We departed Auckland and made a slight detour over to Craft World, a store with a number of locally made arts & crafts. From there it was the long drive north up to Paihia and the Bay of Islands. When we arrived the weather beautiful and the ocean surprisingly welcoming. (Still a little too cold though)
By the next morning the weather had taken a drastic change for the worse. With a storm rolled in all of the boat tours were cancelled for the day. With that in mind we had a relaxing breakfast at a restaurant on the wharf. The rain was hitting the windows sidewise and the waves were crashing against the wharf.
We decided to head over to Russell. Known in a past life as the Hell Hole of the Pacific the town definitely had some history. When European and American ships first visited New Zealand trade started between them and the indigenous Maori. Kororareka was the original name of the town but it soon earned a very bad reputation, a community without laws and full of prostitution. From that it became known as the Hell Hole of the Pacific, despite the translation of its name being –How sweet is the penguin-.
A short 4min ferry ride got us over. (Could barely call it a ferry, more like a barge. Russell isn’t on an island but you would have to add an hour or two of driving in order to get their by road.
We stayed at a place called The Clendon. Turns out we were the only ones staying in the whole place that day/night. Not to shabby as our room was part of a building that had a shared living room, dining room, and kitchen. She even let us pick the room we wanted.
By the early afternoon the weather had improved but not enough for the boats to run. We headed into town and grabbed groceries to make our own dinner, steak and roasted carrots and beats.
Where we stayed was originally known as Okiato. The name was changed (To Russell) when it became New Zealands first capital back in 1840. Soon after, however, this was determined to be a mistake and Auckland was chosen as the new capital.
The next morning the weather was looking even better and the boats were running. We did a 4hr trip cruising through the bay.
Until next time…