Tuesday, January 22, 2008

New Zealand Road Trip - December 22, 2007 (19)

December 22

Waitangi Treaty Grounds

The Waitangi Treaty Grounds are situated at Waitangi, Bay of Islands, Northland, New Zealand.

The Waitangi Treaty complex is New Zealand's pre-eminent historic site. It was here that the Treaty of Waitangi (The Treaty) was first signed between Maori and the British Crown on 6 February 1840, and has been the site of subsequent annual commemorations of the signing.

[from http://whc.unesco.org/en/tentativelists/5127/]

This is the official website - among other things there is a short video there that you may find interesting. Here is another informative site.

Craig was eager to see this place as he had to learn about Maori history and teach it in some of his classes. It is an important historic site, and certainly picturesque.

Once you pass through the Visitor Centre, there is a short walk through this tropical forest type area.

Maori war canoe (waka). Note the intricate carving on the bow/stern and the two Maori warriors on the pillar supporting the roof.

This is an attempt to get the full length of the waka in one pix.

Ngatokimatawhaorua on Hobson's Beach

The waka (canoe) house at Hobson's Beach on the Waitangi Treaty Grounds houses the 35m-long Maori canoe called Ngatokimatawharoua. Launched in 1940 in time for the Waitangi Treaty centenary celebrations, it bears the name of the voyaging waka in which the original Maori explorer, Kupe, visited Aotearoa after his boat was later enlarged and sailed back to Aotearoa by his grandson, Nukutawhiti. It is relaunched every 6 February on Waitangi Day, and requires a minimum of 76 paddlers for safe handling, although it carries up to 80 paddlers and 55 passengers. It weighs 12 tonnes.

[from http://www.flickr.com/photos/67307569@N00/348783694/]

OK - Joe took this pix - he was quite impressed by the anatomically correct carving.

Hobson's Beach.

The imposing Naval flagstaff - which marks the place where the Treaty of Waitangi was first signed.

[from http://www.waitangi.net.nz/about/]

The Treaty House - built for the first British Resident, James Busby and his family. It is one of New Zealand's oldest and most visited historic homes.

[from http://www.waitangi.net.nz/about/]

Te Whare Runanga - fully carved Maori Meeting House, which is representative of all Iwi (regional tribes) in New Zealand.

[from http://www.waitangi.net.nz/about/]

Inside Te Whare Runanga (there's Craig with Traumador again).

Heading back to the Visitor Centre.

Anatomically correct female carving over the door of the Visitor Centre.

Later that same day...

Bay of Islands

The Bay of Islands is an area in the Northland region of the North Island of New Zealand. Located 60 km north-west of Whangarei, it is close to the northern tip of the country.
It is one of the most popular fishing, sailing and tourist destinations in the country, and has been renowned internationally for its big-game fishing since American author Zane Grey publicised it in the 1930s.
The bay itself is an irregular 16 km-wide inlet in the north-eastern coast of the island. A natural harbour, it has several arms which extend into the land, notably Waikare Inlet in the south and Kerikeri and Te Puna (Mangonui) inlets in the north-west. The small town of Russell is located at the end of a short peninsula that extends into the bay from the southeast. Several islands lie to the north of this peninsula, notably Urupukapuka Island to the east and Moturoa Island to the north. The Purerua Peninsula extends to the west of the bay, north of Te Puna Inlet, and Cape Brett Peninsula extends 10 km into the Pacific Ocean at the eastern end of the bay.

Check out a map of the Bay of Islands.

This was one of the "must see" places that came up a number of times when we were asking around and doing our minimal research. Coincidentally, with Craig wanting to see the Waitangi site, we were already there - at the Bay of Islands. Once again we arranged for a "cruise" - the "Cape Brett Hole in the Rock Cruise" - and set off to sea ("Have you ever been to sea, Billy? "- "Why yes, Captain!").

Most are scenery shots - commentary where necessary.

New Zealand Christmas Tree.

This is an island - the buildings, boats, etc. are on private property.


The Cape Brett Hole in the Rock. When wind conditions are favorable, the tour boats will actually go through this. However, true to the our experience with wind on the rest of this trip, wind conditions were not favorable and our Captain, Annie, would not take us through the hole. Frankly, this was not a disappointment. If the water had been perfectly flat, I may have been more agreeable about giving it a shot. But once again on this day, it looked beautiful (and it was!) - but it was also very windy out on the water.

This is Cape Brett's Hole in the Rock - side view.

Swirling water just outside the Hole in the Rock. Pretty, but it looked treacherous.

Cape Brett's Hole in the Rock from further back.
Cape Brett Lighthouse.

Cape Brett Lighthouse (near center of the pix) and the keeper's house (lower right). Of course it's all automated now, so no keeper. I believe Captain Annie said they will rent the house out to hikers - there is really no passable road.

We stopped at a place called Otehei Bay.
The Tiger V is the boat we were on. We got off at Otehei Bay and decided since we had an hour to kill that we would hand over a few more bucks and go see a few fish. We got on this yellow boat (the "yellow submarine" - get it?). It has a glass hull and they toss some food out so the fish come in and eat. A cheap trick, but hey, it works.

Inside the "yellow submarine."

This is the outside. Pretty tacky, eh? It's real name is the Nautilus.

Purple flowers. I don't think I've ever seen as many varities of purple flowers as I did on this trip. We didn't get pix of half of them!

Pied Oyster Catcher.

Banded Dotterel.


Australasian Gannet.

Australasian Gannet.

Here we are back at Paihia where we began our little cruise.

Tomorrow we are heading south again - back to Auckland and the last leg of our trip.

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