The Winterless North
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The Winterless North

Why You Shouldn’t Just Head South For The Winter

As winter sets in for the southern hemisphere, most people coming to New Zealand have their sights set on the snow. But the wise few among the crowd have set aside time in their trip to visit the hidden jewel in New Zealand’s winter mantle: The Winterless North.

Take a break from the snow, from the cold, from the busy-ness of the ski fields and make your way up towards the Bay of Islands. As you get further north, you’ll notice the snow melts, the frosty mornings become a thing of memory and the thermometer will give up it’s flirtation with the minus degrees.

Welcome to Northland, where the sun stays warm all year round and the turquoise water is clear enough to see the tropical fish playing beneath the waves. The dolphins who play in the wake of the many boats that head out amongst the islands are as prolific as ever, the seals that bask on the rocks around the coast stand sentinel and little blue penguins that duck and dive as you come close race into the depths.

This is a place of mystery and history, where the first travellers came and settled, where sailors, whalers and adventurers set up camp and never left. This is the land of legends, of folklore and intrigue, of battles and treaties, the land where everything started. This is the Winterless North.

If you need more reasons to visit, read on:

  1. The highest skydive in the North Island can be found at Skydive Bay of Islands. Jump from a plane at 16000ft, experience over 60 seconds of free fall and see all one hundred and forty four islands from high up in the atmosphere. Arguably one of the best views of the bay, Skydive Bay of Islands is open all year round and even offers a free pick up service in their luxury limousine!
  2. Our history extends beyond the shores and under the waves up here – the Rainbow Warrior, a Greenpeace boat that was bombed in Auckland Harbour 30 years ago, lies in her watery grave, waiting for visitors to explore her bow. Paihia Dive offer regular dive trips to the Cavalli Islands to explore the wreck and in the Bay of Islands to check out the Canterbury Wreck and do some reef diving.
  3. Secret Hot Pools! Rotorua may have the monopoly on hot pools and bubbling mud, but we have our own secret set of hot pools hidden away in the countryside. The cheapest entry fee you will find this side of the world ($5!), all you need is transport to take you there and you can bask in the soothing and healing waters of Ngawha Springs.
  4. Waitomo is not the only place to see glow worms – we’ve got our very own up here at Kawiti Glow Worm Caves, 20 minutes outside of Paihia. Take a walking tour through the cave with a guide, check out the glow worms up close, then on your way back why not visit the famous Hundertwasser toilets in Kawakawa!
  5. 144 Islands. One hundred and forty four islands to explore, white sand beaches to discover, lookout trails to trek and a myriad of fish to encounter under the waves.

The Bay of Islands is a taste of paradise in a country that is overflowing with scenic views and breathtaking scenery. Our history sets us apart at the same time as it binds us to the stories of the people and tribes who headed south to make a home. Whether you visit at the beginning of your trip to relax before you head for the snow, or the end of your trip to warm up after the freezing embrace of the South Island, there is something for everyone here.

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