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Published: June 21st 2017
Geo: -35.2821, 174.091
Our 7:30 am flight from Mebourne (on an Emirates A380 Airbus - that's the great big double-decker thing) got us to Auckland for 1pm or thereabouts including time difference (New Zealand is 13 hours before London - how can that be?) and we picked up our car and drove off north for 3 hours or more to Pahia in the Bay of Islands where our motel was found above the town with a magnificent view rather shrouded in cloud and mist. Except for a trip into town for a meal at 'Only Seafood' that was it for the day.
Next morning we drove a short distance to the carpark for a waterffall from which a track led by the side of the river about a 90 mnute walk to the Waitingi Treaty centre - this is the site where in the 1840s the British and Maoris signed a treaty agreeing the rights of British and Maoris. It wasn't the end of the disagreements between them (the guys who translated it into Maori not being 100% proficient) but it is a very significant pace in New Zealand history and they have an annual holiday called Waitingi Day to commemorate it.
So we saw the Maori meeting house, the British Residents House, the War Canoe etc. At that point Kieran and Jess bravely set out on the return 90 minute walk to the car park leaving us to manage the shorter walk into town where we would meet. The heavens opened and we all got drenched. They had the advantage of the car so could return to the Motel to change before meeting us, but they then took us back too!
Then we went by car ferry to Russell, possibly the oldest town in New Zealand originally a whaling station where we had a drink before returning to Pahia for dinner.
The next morning we set off early (again) on fortunately a glorious sunny morning for the fishing trip with Captain Bucko organised by Kieran. A 7 am start and we zoomed off in Captin Bucko's boat with his 11 yr old son Boston - an expert at reeliing in the fish - first to fish for mackerel which we would use as live bait then to Captain Bucko's secret spot where we fished for 2 big snapper, 4 massive kingfish and a John Dory. All the while the wind was getting up
and the sea and swell getting worse. At one point Jess saw 2 dolphins leaping out of the water and Captain Bucko got on the radio to tell all the Dolphin spotting boats full of tourists to get on over. All very incident filled - with talk of threatening storms and what have you.
We eventually returned to shore where Captain Bucko filleted our catch and we returned to the Motel to barbecue a huge plateful of some of our catch and present the rest to the owner - a Liverpudlian entertainer who still performs on the cruise ships when they come in, a good friend of Michael Barrymore's who has stayed at this Motel a lot. He was very kind to let us check out late after our barbecue feast, but could talk for Briain (or New Zealand in this case!)
And so off back to Auckland!
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