The Bay of Islands is the finest Maritime Park in New Zealand with 144 islands, secluded bays and an abundance of marine life. It is the cradle of European civilisation in New Zealand and has fine examples of Maori culture for you to experience. The scenery is nothing short of spectacular and can only be fully appreciated by cruising through the area. The area is the warmest part of New Zealand. The Maritime Park is a natural wonderland with an abundance of wildlife including marlin, whales, penguins, dolphins, gannets and many other species. The towns of Paihia and picturesque Russell are perfect places to wander amongst the many shops and restaurants along the waterfront. There are endless activities too - fishing, forest and beach walks, all kinds of water sports and great golf courses. The Bay is the perfect base from which to explore further North. See the magnificent Kauri forests, Cape Reinga - the top of New Zealand, 90 Mile Beach and the craft shops of Kerikeri.