Hidden Gems in the Bay of Islands
We're letting you in on some secrets here! Some hidden gems you may not be aware of but should totally check out when you come to the Bay of Islands
THE ISLANDS THEMSELVES
The Bay of Islands is a paradise and little slice of heaven, only a few hours North of Auckland and a must do place to visit if you are in New Zealand. With 144 islands, one of the best things you can do is get out into the islands themselves. Often people can visit the Bay of Islands but stay on the mainland, but you would be missing out on so much beauty if you did. Taking a boat trip such as the Rock Adventure cruise is a great way to get out in the Bay and see what the islands have to offer and you can often find yourself being the only people on and around the islands themselves. The Islands are all part of a conservation project called Project Island Song, which aims to encourage the native bird and plant life to flourish and reduce the impact of pests on the islands. This maintains the islands in their beautiful, natural and rugged state making them a must do place to visit.
Tucked away off of state highway 12, Ngawha springs are natural geothermal hot pools that cost just $5 to visit. The pools vary in temperature and there are a lot of different ones to choose from. Don’t be put off by the strong smell, this is the sulfur and makes the water incredibly beneficial for your skin and varying skin conditions such as eczema. Make sure you don’t bring your favourite togs (swimming costume) though as these can get ruined by the dark colour of the water. Tip *Locals usually have a set of "Ngawha clothes", that they only use when they visit the pools.
There are many beautiful waterfalls tucked away in the Bay of Islands, including Rainbow Falls and Haruru falls. You can also take kayaks or a dinner cruise under Haruru waterfall. Another hidden gem tucked away is Charlies rock. This can be a bit harder to find and takes a 10-minute walk down a little track to get to. This is a much smaller waterfall and is a great place to go with friends and jump into the deep fresh water if you fancy a change from the salty sea water. The water is very deep which is what makes it great to jump into. Highly recommend to anyone visiting the Bay of Islands and free to go to too.
The Bay of Islands has a variety of coastal and non-coastal walks that you can do, and once again are free. Varying in length and difficulty level, this is a great way to take in some of the beautiful views the Bay of Islands has to offer. A popular walk is from Paihia around to Russell or the Cape Brett track, where you can end up at the Cape Brett lighthouse and stay there for the night. You will have to organise a water taxi to pick you up unless you fancy the long walk back again.
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