New Zealand is hardly short of picturesque holiday spots but the Bay of Islands, located three hours’ drive north of Auckland, is particularly idyllic. The natural bay provides a sheltered haven for boat lovers with dozens of islands to explore and plenty of coves and inlets in which to moor.
Looking at this tranquil picture today, it’s hard to believe it was once known as the “hell hole of the Pacific”. But if you’d visited the town of Russell in the early 1800s, you’d have found a lawless outpost famous for its drunkenness, gambling and prostitution. Sadly, I couldn’t find any evidence of this but I did stumble across a fascinating museum and several excellent cafes.
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