Bay of Islands Historic Maritime Park

The Bay of Islands is a unique location for bottlenose dolphins, as it provides the dolphins with abundant food and security for resting and breeding.

The Bay of Islands Historic and Maritime park was established  in 1978 to promote the area as a recreational paradise and help protect its special character, so that future residents and visitors can continue to enjoy it.

The bay itself is 16 km wide, 260 km2,  drowned valley system and a natural harbour.

It contains 144 islands, of which the largest is Urupukapuka, and numerous peninsulas and inlets.  The Purerua Peninsula to the north  and Cape Brett Peninsula to the south .

As you cruise around the Bay of Islands,

  • You have arrived at one of the finest maritime parks in New Zealand;
  • Spectacular scenery with volcanic black rocks and rugged cliffs.
  • Over 100 islands and many bays teem with birds and marine life.
  • Several inlets or arms leading into the bay, chief of which are Kerikeri Inlet, Waikare, and Purerua.
  • Before the arrival of Europeans, the Maori lived in this area for hundreds of years.
  • The Bay of Islands is New Zealand’s cradle of European civilization, with many points of interest relating to both early European and Maori settlement.