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Bay of Islands & Pahia

The Bay of Islands
The Bay of Islands comprises 144 undeveloped islands. The coastal scenery is phenomenal dotted with coves and sheltered beaches. The various hues of blue, from turquoise to deep blue, seem to bounce off the surface. If you love the water or the beach this is simply paradise. Its a good spot for swimming, snorkeling, scuba-diving, yachting, boating and surfing. Fishing has long been a fruitful endeavour here. In the 19th century, whalers successfully caught the humpback whales in rigged nets around Cape Brett. The waters are rich in marlin. So much so in fact that in 1953, Zane Grey, an American author wrote a book called Tales of the Angler's Eldorado about his fishing experiences.

The Bay of Islands also has incomparable historical significance for New Zealand. It was here that the first permanent English settlement was born. It was also here that the infamous Treaty of Waitangi was compiled. It was signed in 1840 by 46 Maori chiefs and is the current basis for political, racial and land debate.

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Paihia, good here is the main town in the Bay of Islands. If you want to see the action it's all happening at the pier. Its the departure point for divers and boating excursions and is also where fishermen bring in their hauls of marlin, shark and kingfish. Paihia, will of necessity be the place to book any adventures you're planning in the area. There is something for everyone here and the excursions range from diving, jet-boating, water skiing, scenic flights, night cruises, sailing, fishing and dinghy hire. If you're looking for charm though you'll find in the nearby town of Russell that which Paihia lacks.

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