Waitangi & Paihia (Bay of Islands)

Trip Start Jan 16, 2008
Trip End Jul 28, 2008

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Flag of New Zealand  , North Island,
Saturday, July 19, 2008

The treaty of Waitangi signed in 1840 between the British Crown and Maori chiefs is still considered the founding document in New Zealand's history. The spot where this famous agreement was signed is now a national reserve with the restored Treaty House, a mighty 35 metre Maori war canoe as well as a beautifully carved traditional Marae welcoming house. It was a fantastic opportunity to visit such a nationally important sight that still bears such significance.
With less than ideal weather we decided against a rather damp cruise of the Bay of Islands and instead ventured out onto the winding gravel back road that eventually led to Russell. Instead of the car ferry this road rather resembled a rally track but both Kim and Oscar passed with flying colours.
Having heard so much about the quaint and picturesque town of Russell we left a little disappointed as the boutique gift shops and charming cafes were either dead, closed or non-existent! There were certainly pleasant views across the bay and the visitors' book in NZ's oldest church provided some quality entertainment, particularly from the bloke who was having a rant about Charles Darwin and his evolutionary theories (Darwin had given a donation for the construction of the church)! Other than that Russell didn't quite float my boat, but it is certainly an undeniably beautiful part of the world though perhaps best appreciated with a little bit of sun!
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