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The Bay of Islands has a traditional history which holds that around 700 years ago, one of the large Maori canoes which journeyed to New Zealand from Hawiki, was sailed to the Bay Of Islands by Puhi, a founding father of the Ngapuhi Iwi (tribe).
The first European to visit the area was Captain Cook, who named the region in 1769. The Bay of Islands was the first area in New Zealand to be settled by Europeans. Whalers arrived towards the end of the 18th century, while the first missionaries settled in 1814. The settlement of Okiato was the first Capital of New Zealand.
Today the Bay of Islands is the big game fishing capital of New Zealand so have a go or just relax on the beach and watch the boats come and go.
Stroll along the magical waterfront of Russell and imagine the hurly burly pioneer days. Don’t miss the Mission House at Waimate North, the Stone House at Kerikeri or, of course, the fabulous grounds, setting and historical significance of the Waitangi Treaty House and Grounds.
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