Thanks to the warm water flowing from the tropical South Pacific, the Bay of Islands enjoys a semi-tropical climate. Summer is warm without being too hot, spring and autumn are mild and it’s renowned for being ‘winterless’.
The quaint townships declaim its colourful history – both Maori and European – and the lure of the sea is all-pervasive. In fact, its 144 islands and secluded bays are acclaimed as the finest maritime park in the country.
Big marlin, whales, penguins, dolphins, gannets and many other species of marine life abound. Cape Brett and the ‘Hole in the Rock’ on Piercy Island are a must. Swimming with dolphins is one of the region’s specialties.
There is no shortage of pristine beaches fringed by azure seas. Paddling a sea kayak in and out of the many nooks and crannies is an adventure in itself.
Located in the heart of the Bay of Islands, Busby Manor Resort is nestled on the waterfront at Paihia Beach with its old colonial houses, and Williams Memorial Church, site of New Zealand's first wedding in 1830.
Paihia has interesting shopping and an excellent choice of places to dine. Pleasure cruises, dolphin watching and fishing trips operate year round.
Within 30 minutes drive are glow worm caves, horse riding, 4x4 bike riding, geothermal hot pools and both the oldest and second oldest houses in New Zealand.
Excellent produce is available from local vineyards, a farmers market and boutique manufacturers of cheese and chocolate.
Bushwalks, pleasure cruises and game fishing are just some of the attractions. The whole region is steeped in history - visit the Kelly Tarlton Shipwreck Museum, or the famous Treaty House, where in 1840, the Treaty of Waitangi was signed.