Swim with dolphins
To see these playful mammals in the wild is an unforgettable experience. If you’re lucky enough to be in the water with Dolphins you’ll notice they have a strong affinity to humans, and will often come swim right up next to you when you're in the water. If you are pregnant, Dolphins can sense via their sonar the heartbeat of an unborn child, and will often be more inquisitive with an expectant mother. If a dolphin pod has juveniles of its own, swimming is not permitted, but don’t be disappointed if that’s the case. Seeing dolphins with young is just as much a bucket list item in itself as swimming with them, and means that generations to come will still have the privilege of coexisting with these intelligent and beautiful mammals.
New Zealand is known for its adrenalin inducing activities, and parasailing is no exception. But unlike its closely related counterparts like the bungy and sky diving, parasailing allows you to get your heart pumping whilst still enabling you to sit back and take in your amazing surroundings. The Flying Kiwi Parasail in Paihia is New Zealand’s highest parasail at 1300ft, and treats you to stunning aerial views over the entire Bay of Islands. This safe and unique experience is an absolute must do for people on all levels of the adventure seeking spectrum.
Travel through the Hole in the Rock
The iconic Hole in the Rock is the well-recognised symbol of the Bay of Islands, and travelling through it is a rite of passage for anyone visiting the area. The optical illusion of whether you can fit through it on a 17m catamaran is half the fun. It really is something you have to see to believe, and up until the moment you’re travelling through it, you’re probably going to think there’s no way you could possibly fit.
Complete the Cape Brett Walk
Completing the Cape Brett walk is extremely rewarding. It’s certainly no walk in the park, but the views are unrivaled and it’s worth the muscle burn. The walk is situated along a peninsula, and traverses a stunning rugged coastal setting looking out at the beautiful Bay of Islands. You can either do this walk starting from Deep Water Cove, or start from Oke Bay in Rawhiti if you want to take the longer route. For the total experience, book to stay overnight in the Lighthouse Keepers house which has been converted into a 22 bunk hut, and do the return journey the next day.
Visit the Waitangi Treaty grounds
Fondly known as the birthplace of the nation, the Waitangi Treaty Grounds are the location of where New Zealand’s recent history began back in 1840 on the 6th of February when the Treaty of Waitangi was signed. To visit the grounds is an educational and important experience when visiting the Bay of Islands. It also happens to be situated in the most beautiful spot located right on the coast looking out to sea. An absolute must do!