Our first ‘port of call’ was Bay of Island, which is north of Auckland.
We anchored about fifteen-minute boat ride from the landing pier. The Bay of Islands doesn’t have any facilities for large vessels to go alongside.
A very peaceful and quiet place, the above photo was taken from Waitangi wharf.
Our mini-bus took us to the oldest stone building in NZ – the Stone Store. It had been a trading post for many, many years and is still being used a ‘shop’, mainly aimed at the tourists.
Across the lawn was an old missionary house called Kemp House, which is the oldest wooden building in N.Z. The building was part of the Church Missionary Settlement established in 1819.
To protect the original floorboards we were asked to take off our shoes.
The house was lived by the same family for 142 years until 1976 when it was donated to the NZ Historic Places.(Now called Heritage New Zealand).
The above are just a few photographs taken during our visit.
From this area we made our way to Waitangi, site of the signing of the treaty between the British & the Maori people in 1840. The spot is marked by the sign below as well as a large flagpole with three flags flying – the NZ flag, the union flag of Britain, and, I think, the flag of the area of the Bay of Islands.
This is a beautiful spot overlooking the waters of the Bay of Islands. If you look closely you can see the Dawn Princess at anchor. If you can’t see it in the above picture, you’ll it see below.
Maori wakas (canoes)
The special ceremonial waka (war canoe) on the right is manned by eighty rowers, plus it is able to carry some passengers.
The Maori people arrived in NZ around 1200 AD in their waka boats from Polynesia. At that time NZ didn’t have any mammals. ‘Man’ had not arrived, birds were very large (some now extinct), fish were plentiful, so of course the original Maori went back to inform their people and more and more arrived. They stayed isolated until Able Tasman arrived (1642), but he didn’t consider the place in a positive light. Later Captain Cook arrived (1769) and set in motion a complete change to NZ and the Maori people.