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.
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
publicized it in the 1930s.
The first European to visit the area was Captain Cook
, who named the region in 1769. The Bay of Islands was the first area in New Zealand to be settled by Europeans. Whalers
arrived towards the end of the 18th century, while the first missionaries
settled in 1814. The first full-blooded European child recorded as being born in the country, Thomas King, was born in 1815 at Oihi Bay in the Bay of Islands.
The bay has many interesting historic towns including Paihia
. Russell, formerly known as Kororareka
, was the first permanent European settlement in New Zealand, and dates from the early 19th century. Kerikeri contains many historic sites from the earliest European colonial settlement in the country. These include the Mission House
, also called Kemp House, which is the oldest wooden structure still standing in New Zealand. The Stone Store
, a former storehouse, is the oldest stone building in New Zealand, construction having begun on 19 April 1832.
In a 2006 study, the Bay of Islands was found to have the second bluest sky
in the world, after Rio de Janeiro
...and one helluva hole in their ozone layer that will, guaranteed, give you a sunburn you will never forget, least your Dermo Dr. will make lotz $ from!!!