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Published: March 18th 2017
Hello Friends and Family!
We made it safe and sound up north to The Bay of Islands area. Unfortunately we experienced some rain so missed out on some of the scenery but according to local people here they have been in a drought so the rain was welcome! By the second day it cleared up and we were good to go with sun and highs averaging 25 degrees and quite humid. Some evenings stay warm but other times it cools off.
We are renting a lovely holiday apartment set high above Orangi Bay called Oyster Watch as it overlooks a large oyster farm. Warren is enjoying himself feasting on fresh oysters that are available across the street, shucked and served with lemon ready to eat. As well they sell fresh flounder and smoked fish which are both excellent. Fresh mussels are available at the super markets so we have been getting our fill of New Zealand seafood! We bought about 20 mussels the other day for $4.00!
Our little apartment which has a beautiful view of the bay and is just perfect. Very spacious with a nice patio, full kitchen, and all the amenities you need including a
barbecue and washer and dryer. Needless to say we are very happy here!
We are staying 3 km from the town of Russell which is a 10 minute ferry ride from the mainland and town of Pahai. The area is on a peninsula which is serviced by a car ferry as well as a passenger ferry. The town itself is very historical in that it was one of the first European settlements that was permitted by the local tribes and was once the capital of New Zealand before it was moved to Auckland. Today Russell is an attractive tourist town with lots of cafes, restaurants, gift shops and tour operators as well as a cruise ship stop. We really enjoying having a pint overlooking the beautiful harbour at the historical Duke of Marlborough Hotel or The Fisherman's Swordfish Club.
We met a local man about our age and his son one afternoon at the pub. He is a descendant of the aboriginal people here known as "The Maori". He told us about his grandfather's role in the history of the Russell area during the late 1800's with conflict and eventual peace agreement between the Maori and the english
settlers. We really enjoyed hearing his stories and can appreciate the history of the area as it has a similar story to the english settlement in Canada.
We have rented a car and are enjoying exploring the area. The many bays, islands, mountains and scenic roads are spectacular! As well there are lots of great hiking trails, swimming areas, pubs and a few lovely wineries. So all is good in The Bay of Islands!
Next week we plan on touring around further north from Pahai and possibly taking a day cruise around the bay.
Mallory and Warren
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