Susan and I travelled through New Zealand’s Northland with friends to explore the earliest European settlements, unspoiled rain forests and native Maori historic sights. We also visited small towns, beautiful beaches and stayed in small inns and a beautiful old restored hotel.
Northland is where Europeans first came into permanent contact with the native Maori peoples. After years of contentious existence together a treaty was reached on the grounds at Waitang in 1840. Starting in the early 1800’s whalers from Massachusetts and other fishing communities called on the port of Russell, some eventually settling there. In the present Russell is a beautiful little village located on the Bay of Islands and is reminiscent of many similar fishing settlements in New England from where its earliest western influences are derived. It is a yachting and fishing center conveniently located to some of New Zealand’s favorite cruising grounds where locals come to holiday.
We travelled by SUV using roads, paths, ferries and off-road trails to visit remote beaches and small villages while touring through the beautiful countryside. We visited honeybee hives in Kerikeri where Manuka honey is produced and learned of its therapeutic properties. In Waipoua Forest we saw New Zealand’s largest and oldest Kauri tree at over 2000-years old and learned of the early gum industry at a museum in Matakohe where sap collected from the tree was used to make many industrial products. We spent a night in Rawene where the eccentric and the uncomfortable combined to give rise to interesting stories on down the road. Two nights at the Duke of Marlborough Hotel in Russell which dates to 1827 gave us opportunity to explore and enjoy this beautiful little historic village located on Kororareka Bay in the Bay of Islands.
All in all, it was great exposure to a most beautiful part of New Zealand’s North Island and learn of its culture, ways and history. We hope someday to return to experience the regions hospitality and generosity of spirit as well as the cultural and scenic sights that abound.
All images were taken with Nikon D750 with AF Nikkor 35mm f/2 D prime lens or AF-S Nikkor 55mm-200mm f/4-5.6G ED (DX) zoom lens in RAW format and processed in Adobe Lightroom Classic 8.3