New Zealand
Veronica Channel

Discover travel destinations of travelers writing a travel journal on FindPenguins.
44 travelers at this place
  • Day6

    Jan 27 - And We're Off!!

    January 27, 2020 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    First of all, KIA ORA!!! Pronounced KEY OR AH - it means, “Hello” in Maori.

    Up at 6:00 a.m. Breakfast at 6:30 a.m. It was a really nice, extensive breakfast buffet, but I still choke at paying $30 CAD for breakfast.

    Our coach is LOVELY!!! Check out the pictures - it even has Wifi! Our tour director is Linda - she is a wealth of information and is a very smooth driver.

    We left promptly at 8:00 a.m. on another warm, sunny, clear day. We did a short drive around Auckland, but not the downtown area - the massive construction project for the subway system has made most of the streets impassable for the bus. We drove out to the Auckland Domain where we had gone on Saturday. Then we headed to a suburb called Parnell, named after Samuel Parnell who advocated for and won the 40-hour work week for workers in New Zealand. Parnell is now a very ritzy and desirable place to live. Then we drove out along the shore on Tamaki Drive - the same route that we took yesterday to go to the aquarium. The view is simply mesmerizing. What a beautiful day all the sailors got for the massive annual regatta. We saw the huge shipping docks again. There is a proposal to move the entire shipping enterprise 2.5 hours north of the city to allow more of the harbour to be repatriated for enjoyment. The cost of the proposal is billions of dollars and will need a huge investment in roads and railways. The north of the country is the most economically challenged so residents there are rooting for the move so they can enjoy the good jobs that will follow.

    It was time to head north. We crossed the Harbour Bridge, the one where the light show had been on Saturday night. I found out later that we could have streamed accompanying music on my phone. Maybe next time!! The number of lanes of the Harbour Bridge was doubled a number of years ago - the work was done by Nippon who built “clip on” sections that were bolted to the original structure. Yup - they are called “Nippon Clip Ons!"

    Many people say that New Zealand looks like Canada - and I have to agree, it does. We passed drove through low rolling hills with lots of farms (beef, sheep) and lots and lots of trees. It’s been very dry here, so many the fields were brown and withered.

    Our first stop was in Parry Kauri Park near Warkworth to see the McKinney Kauri. Kauri is a coniferous tree that covered huge swaths of the North Island. Second only in size to the sequoia tree, kauri was valued for shipbuilding, furniture making and bracing for mines and tunnels. The forests were decimated by over harvesting, leaving only a very few pockets of growth today that are highly protected. The majestic McKinney Kauri at an estimated 800 years old has a girth of 25 feet.

    Our next stop was the Kauri Museum in Matakohe. This museum tells the story of the harvesting of the kauri tree and its gum that was used to make varnishes. They have a replica steam sawmill so Doug was in mechanical heaven. The gum solidifies and looks like amber - there was a huge display of carved pieces - fascinating to see. Learned something important at the museum - that New Zealand women were the first in the world to vote - 1893!!!
    Read more

  • Day6

    Jan 27 - The Waitangi Treaty Grounds

    January 27, 2020 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    We had a bite of lunch at the Gumdiggers Café and then set off for the Waitangi Treaty Grounds. It was here in 1840 that the Maori Chiefs signed a treaty with the British Crown. It has become a document of central importance to the history, to the political constitution of the state, and to the national mythos of New Zealand, and has played a major role in framing the political relations between New Zealand's government and the Māori population, especially from the late-20th century. We learned about the treaty and its many pitfalls and saw the fabulous meeting house that is used by the Maori for celebrations and conferences. Our guide finished the tour by giving us a beautiful Maori blessing that wished us safe travels here and abroad. It was a lovely finish to a fascinating day.

    From there, it was a short drive to our hotel in Paihia on the beautiful Bay of Islands. We had dinner at the hotel with lots of laughs and are tucked up for the night. Tomorrow is a free day - stay tuned to see how we spend it!
    Read more

  • Day7

    Jan 28 - Exploring Russell/Kororareka

    January 28, 2020 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 24 °C

    Kia ora!!

    We slept like logs in our fluffy, soft bed after our very busy first day of this tour. It’s a free day to do as we wish so there was no 6:00 a.m. wake up call. There will be one tomorrow. Linda, our tour director, is on a 24-hour break which will allow her to stay within her driving hour limit for the next leg of the trip.

    We had breakfast with Gaynor and Bob who live just north of London, England. They too are going to be first-time grandparents in May. The hotel had designated tables for us - it appears that each tour group is assigned its own tables. Some breakfast observations: streaky bacon = regular bacon; middle bacon = back bacon; thin milk = 1% milk. I’m going to see if that thin milk really does make me thin….

    Our mission for today is to go to explore Russell, the little town across the Bay of Islands from Paihia (pronounced Pie-ee-ah) where we are staying. Doug was a little leery about taking a ferry there and back, but when he saw how calm the waters were yesterday, he decided to chance it. And what a good chance it was - we had a great time over there.

    First some background about Russell courtesy of our friends at Wikipedia. Russell was known as Kororareka which means “how sweet is the penguin”, a line uttered by an ailing Maoria chief after he sipped broth made from the blue penguin which used to frequent the bay. In the early 19th century, Russell/Kororareka was the first permanent European settlement and seaport in New Zealand. It is situated in the Bay of Islands, in the far north of the North Island. The town has a population of only about 1000 permanent residents along with many, many tourists and vacationers. European and American ships began visiting New Zealand in the early 1800s. The Bay of Islands offered safe anchorage. Whaling and sealing were huge industries in the area at that time. The Maori of the Bay of Islands saw the many advantages to be had by trading with these strangers. They supplied food and timber, and in return, got firearms, alcohol and other European goods. They didn’t get the respect that they felt that they were earning. The little village became known as “The Hell Hole of the Pacific” with its many brothels and grog (liquor) stores and general lawlessness. European law had no influence and Maori law was rarely enforced. Kororareka was by this time a vital supply port and supported a thriving mercantile industry, but due to its bad reputation, it was not chosen to be the capital of the Colony of New Zealand. The town was renamed Russell in honour of the Secretary of State for the Colonies, Lord John Russell. Auckland was chosen as the capital, and the importance of Russell declined rapidly. In the 1920s, the American writer, Zane Grey who wrote adventure novels and Westerns visited Russell and fell in love with its blue waters and fabulous sport fishing. He returned many times and the area quickly became a popular destination for the rich and famous. Tourism and sport fishing are now the two major industries of the area.

    We rode over on the ferry with Gaynor and Bob, and with Shannon and Tony. Tony is a retired cardiologist who knew my uncle, J.K. Wilson very well. Tony was instrumental in getting the bust made of J.K. that is at St. Mike’s Hospital in Toronto. J.K. was one of the pioneers of the heart transplant program there. Small world.

    The ferry ride of about 15 minutes was smooth on this, yes, another lovely, warm, sunny day. We had signed up to do a mini-bus tour at 11:00 a.m. We asked at the ticket office where the bus would be parked and were told that it was parked right outside and that we could take the 10:00 a.m. tour if we liked. Turns out we were the ONLY ones on the 10:00 a.m. tour. Our guide and driver, Kelly, was terrific. She gave us the history of Russell and pointed out all the major sights - the oldest store in New Zealand, the oldest church in New Zealand, lovely little cottages with foundations made out of ground-up whale bones, and on and on. We then drove up to a place called Flagstaff Hill. It was here that the British flew the Union Jack during the 1840s. The Maori resented the British sovereignty, so they chopped down the flagstaff three times. The town of Kororareka/Russell was sacked by Hōne Heke, a Maori chief, after diversionary raids drew away the British defenders. The flagstaff was felled for the fourth time at the commencement of the Battle of Kororareka, and the inhabitants fled aboard British ships, which then shelled and destroyed most of the houses. The views from up there were spectacular. You need more than one set of eyes to truly drink in the beauty of this country. The most expensive holiday accommodation in all of New Zealand, the Eagles Nest, is close by there - each night is a mere $2000 NZD. Maybe we’ll book it next time……

    After our tour, we had ice cream, because being a tourist is a hungry job and we wanted to support the local dairy industry. A favourite flavour of ice cream here is Hoki Poki - vanilla with lumps of honeycomb toffee. The stuff is deadly delicious.

    We walked and walked and walked all over the town. We visited the very good Russell Museum. They have a one-fifth scale model of Captain James Cook’s ship Endeavour. Cook was the first to circumnavigate New Zealand and prove that it was not attached to Australia.

    We found a lovely little bakery and had a ham and cheese croissant followed by ginger cookies. I washed it all down with Bundaberg lemonade from Australia - we drove very close to Bundaberg when we visited Australia in 2016. Yum.

    We sat by the water’s edge for a while, watching people enjoy the sunshine and the water, and watching teenager sea gulls giving their mother a hard time. She took off. You go girl. Good entertainment while we waited for the 2:00 p.m. ferry. Another smooth crossing brought us back to Paihia.

    We found the grocery store and picked up sandwiches for dinner and some granola bars for tomorrow morning. Lunch is going to be very late tomorrow so the bars should tide us over. We have found that NZ is NOT a salad country. We usually exist on pre-made salads when we travel. Not here - have only found one salad so far and it wouldn’t have fed a baby rabbit. The favourite vegetable here is kumara - sweet potatoes. Can’t believe I’m craving green vegetables and going to the gym……

    We headed home as we felt it prudent to get out of the sun even though we had slathered on sun screen today - twice.
    Read more

  • Day10

    Aussicht aus unserer Unterkunft

    October 20, 2016 in New Zealand ⋅ 🌧 14 °C

    Das ist die unglaubliche Aussicht wenn man nur einen kleinen aber sehr steilen Waldweg vom Garten unserer Unterkunft aus hinunterläuft. Außerdem waren wir heute am Tag unserer Ankunft in Paihia noch auf einem kleinen Markt, der direkt am Meer gelegen war. Der Name der Stadt ist übrigens ursprünglich aus der Ausdrucksweise "good here" entstanden. Da "Pai" maori für gut heißt, hat sich irgendwann der Ausdruck Paihia etabliert, was nun der Name der kleinen Stadt ist.Read more

    Marie Smolka

    Ein toller Blick

  • Day269

    Back to Auckland

    February 27, 2019 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 70 °F

    Yesterday's sailing was terrific! The island was beautiful and full of birds. I made the short trek over the hill and through the trees to the other beach where I ate my lunch. There were four boats anchored there and around 25 people on the beach, so I went back to our beach after eating. The trail was nice, so I walked barefoot the whole time. It was lovely to be so quiet and not to disturb the birds and their whistles, clicks, and squawks. Tui birds are very common (and loud) and I was able to get a fairly close shot of one with my camera.

    After getting back to Paihia, I walked up to the main drag for a haircut. Just the sides because I haven't decided what to do with the rest of it yet. I like the ashy blond it's faded to, but miss the purple. Anyway, I found a historical marker for the church I saw the other day. The treaty it tells of at the end is what gave the British crown its rights here. The treaty grounds are only a few kilometers away, but I won't make it there this trip.

    This morning, I had a delicious chorizo, black bean, and corn salsa breakfast burrito and am now reading my book until the bus gets here to take me back to Auckland.

    So long [for now] and thanks for all the fish. ✌️

    P.S.: I forgot to tell you. The Bay of Islands is a hammerhead shark breeding ground. Luke said he saw one the day before we sailed, but we weren't that lucky. He said they live birth at the mouth of the river and the pups come further out the larger they get. Cool.
    Read more

    Daniel Soha

    I like the faded ashy blonde look too

  • Day19

    A Day in the Bay

    January 23, 2019 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

    Der Titel kommt nicht von mir. Er ist der Slogan des Tourveranstalters für die 7 stündige Tour durch die wunderschöne Bay of Islands die ich heute gemacht hatte.

    Ohne ein Boot kann man die Bay of Islands eigentlich nur bedingt entdecken, da ich keines habe und noch weniger eins steuern kann hatte ich mich, obwohl ich lieber auf eigene Faust losziehe, dafür entschieden.

    Fast 150 Inseln gibt es hier zu bewundern. Von simplen Felsformationen die aus dem Wasser ragen bis hin zu großen, für einen Tagesausflug geeigneten Inseln ist alles dabei. Bemerkenswert ist auch das Wasser, welches vor jeder Insel in einer anderen Schattierung von blau, türkis oder grün zu schimmern schien.

    Teil der Tour war das „Hole in the Rock“. Ein kleiner Tunnel durch einen Fels, durch den bei gutem Wetter geschippert werden kann, und wir hatten gutes Wetter😃

    Ebenso ein Zwischenstopp zum, planschen, picknicken oder wandern auf Otehei Bay.
    Spaßiger Höhepunkt, auch wenn ich nicht teilnahm, war das „Boom netting“. Hierbei wird ein sehr großes Netz an Haltevorrichtungen neben das Schiff ins Wasser gespannt. Darin finden ca. 15-20 Menschen gut Platz.
    Und dann gibt der Kapitän gas😅😅

    Kritik habe ich allerdings für das Schwimmen mit Delphinen. Ob das immer so abgeht wie heute weiß ich nicht. Aber wenn 3-4 Schiffe einen großen Kreis bilden, die Tiere fast schon in die „Falle“ locken, und dann viele Schwimmer auf sie loslassen, hat das schon ein bisschen etwas von einer Treibjagd. Die flotten und verspielten Tiere sollten lieber nur beobachtet werden dürfen statt sie derart zu drangsalieren.

    Insgesamt war es ein super Ausflug, bei super Wetter und einer grandiosen Bay of Islands.
    Read more

    Jan Auf Reisen

    Wow tolle Bilder. Das mit den Delfinen klingt echt übel. Habe ich von anderen Veranstaltungen bereits gehört. Dachte es ist hier besser gelöst.

    Patrick Meusel

    Wie gesagt, weiß nicht ob das immer so ist. Aber es waren halt trotzdem 3 Ausflugsboote zur fast identischen Zeit dazu heute zwei private. Man merkte es den Tieren auch an. Vorher sind sie gesprungen in den tollsten Einlagen. Als es losging war da nix mehr

    Jan Auf Reisen

    Delfinsicht garantiert heißt es. Mir war da im Ort es schon zu voll. Die nahen Inseln kannst mit deinem Kajak ansteuern oder ist das da verboten in der Bucht?

    5 more comments
  • Day56

    Paihia bunkbed room aka gypsy club

    January 17, 2016 in New Zealand ⋅ 🌙 20 °C

    Saltwater lodge in Paihia
    3 nights
    Jan 17-20, 2016
    Anna's first time in a hostel. Weird mix of old people and young german girls. One notable resident: a super super tan, older than Jesus, needle loving, bag of wrinkles. Wear sunscreen kids and stay off brown sugar.

    also: owners of the place, if you're reading this, i want to tell you i'm sorry. I didn't have a fall and broke the bike. I rode it on a giant balancing board to impress some middle schoolers and it broke. I fixed it as best i could, and the 18km i had to carry it back were ample punishment.
    Read more

  • Day25


    January 28, 2019 in New Zealand

    Am wärmsten Punkt (zumindest haben wir das zu diesem Zeitpunkt angenommen) unseres Neuseelandtrips geht's erst mal ins Meer. Und am nächsten Tag mit der Fähre nach Russell, wo James Cook vor 250 Jahren mit der Endeavour in der Bay of Islands landete.Read more

  • Day123


    November 6, 2016 in New Zealand ⋅ 🌙 17 °C

    Die Bay of Islands mit ihren 150 verstreuten Inseln gilt als der Ankunftsort der ersten Maori aus Polynesien, und hier sollte später auch die erste europäische Siedlung entstehen. Nicht zuletzt wurde hier die Neuseeländische Variante einer Unabhängigkeitserklärung unterzeichnet.
    Inselhopping am Vormittag und Maori Kultur am Nachmittag.
    Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Veronica Channel