Bay of Islands - the birthplace of the nation

The Bay of Islands is one of New Zealand’s hottest holiday destinations, and not just for the sunshine that beats down on its golden beaches. This collection of 144 islands north of Auckland enjoys year-round warm weather that lures visitors to its deep blue waters, rich marine life and undeveloped strips of sand.

Home to a string of quaint colonial-era towns, the Bay of Islands also carries immense historical significance. Waitangi is where Māori chiefs and the British Crown signed the landmark Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, earning this area a reputation as the birthplace of the nation.

at a glance

Best known for

untouched golden beaches

Did you know

the Treaty of Waitangi was signed here in 1840

Don't leave without

a trip on YHA Bay of Islands, The Rock!


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A central, secure backpacker hostel in the heart of Auckland City with room options to suit all travel styles.

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