Bay of Islands

Trip Start Aug 16, 2004
Trip End Aug 13, 2005

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Sunday, June 26, 2005

Having been woken up by a car alarm twice in the night and being hungover, the day did not start well. However, lunch at McDonalds soon cured that - perfect hangover food.

It took 4-5hrs to get to Bay Of Islands and we went to Paihia to book our dolphin watching boat cruise and then found a very cheap campsite and relaxed for the night.

Set off on the Kings Hole in the Rock Tour just after 9am for 3hrs. Picked up people from Russell after 15mins and then we were off to find some dolphins.

We didn't have to wait long before we came across 15 - 20 dolphins splashing about. There was the option to swim with them as well but the water was really cold and we didn't have our swimming things with us, so we just watched from the boat. The water was really calm and clear and we could see the dolphins below the surface as well as when they were on the surface.

After we spent about 30mins with the dolphins, we then made our way across the bay to the Hole in the Rock, which we then proceeded to drive through. The other side was a bit rough, and we saw some more dolphins playing around in the surf.

After saying a prayer of thanks to the Guardian of the Rock, we headed back into the bay and towards Paihia, stopping first at Russell to drop any passengers off that wanted to have a look round.

After lunch we went to Waitangi and visited the Waitangi Treaty Grounds. This is where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840. We walked in the grounds, seeing a war canoe, Hobsons Beach, the Treaty House and a Maori Meeting House. The Treaty House was actually where James Busby lived during his time as official representative in the Bay of Islands. He was there to regulating settlers' behaviour although he did not hold any authorative power. It was Busby that encouraged Maori chiefs to sign a Declaration of Independence, and later, the Treaty of Waitangi on 6th February 1840.

The public have access to this important historic site because it was purchased by Lord and Lady Bledisloe in 1932, and gifted to the people of New Zealand in trust. The Maori Meeting House was built and presented to the people of New Zealand on the centenary of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi on the 6th February 1940.

We then drove to Haruru Falls. There is a walk from Waitangi Treaty Grounds to the falls but it is a 2hr walk and we didn't want to leave the campervan for too long.

We then drove to Takapuna, which is 30km away from Auckland.
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