Before we left the Bay Ted took us to Waitangi, which is one of the most important places in N Zealand. It is the site of the signing of the first treaty between the Maoris and the British government, which effectively brought N Zealand into being. A hundred years later a ceremonial Marae was built there to commemorate the signing. Nowadays there is an annual ceremony to which the participants are brought in the Mighty waka( so called because it is the biggest waka). It was carved almost entirely from one kauri tree.
In the afternoon Rhonda, Greg and I went over to Russel, a small town in the area. although you can go by road from just north of Paihia it takes 3 hours, by ferry it’s 15 minutes. It’s about the size of Millport. Like this kind of resort in Scotland over 75% of teh houses are holiday homes.
We returned to Auckland yesterday. Today we spent the day exploring Auckland. In the morning we took a trip around teh harbour. It’s a pretty big area with several islands scattered throughout. Since two of the island are dormant volcanoes there are several outcrops that can be dangerous and so one of the oldest lighthouses is situated in the harbour.
The naval dockyard is also here and believe it or not it is called Devonport. On the other side of the harbour is the biggest marina( possibly in the world). 1 in 5 Aucklander owns a boat and believe me they are not small.
Today is the last day of this part of my trip and it’s hard to believe that I’ve been in N Zealand for nearly 3 weeks. What will I remember about N Zealand?
- the scenery in the South Island. I still think that it was awesome.
- Mount Cook, Mount Cook, Mount Cook
- the wee fur seals
- the dolphins
- N Zealand white wine. It’s been hard but I’ve tried as many different types as I could and they are mostly excellent. I’m told that the same cannot be said for the red.
- the Bay of Islands
Actually I could probably go on and on. N Zealand is just so worth visiting for so many reasons. I’ve enjoyed my visit here; with a bit of luck I’ll be back.