I had never heard of Katoomba before a train I was on sailed through it and everyone except my friend Heather and I got off. This meant one of two things; it was either a hideous tourist hangout, or a brilliant tourist attraction. Either way, something interesting went on beyond that tiny station.
To appreciate in just one tramp the sheer variety of New Zealand’s North Island beauty, nothing beats hiking full circle in the Bay of Islands. With stunning views across the bay and the opportunity to get deep in native bush forest, this cheery day hike from one Bay of Islands community to another links party town Paihia to Russell, aka the Hell Hole of the Pacific.