Bay of Islands Highlights
Long famed for its stunning coastal scenery, the Bay of Islands is one of New Zealand's major attractions.
The bay is punctuated by dozens of coves and when the sun is shining its clear waters range in hue from turquoise to deep blue. Although a hugely popular tourist and sailing destination, the 150 or so islands have thankfully escaped development; townships are all on the mainland.
As the site of New Zealand's first permanent English settlement, it is the birthplace of European colonization.