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  • Day36

    A Quick Hustle to Russell!

    December 19, 2018 in New Zealand ⋅ ☁️ 22 °C

    Put the Christmas tree up this morning (thanks Tricia Grey! 😜), then went for a short walk down our street to the site where the first ever cricket match was played in New Zealand! Also saw Paihia’s cutest little free library - an old telephone booth converted into a book exchange! Walked a few hundred yards from there to the ferry dock and caught the little fast ferry over to Russell, a famed historic town in these parts! The ferry ride is only about 10 minutes across the turquoise waters from Paihia. Apparently, Russell was New Zealand’s very first capital (interesting considering its size!) and in the past, temporary home to seafaring whalers, who came here after months at sea for drinking, carousing and letting off steam! It became known as the “Hell Hole of the Pacific” in the 1800’s as a result of this!

    We poked our heads into the Duke of Marlborough Hotel, which was the first hotel, beginning its life in 1827, opened by a former convict who was the first European to own freehold property in New Zealand after learning to communicate with the Māori people and negotiate the purchase. The hotel has actually been burnt down and rebuilt a couple of times, the most recent being around 1931. I don’t believe these are the original stocks outside the hotel, but had to get a pic of Dave imprisoned in them!!

    We walked through town along the Main Street and some of the residential areas, saw an original whaling boat at the back of the museum, which was donated to the museum in 1940, as well as a tiny church with a lovely cemetery and of course, a sign outlining fishing regulations in the area! After spending a few hours, we decided to head back to Paihia, pick up some lunch and dinner provisions, then head for a relaxing afternoon in the sun! Had dinner on our lovely balcony, overlooking the islands and Russell, then went for a stroll afterwards to end another great New Zealand day!
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