Bay of Islands Facts
- Most notably, the aptly named Bay of Islands constitutes one of the most beautiful geological marvels of its region. This occurs for a very specific and astounding reason. That’s because the variety and scope of natural beauty found here ranks as one of the most remarkable places on Earth.
- That’s because of one amazing fact. As it turns out, this one bay holds a phenomenal total of 144 separate and distinct islands within its boundaries. In addition, due to the shape of the individual islands, many of them, amazingly, also possess their own peninsulas and inlets.
- Furthermore, the site has a long history of use. This holds true because the Maori originally colonized the various islands in the bay approximately 700 years ago. Further, the principal tribes involved in the colonization of the Bay of Islands consisted of the Ngapuhi iwi and the Ngati Miru.
- However, the first known European to see the bay happened to be James Cook. This discovery occurred in the year 1769. Furthermore, this location also represented the first site in the region to be settled by Europeans. Whalers arrived at the end of the 18th century, followed by missionaries in 1814.
Bay of Islands Physical Description
The stunning Bay of Islands consists of an irregular-shaped drowned valley system and also holds a natural harbor. The are also covers a total area of approximately 100.4 sq mi (260 sq km) and holds a total of 144 islands. The islands of Kerikeri, Te Puna, and Waikare Inlet comprise the three largest islands in the bay.
In addition, the breathtaking region also includes a vast number of smaller bodies and other formations. These include a number of naturally formed inlets and peninsulas. Further, the waters of the bay also hold yet another distinction. That’s because these rank as the second bluest in the world, according to many.
However, the grandeur of the Bay of Islands does not simply end there. This holds true due to the fact that many of the islands also contain beaches of golden colored sand and an abundance of lush vegetation. In addition, the waters of the region contain vast quantities of numerous species of marine life.
The truly beautiful bay remains separated from the Pacific Ocean by the Purerua Peninsula and Cape Brett. The Purerua Peninsula also shields the northwestern section of the bay. Meanwhile, though, Cape Brett shields the eastern side. In addition, this cape itself, extends 6.2 mi (10 km) into the ocean.
Bay of Islands Location, History, and Ecology
It bears mentioning that the magnificent feature known as the Bay of Islands formed in what now represents the island country of New Zealand. This most likely comes as no surprise to those familiar with the already incredible natural beauty for which this part of the world remains renowned.
Subsequent to its discovery by European explorers, numerous whalers and missionaries poured into the region. This influx of non-indigenous people began around the year 1814. The region eventually became the site of the first permanent European settlement in the country. This original site bore the name of Russell.
Nevertheless, many of the original Maori settlements played key roles in the development of the Bay of Islands, as well as the country. In point of fact, the community of Okiato eventually became the first capital of New Zealand. This primarily occurred due to the role it played in the early days of the region.
The region remains famous for its incredible beauty and has become a popular tourist destination. Due to publicity provided in the 1930’s by author Zane Grey, the region became famous for its big-game fishing. However, the amazing region also serves as a popular destination for sailing enthusiasts and numerous other tourist activities.
Features Sharing Its Region