Marine Paradise

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Feeding the Wrasse at the Rainbow Warrior

© Paihia Dive

You’re never more than 40 kms from the coast where you’ll see the most sublime variety of gorgeous beaches, coves and harbours to be found on the planet.

Here are some of Northland's best aquatic activities:

Bay of Islands - Aquatic playground. Golden beaches fringed by pohutukawa trees, secluded coves and turquoise water. This is where visitors and locals alike enjoy their favourite pastimes of boating, sailing, surfing, fishing or just lazing around in the warm sunshine. Enjoy and overnight cruise and visit uninhabited islands

Dolphins, Bay of Islands
Dolphins, Bay of Islands

The Poor Knights Islands off the Tutukaka Coast is a renowned divers’ dream, but equally appealing to snorkelers and kayakers. There are more than a 125 different fish species and the largest sea cave in the world. Explore more than 50 dive spots around the islands, underwater arches and tunnels.

Swim with Dolphins. Take a dive and meet some of the ocean’s friendliest inhabitants, the dolphin. Take this incredible opportunity to swim with bottlenose dolphins in their natural environment. Interact with the dolphins, and observe their unique nature and personalities.

Fishing galore. Northland is a fisherman’s playground, there’s a large fleet of world-class charter boats available catering to a diverse range of fishing experiences and skills - whether you’re looking to hook the big one on a game-fishing adventure, or just fancy a day out on the water with a freshly-caught meal at the end of it. Game fishing legend Zane Grey described the Bay of Islands as the “Angler’s Eldorado” and for the thousands of kiwis who rank fishing top of their favourite leisure activities, Northland is the best place to cast a line. Whangaroa Harbour is also a mecca for Big Game Fishing enthusiasts.

Diving among the fish, Rainbow Warrior
Diving among the fish, Rainbow Warrior

Explore the islands in the Bay. Cruising through the ‘hole in the rock’ at the tip of Cape Brett is one of the most popular maritime excursions. There are many other day trip and overnight cruise options, including relaxing dinner cruises.

Sailing on a tall ship, on a famous 80 ft maxi yacht, or combine sailing and dolphin swimming. Learn to sail, charter a yacht and find a sheltered anchorage for safe swimming. This is the way to unwind and relax.

Paddling in to Otehei Bay
Paddling in to Otehei Bay

Divers come from all over the world to explore the Poor Knight Islands and Northland’s four diving wrecks: the twin wrecks Tui and Waikato off the Tutukaka Coast, the HMNZS Canterbury in the Bay of Islands or the infamous Greenpeace vessel the Rainbow Warrior in Matauri Bay.

Pick a kayak trip that suits you Choose between guided and unguided, river or sea kayaking & half day, full day or overnight kayak adventures. You can even kayak under a waterfall.

Fantastic news for surfers, Northland is New Zealand’s narrowest region, so if the waves aren’t pumping on one side, you can quickly swap coasts to find some action.

There are more than 60 surfing spots to discover on the east coast, and you’ll find excellent breaks from the top of Ninety Mile Beach to Ripiro Beach in the south.