Bay of Islands – History and Beauty

19 to 22 October 2009

We drove to the Bay of Islands via Puhoi, Orewa, Leigh, Raupo,and Waipoua Forest. We counted sheep, cows and witches hats.

Our first walk in the Bay of Islands was the Haruru Falls Track, taking us through a forest of ferns, a magnificent mangrove swamp and alongside the Waitangi River. Home via Mt Bledisloe and Waitangi golf course.

Paihia is downtown in the Bay of Islands. The harbour hosts many boat tours. There is no end to the tourist information desks and any extreme activity is available. We also found decent coffee and good restaurants there.

We sailed on the catamaran ‘On The Edge’ around the Bay of Islands. Watched dolphins, lunch at Urupukapuka Island, Indigo Bay (aka Otiao Bay), then a walk in the very long grass.

Kerikeri Mission was founded by the Church Missionary Society in 1819. It is a little north of Waitangi in the Bay of Islands.

Mount Bledisloe is named after Lord & Lady Bledisloe who purchased the estate of the Waitangi Treaty Grounds for New Zealand. Mount Bledisloe looks over the treaty grounds.

The Treaty of Waitangi was signed on 6 February 1840, an agreement that Maori and non-Maori citizens live and work together.

We took a beautiful walk behind Paihia to the lookout over the Bay of Islands.

We visited Russell, a ferry ride from Paihia. It was a lawless whaling and sealing town, described as the “Hell-hole of the Pacific” in the early 1800s.