Destination Bay of Islands: A Sailing Tour and a Visit to the Tranquil and Predator-free Urupukapuka Island

With almost 150 islands, many of which are undeveloped there's truly a lot to explore in Bay of Island waters. Per local recommendations we took off from the Bay of Island mainland and started out with a visit to the biggest island of them all: Urupukapuka. Known as a tranquil, bird-full and predator-free island with enough tracks, bays and beaches to explore in more than one full day... See our short video update here with Leon's Chinese commentary 非常有意思!

Some people say that to truly experience the Bay of Islands you need to get on the water. And these people seem to be the ones with the best insight to this New Zealand North Island treasure. With almost 150 islands, many of which are undeveloped there's truly a lot to explore in Bay of Island waters.

Per local recommendations we took off from the Bay of Island mainland and started out with a visit to the biggest island of them all: Urupukapuka. Known as a tranquil, bird-full and predator-free island with enough tracks, bays and beaches to explore in more than one full day.

Most sailing tours from Pahia or Russell stop at the island for a visit and a sailing break. Sail boat day cruises start from around 100 dollars with lunch included). Alternatively, the Explore passenger ferry departs from both Russell and Pahia several times a day to Urupukapuka island (approx. 40 minutes each way and tickets are 25 dollars return). This gives you the freedom to explore the island as long as you want - or until the last ferry goes back to the main land. But there's also DOC campsite where you can tent for 8 dollars/night. There's one main cafe and kayak rental spot located at Otehei Bay - the main bay on Urupukapuka.

We had an amazing day on the water and Urupukapuka Islands almost to ourselves! Swimming in crystal clear water, walking around the cliffs and through native bush, watching the sail boats drifting by... This is a great way to experience what the Bay of Islands is about.