Australia and New ZealandTravel

Day 10, Bay of Islands

We slept a little late (getting over the jet lag from yesterday) and only got out of bed at 8:00 am (!!) , really late for us. There was a photographer at breakfast taking some promotional “action” photos for the owner; however I suspect that the ones of me filling my face with poached eggs and bacon will not make the brochure.

View of Paihia Jetty
View of Paihia Jetty

We started the day with a walk out to The Waitangi Treaty Grounds which is the place where Māori chiefs first signed their accord with the British Crown – the Treaty of Waitangi – Te Tiriti of Waitangi, New Zealand’s founding document. It’s a special place for New Zealanders and I find it extraordinary that it does not get government funding.

View of the bay from Russel
View of the bay from Russel

We strolled back into town and then took the 15 minute ferry over to Russel (price included in a package of trips we purchased) and took a stroll around Russel for an hour or so. Russel has the nice feel of a village (unlike Paihia which is more town like) and has a few interesting bars and restaurants. Would have liked a little more time to do some of the walks around the town.

The hole in the rock
The hole in the rock

After lunch we picked up the Great Sights “Dolphin Cruise to Hole in the Rock” which does pretty much was it says on the tin i.e. a cruise around the inner bay looking for dolphins (which we found) then spending about 30 minutes photographing the dolphins (who are very obliging!), then cruising out to a massive hole in the rock. We weren’t able to go through the hole as the sea conditions were a bit rough but that was not a big drama. On the way back there’s a stop off at Urupukapuka Island which was excellent as the views and landscapes were spectacular. Overall the trip is around four hours and I think represents good value for money.

A good day out but as a reminder for next time we would probably like to spend more time stopping on the islands any maybe doing a bit of walking.

 

Views from Urupukapuka
Views from Urupukapuka

IMG_1054Dinner in “Sauce” Pizza house, Pizza’s are huge but tasteless!

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