Northland & the Bay of Islands are a water and beach lovers paradise, perfect for sailing, fishing, diving, surfing and dolphin watching. The area also offers great walks, scenic flights, cultural and history tours. Below are a selection of Luxury Adventures favourite Bay of Islands/Northland experiences.
Sailing and Cruising: The Bay of Islands is a water lovers paradise, and no trip to the Bay of Islands would be complete without some time spent in or on the water. The area boasts 144 islands with pristine clear blue water surrounding each of them. The area has an abundance of marine life, dolphins, whales and seals, getting out on the water will get you a chance to see them in their natural habitat. There are options depending on budget and time restraints but private charter sailing on a luxury yacht with your own crew has to be at the top of the list! Relax and enjoy the wonderful scenery, stop off at private beaches and islands for a picnic or maybe have a go on the helm. Enjoy scrumptious seafood and New Zealand wines on board your own private paradise. If a private charter is not in your budget, there are plenty of options to get out on the water on a shared cruise, take a cruise to the famous hole in the rock, join a shared day sailing charter and visit Roberton/Motuarohia Island or enjoy snorkelling in the bays crystal clear waters. Talk to the Luxury Adventures team about which options best suit your budget and itinerary.
Cape Brett Walk: Cape Brett is steeped in local European and Maori history and has breath-taking coastal views. See the Cape Brett lighthouse, the Whangamumu whaling station, native forests and beaches. The track runs between Rawhiti and Deep Water Cove. You can drive to Rawhiti from Russel, though it’s a long and windy road, or you can take a water taxi to either Deep Water Cove from Paihia or Russell, and walk the best section of the track. The track can also be done as a multi-day with stops along the way. All hikers must pay a track maintenance fee for crossing private land between Rawhiti and Deep Water Cove, current costs are $40 per person and can be paid at the Isite in the Bay of Islands. You can walk the track without a guide, or the Luxury Adventures team know resident expert guides who can talk you through the local history and point out the flora and fauna of the area. We can also organise water taxis for you. You can read more about the walking the track in our walking the Cape Brett track blog.
Dolphins: There are around 9 difference types of dolphins found in New Zealand. In the Bay of Islands you are most likely to see the bottlenose dolphins, common dolphins and occasionally the black and white orcas, often thought of as killer whales, however they actually belong to the dolphin family.
Tours can be arranged from Paihia or Russell to see these mammals in their natural environment, some operators offer viewing only whilst others the opportunity to swim with the dolphins. You can read more about viewing or swimming with the dolphins in our more in depth article on whales and dolphins.
Kiwi Tours: The flightless Kiwi Bird is a New Zealand icon. The birds are generally nocturnal and numbers are diminishing, making them difficult to see, in fact it’s quite rare to see them in their natural habitat. Luxury Adventures have access to guides who offer a true eco experience. North of Auckland in the Tawharanui Regional park, the tours are led by passionate guides who know the area’s history and wildlife well. As well as hopefully catching site of a Kiwi you have a chance to see Weka and Morepork (native New Zealand owls). Talk to our team about how to incorporate this unique experience into your honeymoon or vacation.
Cape Reinga & Ninety Mile Beach: Cape Reinga in the far north is a famous New Zealand land mark with the iconic lighthouse, a spiritual place where the Pacific and Tasman oceans meet. Equally famous is Ninety Mile beach with its miles of golden sand stretching from Kaitaia all the way to Cape Reinga. Actually at only 88km (54 miles) in length the name is somewhat misleading but it’s still a is a great play ground for tourists and visitors alike! The beach is a highway and as such vehicles can be driven on here, though you should check your agreement if you have a rental car as this is more often than not forbidden. The beach has huge towering sand dunes well known for sledding down on body boards. Luxury Adventures can highly recommend a day tour to this area and perhaps the best way to make the most of your time and to be able to take the most of the area in is to take a scenic flight over the stunning beaches of Northland such as Coopers Beach, Doubtless Bay as well as Ninety Mile Beach, landing at an airfield at the Cape Reigna lighthouse, where you will continue by road on a tour of the area. Visit the lighthouse, enjoy the thrill of sledding the dunes, learn about the history of the area, seeing this beautiful area from both the air and land. This tour can be taken as a group tour in a fixed wine plane or upgraded to a private tour with a helicopter.
Fishing charter in the Bay of Islands: Northland and the Bay of Islands offers world class fishing, with its sheltered waters, you can fish here all year round. You can catch snapper, trevally, hapuku, tarakihi and kahawai, or the larger game fish such as marlin, tuna, swordfish, and kingfish. There is something to suit anglers of all levels of experience from the novice through to the serious fisho. The Luxury Adventures team have access to guides and boats to suit all budgets. Join a shared charter and swap tall fishing stories, or else charter your own private boat and crew to show you the “secret” fishing spots! There’s a saltwater fishing adventure waiting in the Bay of Islands to suit everyone.
Luxury Adventures – Tailoring luxury travel in New Zealand, Australia and the South Pacific Islands since 1999