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The Bay of Islands is a subtropical region known for its idyllic atmosphere, unspoilt islands and epic seascapes.

A three-hour drive north of Auckland, the Bay of Islands is comprised of 144 islands between Cape Brett and the Purerua Peninsula. Small towns like Opua, Paihia and Kerikeri are delightful with boutique shops and restaurants and plenty of charm.

Russell is particularly charming – white painted timber houses, picket fences, a lovely waterfront and jetty as well as a well preserved sense of Maori history. Enjoy a sundowner overlooking the bay in the characterful Duke of Marlborough.

Catch the ‘Dolphin Seeker’ cruiser and glide past gorgeous beaches, secret little coves and (hopefully) pass through the Hole in the Rock. Dolphin spotters are usually not disappointed.