DSC02022Geologically, the Bay of Islands is an old river delta that “drowned” following rising sea levels after the last ice age about 12,500 years ago. This resulted in the creation of a large number of islands close to shore. 

Environmental conservation

IMG 0193aThe Bay of Islands' stunning natural beauty is not without its threats. The impacts of growing development can be felt even here. However, the conservation efforts in the Bay are steadily increasing as awareness is raised among the communities that we must actively preserve our environment.

Here is a showcase of ongoing conservation programmes in the Bay of Islands, many of which Ecocruz is directly connected with. Most of these groups have ties to the Department of Conservation (Te Papa Atawhai), New Zealand’s national body dealing with protecting and preserving our natural heritage.


ecocruz-16The Bay of Islands, formerly known to Maori as Ipipiri, which translates as ‘many places’, was used by several iwi (tribes) from as early as the 10th century.

Permanent settlements are not thought to have appeared until the 13th century. Kororareaka, or ‘sweet little penguin’, now known as Russell, and Keri Keri are perhaps the best known of these settlements that were established long before Captain Cook – the first European to visit the area - named the Bay of Islands in 1769.