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 about 210 km by road to Cape Reinga at the northern tip of the country. 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 bay 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 Cream Trip:
In 1886, Albert Ernest Fuller launched the sailing ship Undine in the Bay of Islands to deliver coal supplies to the islands within the Bay. With the fitting of a motor in the early 20th century, Fuller was able to deliver the coal and essential supplies to communities as far out as Cape Brett. In 1927 Fuller acquired the "Cream Trip" from Eddie Lane - with the facilities on board to transport cream from the islands, and by the 1960s, the newly commissioned Bay Belle started this run. Although a modern catamaran now takes this historical route of the original Cream Trip, the Bay Belle continues to transport visitors and locals between Paihia and Russell throughout the day.