Sailing the Bay of Islands – A Nautical Adventure

Sailing the Bay of Islands A Nautical Adventure

The Bay of Islands offers an idyllic watery playground, boasting 144 islands to explore as well as charming seaside towns like Paihia. Step outdoors on this three-day sailing expedition and embrace nature!

Take an unforgettable San Francisco Bay sail and sail to breathtaking island stopovers, enjoy a delicious picnic lunch, and discover stunning marine wildlife views – plus iconic landmarks such as Treasure Island, Alcatraz Island, and Golden Gate Bridge!


The Bay of Islands is an attractive sailing destination due to its protected waters, sandy beaches and marine wildlife. Climb aboard a yacht, catamaran or pirate ship for some breathtaking sea views – perhaps you might even spot wild dolphins!

Bay of Islands Sailing Week, one of the largest regattas in the Southern Hemisphere, takes place annually from April to May and attracts participants and spectators from across the world. Held over three days at Russell’s historic Duke of Marlborough Hotel tavern overlooking scenic Kororareka Bay, participants and spectators from across the globe come to participate and observe.

Experience the Bay of Islands in style aboard R Tucker Thompson, a classic gaff-rigged schooner. Take the helm, help set sails or climb the rigging; or just sit back and let our experienced crew command this impressive vessel.

Escape the crowds on a half-day cruise around 144 subtropical islands and Cape Brett Peninsula. Learn the history of this area as you visit Motukokako Island’s Hole in the Rock; discover remote beaches; dine ashore for a barbecue lunch while admiring stunning scenery; this cruise is great for families with young children!


Kayaking the Bay of Islands is an unforgettable way to experience New Zealand’s most historic Maritime Marine Reserve. No matter your level of kayak experience or starting point, kayaking the Bay of Islands provides something special for everyone; discover islands, come face-to-face with marine life or paddling underneath waterfalls are just a few ways it’s sure to amaze.

Kayak adventures in the Bay of Islands often include island hopping on day cruises. Spend your time aboard a luxurious catamaran while taking in views from its 144 islands that make up this spectacular area, where you can snorkel, swim or take an in-depth guided tour to wildlife reserves if desired.

If you prefer an active experience, join one of the longer kayak tours. These multi-day adventures will allow you to truly appreciate the beautiful Bay of Islands environment while sleeping under the stars on an overnight adventure! Some tours even provide overnight trips!

Kayaking the Bay of Islands can be an exhilarating and enjoyable experience, provided you bring along all the appropriate gear. A double-bladed paddle will help cut across the water quickly while protecting you against knocks, while safety goggles help detect potential dangers in the water and waterproof bags will keep all your belongings dry during your expedition.


Snorkeling in New Zealand’s Bay of Islands is an incredible way to experience marine life without needing to learn how to dive. Boasting beautiful coral reefs and kelp gardens, there are plenty of opportunities for snorkeling in crystal clear water here. Poor Knight Island Marine Reserve also makes for great snorkeling adventures where it hosts an abundance of marine life such as inquisitive reef fish, stingrays and dolphins – not forgetting Poor Knight Island Marine Reserve itself which offers even more diversity of aquatic life including inquisitive reef fish species!

Take an unforgettable cruise through the Bay of Islands aboard a luxury catamaran for an unforgettable experience. Step away from the crowds on this small-group tour and experience island hopping, snorkeling at pristine island reefs, SUP boarding, short hikes to viewpoints and exploring wildlife sanctuaries while onboard. Visit New Zealand birds and animals when ashore at wildlife sanctuaries!

Take part in Maori culture at the historically important Waitangi Treaty Grounds with a traditional Maori hangi dinner and live performance! Learn about all 144 islands while walking among 2,000-year-old Kauri trees, experiencing energetic Maori song, dance, and warrior challenges with your guide.

Enjoy an authentic sailing experience aboard a classic Northland schooner for part of the DARWIN200 global voyage, taking you into New Zealand’s beautiful Bay of Islands as part of New Zealand’s spectacular Bay of Islands. Help hoist the sails and climb the rigging on board R Tucker Thompson before enjoying a barbecue lunch and swim while anchored in a protected bay – round-trip ferry transfer is included from Paihia or Russell.


The Bay of Islands is an exceptional fishing destination with multiple charter boat options available to anglers. Its protected marine habitat attracts an abundance of oceanic pelagic species including marlin (striped, blue and black) and tuna. A vibrant snapper fishery takes place throughout the year while yellow-fin tuna fishing season peaks late summer to autumn.

Take an island-hopping day cruise around New Zealand’s coastline, exploring its wildlife by snorkeling pristine reefs, kayaking the tranquil waters or going on short hikes to admire its scenic vistas. This experience provides the ideal way to connect with its rich history while relaxing and savoring its scenic waters and beautiful surroundings. Perfect for families or individuals wanting a memorable sightseeing tour!

Skydiving from 16000ft provides breathtaking aerial views of 144 islands below or you could embark on an active adventure – skydive from 16000ft and take in their beauty from above or cruise around the Bay of Islands in search of dolphins on Dolphin Seeker for a half day dolphin cruise! Don’t miss visiting Urupukapuka Island to witness its iconic Hole in the Rock as well.

Experience a three day sailing expedition aboard the 72ft yacht Manawanui! Sail, kayak, snorkel and fish while learning about the Maritime Park in a small group environment. Discover islands, Maori heritage sites and golden beaches while having fun with knowledgeable and friendly crew members on this unforgettable trip that includes all necessary gear and meals!