PAIHIA (BAY OF ISLANDS) - Tuesday 13th February to Thursday 15th (Days 109-111)
Again with time against us we decided to make the long (8 hours) journey from Rotorua straight up to the Bay of Islands, staying in the small Paihia.
The next morning we took a half day cruise around the Bay of Islands. Unfortunately within 10 minutes of setting off it became apparent that there was a decent swell in the Pacific. Gill and I had taken our ginger pills for sea sickness and were basically OK but many other passengers were violently sick! The best effort for throwing up was when we were at the back of the boat and Gill spotted some sick coming down the boat (from the upper deck) and straight onto a womens arm as she was taking a photo! She then ran off to the toilets violently gipping!
Despite this we managed to get up very close to many dolphins, and out to the Hole-in-the-Rock, where despite the swell unbeleivably the boats skipper managed to get the boat through it! (see photos). On the way back we got off at Russell, a pretty place that was the first European settlement in NZ.
The next day we made a 30 minute walk along the bay to the beautiful Waitangi Treaty Grounds, where in 1840 the British and Maori Chiefs signed a treaty that gave birth to NZ, giving the British Sovereignty, guaranteeing rights to Maoris, and of course protection for the Maoris aganist the nasty French! Interpretation of it is still being argued about today!