• Day40

    Bay of Islands, New Zealand

    February 12, 2014 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 15 °C

    The Bay of Islands are situated in the North East of North Island. Again the temperature started at 18C but was predicted to rise to 23C. We left the ship by tender, arriving at Waitangi. From there we walked to the local town of Paihia where we spent about an hour walking around the craft stalls and shops. We then took the ship's shuttle bus back to Waitangi. Waitangi was the location of the signing of the historic pact between Great Britain and the Maori chieftains in 1840, which affirmed Maori rights and also established the foundations of New Zealand. We bought tickets to enter the National Reserve, costing NZ$25 each. The reserve is beautifully maintained and lovely to walk through. We viewed a Maori canoe, called 'Ngatokimatawhaorua, built in 1940 and 120 feet long. We visited the house where James Busby, who did much to bring the treaty about, lived with his family and also stood by the Flagstaff, which marks the location where the treaty was first signed. We attended a performance of a selection of songs and dances performed by a group of Maoris in a beautifully ornate meeting house. It was a very stimulating and moving experience. It was a fantastic culmination of a visit to a country we had never previously visited and will leave a lasting impression.Read more