Our People
  • Amy Waters snow biking Our Team

    Steppes Travel is made by the people who work here. Incredible holidays are made possible because of their vast travel experience and the great enthusiasm they bring to their work.

  • William Dalrymple Our Tour Experts

    We carefully select our experts based on their knowledge, companionship and influence, ensuring that you can travel with the most knowledgeable leaders in the field.

  • Liz Bonnin Heroes and Heroines

    The people who lead the way when it comes to those things which matter to us: exploration, the environment, women’s empowerment and education.

Paihia, Bay of Islands, New Zealand

Bay of Islands

With a sub-tropical climate, you can enjoy beach and water activities, explore one of the many nature trails, visit the ancient Kauri forests, swim with dolphins, charter a boat to go fishing or to explore the 144 different islands in the bay.

The Bay of Islands is both stunningly beautiful and historically significant.

The first European settlers landed in this area and the Treaty of Waitangi was signed in the Bay of Islands and is still celebrated every year at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds.

Roberton Island, Bay of Islands, New Zealand
Bay of Islands, New Zealand

A little more about the Bay of Islands

Each town in the Bay of Islands has its own unique culture and lifestyle – from the more up-market lifestyle of Kerikeri to bustling Paihia and the beautiful seaside town of Russell with its fine old buildings and pretty waterfront.

In the far north is Cape Reinga with some spectacular coastal scenery and it is here that the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean meet, sometimes generating waves up to 10 metres high during stormy weather. Walk or swim on the 90-mile beach or try your hand at sandboarding amidst the dunes that fringe the beach.


Tell us what you love doing and we’ll curate a journey that’s perfect for you.

Exterior, Eagles Nest, Russell, New Zealand

A Room with a Spectacular View

Stay at Eagles Nest, perched high on the cliffs, overlooking the Bay of Islands.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Paihia, Bay of Islands, New Zealand

Sail the Bay of Islands

Take a sailing trip around some of the 144 beach lined islands.

Suggested Holiday Idea

90 Mile Beach, Bay of Islands, New Zealand

90 Mile Beach

Dig for native shellfish at low tide, fish or body board down the dunes at 90-mile beach.

Flagstaff on Waitangi treaty grounds, Bay of Islands, New Zealand

Waitangi Treaty Grounds

Visit the Waitangi Treaty grounds and see the world’s largest Kauri tree.

Where to stay

Some of the wonderful places to stay that we frequently recommended.

Eagles Nest £££££

  • New Zealand

Eagles Nest occupies an enviable location atop its own private ridgeline, overlooking the Bay of Islands. Set within 75 acres this award-winning property offers five world-class villas, accommodating between two and eight people.

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Duke of Marlborough £££££

  • New Zealand

Affectionately known as ‘The Duke’, The Duke of Marlborough Hotel is located on the waterfront of Russell town; a lively and welcoming establishment it dates from 1827 and holds New Zealand’s oldest pub license. The 38 rooms are clean and contemporary in style and some have water views and balconies. Communal areas nod to the colonial era of the hotel with leather sofas surrounding open fires and historical artwork adorning the walls. The restaurant overlooking the water serves seasonal cuisine, often influenced by the sea.

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Kauri Cliffs £££££

  • New Zealand
  • Boutique

Set on 6,000 acres of rolling hills and native forest, The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs has spectacular 180-degree views of the Pacific Ocean and the offshore Cavalli Islands. The 22 guest suites have an elegant, country style and offer open fires, private verandas and all overlook the golf course or ocean. There is also the owner’s cottage a large two suite home with private pool. The lodge offers world class golfing as well as an exceptional spa and gourmet cuisine.

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Explore other regions

Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise set us apart. So too our curiosity. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you, all the while ensuring we travel and operate sustainably.

Are you ready to discover extraordinary once again?

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