Promptly at 08:00, we sailed towards beautiful Bay of Islands. 140 isles, many still secluded and a handful of coastal towns make up the Bay of Islands.
Captain Cook gave the region its name in 1769 and soon after that, South Sea whalers began to arrive by the numbers, creating the first permanent European settlement in New Zealand. The azure waters, full of big game fish are what attract visitors to this area – – – shark, blue crab, tuna and barramundi are all plentiful.
Waitangi Harbour is an historic hotbed imbued in Maori myth and legends; this is where we landed on-board tender boats from our ship. We then boarded a shuttle bus to take us to the pretty little town of Paihia.
Russell Island is a tranquil fishing town, full of character and rich colonial history. Sprinkled with a warm spring rain (Downunder, November is not autumn), we happily strolled through the quaint downtown under shop canopies, gladly chatting up the shop keepers who exuberantly welcomed us. We found exactly what we each wanted, ie, New Zealand souvenir patches to sew on our jackets. Of course, Sylvia visited the local bait shop and found the ‘perfect’ plastic minnow lures. I also found a Maori wooden mask for my office wall collection.
The sun briefly shone in the afternoon and we took this opportunity to have famous Kapiti ice cream.
We will now enjoy 2 sea days, no excursions, just enjoying the camaraderie on-board the Royal Caribbean Radiance of the Seas cruise ship.
My last post of this trip, will include some ship photos of our trip with my cousin Helen and her husband Richard, favourite moments and dining creations. Stay tuned!