Not only does New Zealand have mountainous landscapes and soft rolling hills, it is also speckled with islands. The Bay of Islands, located on the North Island, consists of islands which vary in shape and size and are surrounded by sparkling turquoise waters. At times, it looked like I was in the Caribbean, other times I felt like I was somewhere in South East Asia. Occasionally, there were silky smooth beaches and other times there were pebbly rocky beaches. The islands were lush with native tropical plants and they almost always had a boat or yacht anchored off their shores.
The little towns of Russell and Paihia welcome visitors with open arms and spoil them rotten with their fresh fish n chips and sunsets. There are plenty of things to do in the Bay of Islands. The one thing you must do is go on a boat ride and explore the islands. Be sure to pick a tour which allows you to get off onto an island so you can go for a swim or climb up a hill or two. There are also ferries which can take you to the different towns in the bay. The Bay of Islands is a great place to kayak and do day trips to the nearby destinations at the top of the North Island.