The Bay of Islands was our first stop on the 'Kiwi Tour' the backpacker bus tour we had booked in England to travel the country. The tour stops at all the notable locations enroute to your destination and also offers several discounts on a whole range of activities. On the way to the Bay we drove through the North Island countryside with plenty of cattle, not sheep to my surprise on the fields. In the Bay I decided to do a swim with Dolphins tour and a Skydive!
The Bay of Islands is home to 144 islands, the first Capital of New Zealand, Russel, was just a ferry ride across the water from Pahia, the place we were staying. Pahia had several nice long beaches and nice weather while we were there, which gave us great views of all the Islands.
On the second day Chris and I did a skydive over the bay from 16,000 feet. The whole experience was amazing, getting picked up and driven to the runway by a white limo, the actual skydive and the video and pictures they recorded for us. My favourite part was hanging out of the edge of the plane and the initial free fall out of the plane where it felt like there was no control over our decent and I felt the adrenaline pumping. The subsequent free fall was still exhilarating but more controlled and the parachute was opened all too early.
On the third day we went out for a 'Swim with Dolphins' tour which took us on a tour through all the islands looking for dolphin pods suitable to swim with. While we never got to actually swim with any dolphins as there were too many young dolphins in the pods we found, the dolphins did interact with the boat and us and we got to see their playful nature as well as all the many islands.