The Bay of Islands is an area in the Northland region of the North Island of New Zealand. Located 60 km north-west of Whangarei, it is close to the
It is one of the most popular fishing, sailing and tourist destinations in the country, and has been renowned internationally for its big-game fishing since American author Zane Grey publicised it in the 1930s.
The may itself is an irregular 16 km-wide inlet in the north-eastern coast of the island. A natural harbour, it has several arms which extend into the land, notably Waikare Inlet in the south and Kerikeri and Te Puna (Mangonui) inlets in the north-west. The small town of Russell is located at the end of a short peninsula that extends into the bay from the southeast. Several islands lie to the north of this peninsula, notably Urupukapuka Island to the east and Moturoa Island to the north. The Purerua Peninsula extends to the west of the bay, north of Te Puna Inlet, and Cape Brett Peninsula extends 10 km into the Pacific Ocean at the eastern end of the bay.
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 arrivedfull-blooded European child recorded as being born in the country, Thomas King, was born in 1815 at Oihi Bay in the Bay of Islands. (There have been unsubstantiated claims that a European girl was born earlier at the Dusky Sound settlement in the South Island.