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Intimate discovery of the Bay of Islands

Composed of a multitude of deserted islands emerging from a bay with turquoise waters, the Bay of Islands is a destination that makes many travellers dream. However, it is advisable to make the right choice to explore its richness as many operators target young and festive clientele and do not hesitate to crowd on imposing boats.

Seashuttle is a small local operator operating since 2017 and offering an intimate discovery of the Bay, aboard a boat of 20 people maximum. The excursion lasts a total of 5 hours from Paihia, and offers a pleasant moment in the company of a guide who knows the region and its history perfectly.

The tour begins with a trip across the bay towards Robertson Island. Here we disembark to enjoy the beach and climb to the top of the island, from where we admire a superb view of the bay. For about 45 minutes, everyone can walk and explore at their own pace, take photos or swim before the large boats arrive. Back on the beach, we have the visit of an impressive group of dolphins who come to greet us while approaching almost to the beach!

Our next stop is on a much more isolated and deserted island in the bay. Here we unload the material which consists of masks, snorkels and fins, paddle boards, and beach tent to protect from the sun. For about 2 hours, everyone is free to enjoy these activities, or just relax on the beach. This is also where we take our picnic. For my part, I chose to indulge in paddle boarding, before borrowing masks and snorkel to go explore the seabed. The clear waters allow me to observe many fish, including a magnificent spotted ray. Back on the shore, our guide offers us to taste a kina (sea urchin) that he freshly caught, a dish very popular with Maori.

We return to Paihia in the middle of the afternoon, after a busy half-day with images in our heads. I really appreciated this excursion for its confidential and informal side, the knowledge of the guide as well as the possibility of practicing several nautical activities.

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