Bay of Islands & Cape Reinga holiday highlights

The stunning Bay of Islands is off the north-west coast of North Island and has a rich Maori and European heritage. Pay a visit to this beautiful spot and you’ll find more than 140 islands and the famous ‘Hole in the Rock’ formation. It’s a 50-minute flight or a wonderfully scenic three-hour drive up the east coast to Auckland, and you can spot local marine life including dolphins, whales and penguins here.

We also recommend seeing Cape Reinga, the tip of the Aupouri Peninsula, at the northern end of the North Island where the Tasman Sea and Pacific Ocean meet. It’s over 60 miles north of the nearest small town, Kaitaia, and it’s an amazing secluded spot which gives you a sort of ‘end of the earth’ feeling when you’re standing on the bluff. Visit the unorthodox-style lighthouse, topped with a dome and a weather vane, and lap up the endless ocean views.

Bay of Islands & Cape Reinga key facts

Time difference

GMT +12 hours (GMT +13 hours from the last week in March to the first week in October)

Currency

New Zealand Dollar (NZ$) comprising of 100 cents.

Flying time to destination

Auckland: 23 hours

Language

English. Maori is also spoken but is not widely used.

Passport & visas

Visas are not required for UK passport holders.

Voltage & electricity

230 volt AC. Three round pin plugs are used, therefore an adapter is required.

Bay of Islands & Cape Reinga good to know

Tipping

Tipping is a matter of choice. For excellent service, a discretionary tip of 10% may be given.

History

The history of New Zealand dates back to approx. 1250 AD. It was discovered by Polynesians, who settled and developed a distinct Maori culture centred on kinship links and land. New Zealand is often referred to as the 'youngest country', as it was one of the last major landmasses to be inhabited, and has a fascinating mix of Maori and European heritage.