Hokianga Area and Bay of Islands, New Zealand – Part 2

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The next part of our journey takes us into Hokianga Harbour, also known as the Hokianga River – a long estuarine drowned valley on the west coast.

In recent years, tourism has become significant to the region. Attractions such as the great kauri trees of the Waipoua Forest, the historic waterfront villages of Kohukohu and Rawene, with quirky cafes, Horeke basalts, amazing beaches, historic buildings, nature walks, horse trekking, boat trips and fishing are bringing more visitors every year.

The view in the evening from the Copthorne Hotel cannot be missed.

Moving across Northland to the east, we’ve now discovered an historical area of significance whereby more than 40 Māori chiefs, led by Ngāpuhi’s Hōne Heke Pokai in 1840, signed a treaty with the British Crown at Waitangi in the Bay of Islands.


Our chosen leader from the group was Dallas who did us proud in offering a leaf as a sign of our gratitude in allowing us to be part of today’s ceremony of the Haku.


War haka were originally performed by warriors before a battle, proclaiming their strength and prowess in order to intimidate the opposition, but haka are also performed for various reasons: for welcoming distinguished guests, or to acknowledge great achievements, occasions or funerals. Best known for the All Blacks footy team’s war cry before a game. Works well, they don’t lose very often.

A day trip out with GreatSights to the Hole in the Rock cruise starts at NZD102.00 per adult plus $15.00 if you’re wanting to swim with the dolphins. Children under 5 years can swim free and is subject to conditions allowing passengers to go out.


Twin Coast Discovery drive, starts and ends in Auckland and we’re more than half way.

At the township of Russell, you can easily take a walking tour.

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Fullers GreatSights Bay of Islands operate regular passenger ferry services between Paihia and Russell.

On Maiki Hill behind Russell is a flagpole erected in the same position as the four that Hone Heke, the great Maori leader, cut down in protest over the treatment of his people after the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.

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The Bay of Islands hosts a myriad of beautiful island escapes and lots of sheep are part of the territory.  I do love sheep, especially as I had three lambs as a child and were lots of fun.

Photo courtesy of Anna Vickery.

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However, as I’ve matured my love of lamb is more so on a plate!

No other country produces better quality than NZ.

Lapping up the tranquillity and picturesque views before returning to Paihia.

Time to relax before retuning to Auckland which is about another three hours drive in decent traffic.

Heading back into Auckland is not so congested, but I’d advise to avoid the peak-hour rush.

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Last night and Maggie’s showing us her superb meal at Orbit 360° Dining. Situated at the top of Auckland’s Sky Tower, the dining room rotates once every hour with amazing panoramic views of the city, the Hauraki Gulf and beyond.

Moving on and with Air New Zealand’s Premium Economy Spaceseats, they are truly magnificent and value for money. Especially travelling long-haul flights to Los Angeles, Vancouver and London.