The Bay of Islands is one of the most socially and culturally significant locations in New Zealand. It is also famous for being exquisitely, even breathtakingly beautiful. The Bay of Islands is an ancient flooded river valley in New Zealand’s Northland region, near the top of the North Island. It’s a mecca for sailing, dolphin watching, swimming, sea kayaking, scuba diving, jet boating, fishing and even surfing.
In many ways it is the cradle of modern New Zealand, for it was here that the course of the country was changed when the Bristish made a pact with Maori chieftans in 1840. The treaty of Waitangi was signed here, guaranteeing Maori tribal authority, enabling the peaceful purchase of land and granting the British the right to govern the country.