Day 32 – Mar 2 – Monday – Bay of Islands
Bay of Islands is an historic area of New Zealand. It is the site of the signing, in 1840, of the treaty between the Maori and the English, known as the Treaty of Waitangi, which is a very important founding document of New Zealand. It established a British Governor of New Zealand, addressed Maori ownership of lands, and made the Maori British Subjects. Waitangi Day, February 6 is celebrated each year and is akin to our Fourth of July.
On a previous visit here Sally and I took a tour that took us far afield and we never saw anything in the immediate area so we were anxious to explore the nearby area.
In this port we have to use tenders to get ashore – and the process moved slowly so we didn’t get off the ship until about 11:00. Zaga and Dan on the tender.
When we finally get on the tender it drops us at a pier about 1/4 mile from the town of Paihia, and took a shuttle bus to the center of town, where we found the ferry landing, for the ferry to the town of Russell, an old whaling town which Dan and Zaga had visited on a prior trip and were anxious to see again. Zaga and Sally on the ferry dock.
A brief boat ride took us to Russell – which turned out to be an interesting little place – one main street running right along the water, with restaurants, hotels, gift shops and museums across from the water. A really charming place.
A view down the main street.
We strolled up the street, stopping a French bakery for a pastry and coffee – sitting in the shade enjoying the view and the baked goods! After some more wandering around we decided to have lunch at the hotel, which had a large verandah restaurant – a delicious lunch in an attractive setting.
After lunch, we strolled back to the ferry landing. Here is a shot of the ferry landing from the main street of Russell.
We took the ferry back to Paihia, did a little shopping, took the shuttle to the tender landing – brief ride out to the ship, and we reboarded. A shortened day due to the slow tender operation, but thoroughly enjoyable.