Bay of Islands Holidays

Holidays in the Bay of Islands take you to a spectacular natural setting, steeped in history, and the birthplace of the nation of New Zealand. Located at the top of the North Island, it’s home to 144 islands.

Explorers will love the Bay of Islands, where you can try kayaking and boat trips, as well as helicopter tours. There are delicious gourmet restaurants serving up fresh seafood and other local produce, historic attractions and opportunities to immerse yourself in the fascinating Māori culture. Head underwater and scuba dive with majestic creatures below the surface, or swim with dolphins after kayaking through the Hole in the Rock.

Combine history and nature in the Bay of Islands

At Hayes & Jarvis we’ll help you choose the right activities and excursions for your bespoke holidays in the Bay of Islands. We have over 65 years of experience, as well as local expertise in 60 destinations around the world.

Book our New Zealand Getaway tour and begin in the Bay of Islands, where you can explore its 144 islands and the glittering waters which surround them. The New Zealand Splendour tour includes a dolphin watching boat trip and a visit to Hole in the Rock. To discover some of New Zealand’s fascinating history, try our New Zealand Wonderland tour and visit the Matakohe’s Kauri Museum, Waitangi Treaty House and Maori Meeting House.

Destination Highlights
  • See the horseshoe shaped waterfall
  • Kayak in glittering waves
  • Watch dolphins play
  • Visit Hole in the Rock
  • Explore the Museum of Waitangi
  • Take a boat trip

Time Zone

GMT +13

Flight Time

The Bay of Islands is around a 50 minute flight from Auckland Airport, or a 3-hour drive from North Auckland. From London Heathrow to Auckland is around 24 hours.


New Zealand dollar (NZD)

Visa Information

UK citizens or passport holders do not need visas for trips up to six months.



Health Information

Health information – no mandatory vaccinations required. It's important to contact your GP for latest recommendations.

Bay of Islands Attractions

  • Kayaking

    Book a guided kayaking tour and see beautiful mangrove forests and thundering waterfalls. The horseshoe shaped Haruru Waterfall is a must, while you might also spot dolphins and seals as they frolic in the waters. Learn about the Māori legends and stories from the area and stop on pretty beaches for a relaxed picnic during the summer.

  • Pompallier Mission and Printery

    Dating back to 1842, the building was originally set up by French brothers who came to New Zealand as missionaries. The building housed a Bible printing press, and is the country’s oldest industrial construction, with fascinating stories to be told. Wander through the beautiful gardens among colourful flowers and see the unique architecture of the house, as well as its 19th Century printing press.

  • Waitangi Treaty Grounds

    Often said to be New Zealand’s most important historical site, the Waitangi Treaty Grounds is where the country became its own nation. Take in beautiful views over the Bay of Islands and enjoy the gardens before learning stories of the past at the Museum of Waitangi. Watch Māori cultural performances, see Māori architecture and the largest ceremonial war canoe.

  • Boat Tours

    The best way to explore the Bay of Islands is with a boat tour, which will take you through the sparkling waters. Take in views of the many luscious islands and their golden sandy beaches, see waterfalls and the colourful birds that fly overhead. Visitors have a chance to see dolphins as they play in the waves, as well as the Hole in the Rock.