Waitangi Treaty Grounds
A holiday in the Bay of Islands wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Waitangi. Waitangi is just a short bus drive from Whangarei and the main attraction is the Waitangi Treaty Grounds. The Treaty of Waitangi was signed here on 6th February 1840 between the British and the Maori, beginning a new chapter in New Zealand history. The Waitangi treaty grounds cover a massive area of parkland which is perfectly preserved and maintained. The walkways are a mixture of boardwalks, coastal trails and pathways which connect to all the major activities and attractions of the park. Nearby Haruru Falls is worth the leisurely one hour walk through native forest and mangroves, finishing at the Haruru Falls. You can also kayak to the falls if you have the time. There are plenty of activities within the Waitangi Treaty Grounds to enjoy. Guided tours are taken by descendants of the original chiefs so you are guaranteed to get some great stories and a true account of historical events.
There are Maori cultural performances, crafts and scenic walks which will take you to The Treaty house, traditional meeting house and alongside the impressive traditional Maori war canoe. Make time to relax at the Waikokpu café for delicious food and coffee overlooking a tranquil lake environment.
While you are in Waitangi take in a round of golf at the Waitangi Golf Club. The views are superb and you can pay your fees by round or on a weekly basis. If you are staying in Paihia you will find boutique shopping for souvenirs, arts and crafts as well as a good selection of cafes and restaurants. Bay of Islands tours that depart from here include fishing charters, ferry transfers and fast catamaran trips to swim with the dolphins or take you to the hole in the rock.