The Bay of Islands is a popular destination for travellers to New Zealand. A few hours drive north of New Zealand's biggest city, Auckland, the Bay of Islands is renown for its 144 islands, beaches, fishing, and warm climate. The area was the first area in New Zealand to be settled by Europeans and is a rich part of New Zealand for the country's history. The Treaty of Waitangi known as the country's founding document was signed in the township of Waitangi in 1840. The beautiful town of Russell was also New Zealand's first capital.