Paihia & Russell, Bay Of Islands, Northland, New Zealand
02.05.2009 - 02.05.2009 77 °F
Our first day since arriving in Kerikeri was a leisurely drive to the nearby resort of Paihia "The Jewel Of The Bay Of Islands"
Upon arriving, we were delighted to find that the Navy Band from the Amphibious Sea Support Ship, HMNZS Canterbury, currently anchored off Waitangi, were performing for the public on the Paihia Village Green.
The Royal New Zealand Navy has been invited by the people of Tai Tokerau to attend Waitangi Day Celebrations tomorrow.
We were also thrilled by the totally unexpected arrival of more than twenty Maori waka taua [war canoes] manned by up to 80 paddlers and up to 40 metres in length. The crews landed on a nearby beach and practiced their war dances in preparation for the Waitangi Day celebrations.
It was amazing to see the rehearsal performance at close quarters - apparently we will not be able to see very much of the actual performance tomorrow due to the thousands of people expected to attend. Timing is everything!
After arranging various excursions which we will undertake over the next few days [watch this space], we took a short ferry ride across the water to Russell. Russell was the first capital of New Zealand and one of the first European settlements.