New Zealand Day 5 – Waitangi & Russell (Kororokorera)

Day 5 of our time at Paihia in the Bay of Islands, and things are going well.  Catching up on lots of reading.  I finished Rob Bell’s Velvet Elvis (highly recommended) quick smart and am onto The Girl Who Played with Fire.  Dale’s well into The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest.  Holidays are great for reading and catching up, and yes – that includes plenty of sleep.

The weather across NZ continues to be questionable (and that’s putting it kindly).  Seems the further north you go, the better it gets. Even so, the lunch cruise we had booked on the Bay of Islands had to be cancelled, so we ended up driving to Russell (Kororokorera) instead – via a short carry ferry trip.  That one later.

Maori Meeting House- Waitangi Treaty Grounds

Yesterday, I made it to somewhere I had longed to visit should I ever come to these beautiful shores – the Waitingi Treaty Grounds, place of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi on 6 February 1840 between the Maori and the British – in effect giving full rights to both Europeans (pakeha) and Maori. They call it the birthplace of a nation for good reason.  Though it hasn’t been without dissent and even wars in the years since, it’s little wonder that comparatively speaking Maori and non-Maori in this country are in a much, much better relationship as a result – when you compare this to relationships between aboriginal peoples and Second Peoples in Australia and between native-Americans and non-native Americans in the USA.

I found it marvelous being there – with some photos below to prove it.  Apart from all this, it offered some wonderful vistas of the Bay of Islands.

Haruru Falls

We took a drive late afternoon (gee, the hired Corolla has been great) to nearby Haruru falls.

Today, as I’ve said, the Lunch Cruise to Russell got cancelled, so we drove there.  In the early decades of the 19th century it had a reputation as the ‘hellhole of the Pacific”. These days it’s a tranquil township of about 1000, and steeped in Bay of Islands history.  Had morning tea there in a little café, which offered the best of scones with jam and cream.  This was a nice respite from our walk along the Strand, during which the wind bore down on us like a howling gale.

Russell waterfront

So – one more full day here, before on Thursday we drive to Auckland – two nights right in the centre of Downtown.  We got a brilliant Rydges deal ages ago.  Might even manage to catch up on the NRL preliminary finals if they have the right cable TV stations!




1 Response to “New Zealand Day 5 – Waitangi & Russell (Kororokorera)”

  1. 1 Elaine Rae September 21, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    I have just fininshed reading Larson’s trilogy also – tremendous writing and a real tragedy that he died so soon after.

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