Trip Start Feb 18, 2012
42Trip End Apr 01, 2012
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Where I stayed
Instead of taking the full day to travel to Cape Reinga we decided to take a break from long days traveling and tour around Mangonui. We were directed to a Maori Pa, the site of a former Maori fortress high on a hill above Mangonui which gave a stunning 360 view of Doubtless Bay and its surrounds. From there we headed to the Karikari peninsula to check out some beautiful beaches at Matai Bay. Unfortunately it was very windy there and within 5 min. we were thoroughly sandblasted, so much for our beach day! We consoled our selves with some rich, creamy NZ ice cream on the way home.
Today we made our way to our next stop, Russell, in the Bay of Islands. We had to fill up with gas and it cost us $101 which was a bit of a shock! Gas is about $2.20 per litre (Eileen, that is almost $10 per gallon). On the way we stopped in Kerikeri to view the oldest buildings in NZ. - a mission station, an old church and some houses. We hope to get back to Kerikeri before we leave Northland and head south.
Here in Russell we have checked in to the Duke of Marlborough Inn which is the oldest licensed premises in New Zealand. It was built in 1827and started as "Johnny Johnston's Grog Shop". In the 1830s Russell was the biggest whaling port in the Southern Hemisphere. Up to 500 whalers at a time would arrive in Russell after 12 months at sea and the town was known as the "hell hole of the Pacific." it is much quieter now and quite touristy.
Cathy and Bill,we had a drink at the Sailfish Club and sat outside on the balcony overlooking the harbor. We said hello for you and had a couple of beers for you, too.
Tomorrow we get up early (for us) to take a tour of the Bay of Islands. Our weather is supposed to be fine so it looks to be another great day in this amazingly beautiful country.