay of Islands through Vigilant Yacht Charters! This truly was a highlight of our stay in Bay of Islands. We got to sit back and relax as we sailed through the clear crystal waters stopping by secluded little beaches and learning about the area’s history. 
Ready to come and explore with us?

Our host Nat was amazing and shared a lot of history and interesting facts as we sailed around the 144 islands that you find in the Bay of Islands. We got to stop at Motuarohia Island and explore, finding our own private little beach to do some snorkelling and explore the lagoons.

Jake also went for a walk up the walking track which has a lookout point providing you with amazing views of the island.

After our island time, we had a beautiful lunch with wraps filled with fresh veggies handpicked from Nats and her partner's garden, before sailing back home. What a way to spend a day! Arlo enjoyed the sailing trip and looked so cute in his little life jacket. I highly recommend hitting the water while in the Bay of Islands. Such a nice way to explore the area.

After our boat trip we decided to try out one of the restaurants on the waterfront in Russell and had dinner at the Duke of Marlborough. We were seated on the veranda with brilliant views of the harbour, watching the sunset over the water while eating dinner.

We also stayed in Paihia during our time in the Bay of Islands at Te Ti Waitangi holiday park which is a campground, located on the banks of the Waitangi River in Paihia. They are conveniently located a short flat walk along the Te Ti Bay shoreline and to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds. We booked one of their water view powered sites right on the water's edge.

One of New Zealand's most historic locations, the Waitangi Treaty Grounds is a must-visit when travelling to the Bay of Islands. We spent nearly a whole day here and our entrance ticket covered the Museum of Waitangi and a guided tour of the grounds by a local, who explained more about what happened with the treaty signing and the giant war waka Ngātokimatawhaorua, which is the world’s largest at 35 metres long. Don’t forget to check the daily schedule for the Maori cultural performance, and grab a coffee or bite to eat afterwards at Whare Waka Cafe where you can see incredible long-fin eels right from your table!

After our big day exploring we ate at Zane Grey's Restaurant and Bar situated in the heart of Paihia pier overlooking the beautiful Bay of Islands. It's a great spot to grab a drink and take in the views or grab a bite to eat.

Looking forward to sharing more Northland adventures soon!

1 comment:

  1. Loved seeing the photos of your adventures! Aroha nui ❤️