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Published: April 7th 2016
Left Whangerei this morning heading north about an hour to the start of the Bay of Islands; specifically Paihia, a small resort town and the gateway to the various activities of the North. Spent the morning just strolling the small town centre and viewing the harbour and small beaches. A bustling place full of tourists. In the afternoon I headed to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, the most important historical location in New Zealand as in 1840 the Treaty of Waitangi was signed between England and the Maori of New Zealand. Like most such treaties, it is still a work in progress. There is a lovely museum on the grounds as well as a regular tour of the grounds culminating in a live performance at the carved meeting house. On the grounds is the largest wooden war canoe in the world, requiring 80 Maori warriors to paddle. It is still taken to the water on the anniversary. An informative and interesting 2 hours. The grounds are immaculate and a testament to the Maori people and the relationship between the Maori and England. Like Canada, New Zealand is still part of the British Commonwealth. Finally, I drove to Haruru Falls about 5 km
out of town. For some reason, at least to me, the roadside waterfalls just lack the allure of those immersed deep in the woods. But it was on my checklist! After a New Zealand-style pizza, off to the hotel. Tomorrow, off to Kaitaia on my way to the 90 mile beach and Cape Reinga.
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