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Spending Christmas at Bay of Islands

Scotland
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27 posts
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Spending Christmas at Bay of Islands

Hi everyone,

Myself and my boyfriend are arriving in NZ mid November and plan to stay for a year or more. Plan is to buy a van and take our time driving up to the Bay of Islands and spend Christmas here.

I know next to nothing about the area as yet and wonder if anyone could suggest somewhere nice to stay for a few special days at Christmas. Somewhere not too far off the beaten track and picturesque. We have a week or more to spend in the area so any suggestions at all would be greatly appreciated.

Things to do, events, must visit places?

Cheers,

Anna

Rarotonga, Cook...
Destination Expert
for Rarotonga, Waiheke Island, Southern Cook Islands, Auckland Central
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1. Re: Spending Christmas at Bay of Islands

Hi Anna,

Are you keen to stay right in the BOI and be near people and activities (Paihia, Russell or Kerikeri) OR are you interested in doing the Kiwi BBQ Christmas with time spent on the beach and a simple approach to Christmas fare?

The above three locations provide convenience to stores, scenery, other people in more populated areas, and hotels serving festive dinners. There are some wonderful camper-van - camping sites in all these locations.

Regarding events & must-visit sites - these sites should help:-

www.bayofislands.net

www.bay-of-islands.co.nz ;

tourism.net.nz/new-zealand/.../regional-​information.html

newzealand.com/travel/en/about-nz/​features/.../bay-of-islands.cfm

Drive north to BOI via the west coast (wild surf beaches & Waipoua Forest, Matakohe Museum, Kai Iwi lakes/Taharoa domain for excellent camping, Hokianga harbour with its golden sand dunes, and tranquil upper reaches, & highly historic settlement periods in this region. Nice camping spots.

Alternatively continue north to BOI via the east coast scenery around Warkworth, Omaha, Leigh, Mangawhai, Langs Beach, Waipu (our rich Scottish - Caledonian heritage & early settlers museum depicting the sea voyages & land settlement). Every New Year's day, Waipu township comes alive with the Highland Games! Lots of fun Kiwi-Scottish style. Good camping in Waipu Cove, a basic DOC-camp ground in Uretiti, Ruakaka has a large camp site, several good ones around Whangarei city & our stunning beaches ( I live in Northland). Waipu Caves might be of interest!

www.waipumuseum.com; www.waipumuseum.com ; www.waipu.co.nz.

Far North - Doubtless Bay, Cape Karikari, Cape Reinga - extraordinary scenery. Excellent camping in the sub-tropical north - warmest part of NZ www.doubtlessbay.co.nz.

Wellington, New...
Destination Expert
for Wellington, Bay of Islands
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2. Re: Spending Christmas at Bay of Islands

There are if memory serves me correctly three camping grounds in and around Paihia plus several backpapcker lodges which should meet your needs for accomodation. There are also several camping grounds scattered around the far north plus if you check the Department of Conservation (DOC) website you should be able to ascertain availability of free camping sites on the DOC estate. If you decide to freedom camp please do it in authorised places as local Councils take a dim view of illegal freedom camping and if you want to keep the locals happy please take your rubbish away with you and deposit in the appropriate rubbish receptacles. When doing ones ablutions please also use the proper facilities and dont use the countryside as a toilet. If you are feeling offended by my comments please take them in the manner they are offered, one of concern and helpful as many overseas travellers planning what you are doing dont look after the nature reserve and leave their rubbish for others to clean up. If you treat our outdoors as you would your own backyard you will have a great holiday. Have a Merry Christmas.

Scotland
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3. Re: Spending Christmas at Bay of Islands

This is perfect and much appreciated - thank you!

Anna

New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
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28,636 posts
85 reviews
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4. Re: Spending Christmas at Bay of Islands

Anna, you may find all the best campgrounds full over Christmas and all through Jan when many Kiwi families camp during the school holidays.

I suggest you make bookings now.

newzealand.com/travel/…holiday-parks.cfm

…govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/…

Best of luck :)

5. Re: Spending Christmas at Bay of Islands

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