Paihia - Happy Waitangi Day / New Zealand Day - Celebration of the start of the New Zealand Nation.

Feb 06, 2019

It was a public holiday today, as it was the last time, we were here but it was on Monday that year. This is the day February 6th when hundreds of motorbikes make a pilgrimage ride to Cape Reigna the northern most tip of the North Island and we unknowingly drove there on this day on our last trip. There were hundreds of bikes there and we saw hundreds coming and going as well so we’re not missing that traffic today.

Our plan today was to explore the Bay of Islands as this areas is known as, from the water and ultimately to visit the most eastern tip of the island and see the Hole in the Rick as well and it couldn’t have been better weather with sun and calm winds, thankfully especially for Norm who is an even more green faced sailor than me.

It really is a spectacularly beautiful place and one which Captain James Cook mapped and said at that time it was the most populous place he had found in New Zealand. Sort of hard to imagine all the islands here being so inhabited since they’ve pretty much all gone back to bushland except for one which is part bush and is the only one open for camping … and has resident sheep to keep the grass down to minimise the fire risk. Seriously, I’m not making this stuff up.

Anyway, I’ve mercilessly culled many beautiful photos and have included just a free for an idea of it.


On our way to have breakfast and catch our boat we came across a couple of hundred bikers heading out for Cape Reinga. They were members, we are told of a Brotherhood and Sisterhood which was formed to support and encourage traditional fatherhood, eradicate domestic violence and to save young people from alcohol and drugs. I have been unable to find the name online as there has been such a history of very scary bikie gangs here. In any case I wish them well.


1 of 3 camera cars with them.


The only bottle nose dolphin photo I got, I was too busy looking at the real thing and there were many. This pod are semi-permanent residents here, but the species usually roam up and down the east coast fishing. I guess these ones have figured it’s no longer necessary to roam. The regulars are all known by the crews of the tourist boats and many of these have been here for over 20 years with regular newborns as well.


A lovely Bay of Islands view.


The hole in the rock and yes, we did motor through it. They only manage it about 30% of the time as it depends greatly on the swell and weather. Today was a perfect day. 


And again.


Coming out of the hole.


A long view to the Treaty Grounds in Waitangi the birthplace of the New Zealand Nation, a short distance from Paihia where all the festivities were held complete with the Prime Minister apparently. We could witness the traffic jam from the water, and it wasn’t much better on our return from Russell after lunch.

And there was supposed to be a pic of the Wellington which we passed on our way out this morning and which we witnessed giving a 21-gun salute as the flag was raised this afternoon....but after over 15 attempts it wont happen so I'm over it!


Then a helicopter to ????


And more beautiful views.