creative sports whangarei

History of the Bay of Islands – New Zealand

New Zealand was first discovered about 1000 years ago by the great Polynesian navigator Kupe who sailed here from his homeland Hawaiki. He named the islands Aotearoa, Land of the Long White Cloud. Kupe returned to Hawaiki and left instruction on how to get here.

About 400 years later Maori arrived back in Aotearoa with seven great canoes and began to populate the North Island.

The Dutchman Abel Tasman landed in 1642, charted part of the coastline and named it Staten land, believing it was part of the Australian continent. When his mistake was discovered the country was renamed Nieuw Zeeland.

In 1769 James Cook came to New Zealand, extensively charted both North and South Island and gave the Bay of Islands its present name.

Zane Grey

Zane Grey Fishing Despite the global threat of overfishing, the subtropical waters of northern New Zealand are, still…


Ruapekapeka Pa

ruapekapeka pa Ruapekapeka Pa offers a fascinating view into the conflict between the British colonising forces and Maori warriors defending their sovereignty! Find out how Māori warriors invented and used trench warfare to successfully defend against the British cannon fire.


Moturua Island

Moturua Island Moturua Island is simply divine. It is paradise and offers something for everyone with a variety of beaches, crystal clear, turquoise waters, stunning panoramic views, rich, green forests, abundant with native vegetation, rare wildlife and a plethora of fascinating archaeological secrets.


Maori History

Maori occupied the Bay of Islands from as early as the 10th century. The first tribes stayed for only relatively short periods. Garden sites documented by archaeologists at Urimatao, on Moturua Island, are evidence of their occupation.


Kerikeri History

According to Maori Historians, Ngati-Miru, the people who first lived in the Kerikeri district, were attacked and driven away by a war party of Ngapuhi. Terraces are the visual evidence of the pa (fortified settlement) the Ngapuhi built, this area is now known as Kororipo (swirling waters).


Opua History

Opua’s basin and wharf, situated at the junction of the Veronica Channel, Waikare Inlet and Kawakawa River afford the last deep-water anchorage in the inner Bay of Islands. A railway to Kawakawa and a road connecting with the car ferry to the Russell peninsular make Opua a natural crossroads for travellers.


Paihia History

With its three sandy beaches sheltered by rocky islets, Paihia has been a popular holiday destination for over a hundred years.


Russell History

Long before Captain Cook’s visit in 1769, Russell was an established settlement of various Maori tribes. Its name at that time, Kororareka, reflected a legend that a wounded chief asked for penguin and on tasting the broth said ” Ka reka to korora.” (How sweet is the penguin.)


Ipipiri – a historic map of the Bay of Islands

Place names come and go, but the land remains. An enquiry from a cousin about the name of one particular headland near his home in Manawaora Bay, Bay of Islands, started Murphy Shortland on a five year quest to record the pre-European names of the eastern Bay of Islands. The result is a map which he has called Ipipiri, a name used by the Maori to refer to what Captain Cook named the Bay of Islands.