The Bay of Islands is well-known as one of New Zealand’s most beautiful regions—arguably one of the most stunning regions in the entire world. Stretching across the North of the country, it is a paradise of rolling hills, green forests, and stunning coastlines.

Aside from the stunning surroundings, plenty of hidden gems make this Northland paradise a worthy destination. Wondering what to do in the Bay of Islands? Attractions abound in this stunning part of the world, so let’s build you an agenda!

We provide 2-berth motorhome hire (and even larger) to tour this delightful region, so we have our share of niche recommendations. Join the Kia Ora Campers team as we tour some of our favourite lesser-known Bay of Islands attractions.

Living Hundertwasser

First, if you value art, nature, and history, you’ll love this first destination. Living Hundertwasser honours the artist Hundertwasser and his work with nature. He lived in homes around the world that allowed him to be as deeply associated with nature as imaginable, and this artistic abode in the depths of Kaurinui Valley is one of these.

After discovering the property in 1974, he spent years creating a place where he could be completely self-sufficient while producing his work. This makes it a beautiful venue for anyone who values his work!

This venue recently opened its doors, allowing enthusiasts to come through in small groups for exclusive previews. While the price is a bit steep, this can be a wonderful way to reconnect with nature, art, and creation if you have the means.

Bay of Islands attraction Haruru Falls with kayaks in the foreground

Haruru Falls Walk

The Bay of Islands attractions are largely based on the nature surrounding the region. In particular, this area is dotted with several stunning waterfalls, and this next recommendation might be one of the best. The Haruru Falls destination is named after the Te Reo word ‘haruru,’ which means ‘big noise. ‘It lives up to the name! These falls announce themselves from many metres away, leading you along the walk to a picturesque finish at the top of the falls.

This is a sheltered track with plenty of birdwatching, local history, and beautiful views to whet your appetite. If you’re passing through Paihia, this is an ideal stop on your journey since it is a scant 5km from the city’s main drag.

Rock the Boat

If you’re seeing New Zealand from the road, why not see it from the water, too? Rock the Boat’s Adventure Cruise is a must-try for any water-loving travellers. The Rock Day Cruise is great if you want to stop somewhere just for the day. You’ll spend six hours on the water, touching down on ‘The Rock’ in the middle of the local water scene. From there, you’ll spend the time snorkelling, kayaking, hiking the island, and sitting down for lunch on the boat.

This fantastic, family-friendly activity allows you to get up close and personal with everything the Bay of Islands has to offer. There’s also an overnight option if sleeping on the water sounds like something you’d love to do!

Omata Estate Winery

Finally, who doesn’t love a good glass of wine? The Bay of Islands’ climate and soil are uniquely suited to growing delicious grape varietals. In other words, it’s an ideal home for some of New Zealand’s best wineries. In particular, the Omata Estate Winery deserves a shout-out.

This is a boutique vineyard, meaning they grow smaller crops and produce smaller batches of wine. While this means there’s slightly less to go around, the care and concern they put into their production process shows through in the wine. Hit their Cellar Door for a wine tour and tasting that celebrates their entire range. Or, if you’re really a wine fiend, try a night of glamping in their Syrah Shack! It’s a great honeymoon option.

All in all, you can see so many beautiful places on your journey through the Bay of Islands. Attractions like these are worth the day trip, especially if you can bring your home!

Gear up for a trip to the Bay of Islands with a beautiful 2-berth motorhome.

We’ve provided campervan hire for the North Island of New Zealand for many years. Thanks to all the gems hidden within, the Bay of Islands is continually one of our favourite spots to recommend. Talk to us about our motorhome hire (and chat about your favourite spots in the Bay of Islands). We’re here to help!