Bay of Islands, New Zealand
Several people had mentioned to me that i should visit the Hundertwasser toilets which is in the small town of Kawakawa in the northern region of New Zealand.
These toilets were designed by Austrian architect Frienenriech Hundertwasser,who lived in the town from 1975 until his death in 2000.The toilets are a mixture of ceramic tiles,bottle glass windows,mosaic tiling,copper handwork,cobblestone floors and a grass roof.
I must say it seemed a bit strange taking photos inside a toilet block.
Directions: Situated on the main road in the centre of Kawakaka,10 miles south of Paihia.
What a place to see if you need the hsitory of the Maori's. Kippa Munro lives in Whangerei and he is the one to make contact with. One Maori who knows his history. He is involve with the maori culture history and everybody knows him in the Bay of Islands. Visit Russel while in Bay of Isalnds. (Across the Bay.) See the oldest church in NEW Zealand. (Anglican church.)
Directions: Bay of Islands Diostrict North Island.
Visitor Information Centre of Maritime and Historic Park is located at Russell Town in the Bay of Islands, North Island. Bay of Islands consist of approximately 150 small islands, many of them are uninhabited. Approximately 40 locations in the islands are part of Maritime and Historic Park. Many of these islands in the archipelago are very scenic and picturesque.
Various activities at the Maritime and Historic Park can be arranged by Bay of Islands Travel Information Network such as swimming with the dolphins, scuba diving, fishing, sailing and sea kayaking.
Waitangi National Reserve is located at Paihia in the Bay of Islands, North Island. It is the location where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed between the Maoris and the British in 1840 when the Maoris allowed the British to rule New Zealand.
Waitangi National Reserve covers a total area of approximately 500 hectares. Among its attractions are Waitangi Treaty House which was constructed in 1834, Maori Meeting House (Whare Runanga), Maori Canoes and the visitor Center. A 35 yard long canoe which can carry up to 140 people is located at the reserve.
Other attractions at Waitangi National Reserve worth visiting are the stone house, Kerikeri Mission House and Pataka storehouse.
Address: Paihia, Bay of Islands, North Island.
Hole in the Rock is located at Percy Island, off the coast of Cape Brett at Bay of Islands in the northern coast of North Island, New Zealand. The hole is approximately 65 metre high above sea-level. This is a great tourist attractions. Thousands of foreign tourists travelled by jetboats from the coast to the island just to see the hole in the rock. The Hole in the Rock is a natural formation created by strong winds and waves over the past centuries.
Directions: Located at Percy Island off the coast of Cape Brett at the Bay of Islands.
The Bay of Islands is just what the name suggests. A cluster of gorgeous islands around cape kerikeri in northern new zealand.
The bay of islands offers a lot for sailors, beach bums and over-all aqua-philes.
Some of the highlights of the region are:
Roberton Island - with two crystal clear lagoons on one island.
Hole in the rock - A rock formation (really don't know why it attracts such huge charter crowds)
Perfect sailing weather and a sneak peak into life by the sea.
Paihia (pronounced pie-heah) is a key town on the Bay of Islands inasmuch as it sits at the eastern base of the bay and is easily accessed by car and tourist coach.
There's plenty of accommodation here at a variety of prices and styles and restaurants to cater for most palates.
It's clearly a town that would like to expand more but is restricted by the contours surrounding it, i.e., it's very hilly. This landscape's shortcomings were clearly on display in 2007 when torrential rain caused an uncountable number of landslides.
Everywhere we drove there was evidence of the fragility of the soil and building blocks around here would have to be very carefully surveyed.
Even when we were there there was minor flooding (pic 3) and many was the road edge that had disappeared in a downward direction on some steep slope.
It wasn't all doom and gloom. On top of a small rise and park which affords the view over the bay I used in the intro shot there were some lovely yellow flowers which were intertwined with a mass of cobwebs.
You can't help but notice this little charmer on the main street. In fact, it's one of New Zealand's best known churches.
"Less than a decade after the first Christian service was held at the Bay of Islands on Xmas Day 1914, Rev. Henry and Mrs Williams arrived on August 3rd, 1823 to establish the missionary settlement at Paihia. On their arrival, Mrs Williams with her three children went to reside in Kerikeri while the Rev. Williams set to work to erect temporary buildings at the new station.
On September 15th, Mrs Williams came to join her husband and her journal states that there was a Church, built of raupo, which was opened for Divine Service on Sunday, September 21st, 1823. This was the first Church ever built in New Zealand.
The Reverend William Williams with his wife joined his brother Henry, arriving at Paihia on March 26th, 1826. This gentleman was a classical scholar of Oxford University and also had a considerable medical knowledge which was of the greatest benefit to the Mission.
In the year 1828, the raupo church was replaced with a lath and plaster structure, which served until 1856 when a wooden church was built. This was used until 1874, when it was dismantled and another wooden church erected, incorporating much of the old timber. In 1925 the 1874 church was dismantled. It made way for the stone Church of St Paul, the fifth to be erected on the site. It was built as a lasting memorial to Henry and William Williams.
The stone came from near Kawakawa and the kauri beams from near Waikare.
The stained glass window was installed on the occasion of the Williams family reunion to commemorate 175 years since CMS missionary brothers Henry and William Williams landed in Paihia. Details and photos can be found in the church.
The first organ to be brought to New Zealand was used in Paihia Church. It arrived between 1824 and 1826. Later moved to Pakaraka it is now in the Wanganui Museum. The present organ is of similar design and vintage.
Directions: Paihia, right next to the beach
Located centrally at the apex of the bay with the famous name, Paihia is trading in on its good fortune and there's lots of accommodation housing, a new supermarket (they now have two) and quite a few restaurants.
There's also heaps to do and see, more particularly if you have a car and are prepared to travel.
It has a connection to the Kiwi Experience, a popular way of getting around with backpackers, so you should expect to find young people there as well.
After a week there I felt I would need three weeks to do the place properly. This was clearly at odds with others in my accommodation house who felt that a week had been enough and saw no need to return.
In fairness, it should be said that it's reliant on what gets you excited about a holiday. Me, I like many things and am prepared to look beyond the conventional, something that has unearthed countless treasures for me from the back blocks of Italy, to towns in Germany to the Bay of Islands in New Zealand.
One of the things you can actually do right at Paihia is fish. Steve Butler is one of those legend people and I was recommended to him. I'm so glad. It was the absolute last day before the weather window opened up and we could get out but it was a hoot of a day. Kingfish, John Dory, schnapper and Bastard Red Cod (that's their name) all came on board, along with one barracouta that was duly despatched.
A fabulous day out with a professsional man at the helm. If you're into fishing, do it.
Address: 23 Mission Road, Kerikeri
Phone: 0064 (0)9 407 7165
The Bay of Islands is without question the most overrated tourist destination in New Zealand. The area is nice, but it really is nothing special. If you want picturesque islands and world-class sailing, head to the South Pacific. If you want fishing, head to Stewart Island. If you want diving, head to the Poor Knights Islands. If you want to go dolphin spotting, head to Kaikoura, Oamaru, or even Auckland. The Bay of Islands is second class when it comes to nearly everything and simply isn’t worth the time and effort it takes to visit. If, however, you do end up visiting the area, I suggest getting away from Pahia and visiting Russell, walking the Waitangi Treaty grounds, and going up to Cape Reinga. 90 Mile Beach (which is actually 64 miles long) is largely a waste of time, with sandboarding the giant dunes the only real drawing card.
On the East Coast of Northland, Opua, Waitangi, Paihia, Russell and Kerikeri all make up part of the Bay of Islands which totals approx 150 islands. The Bay of Islands could be considered the birthplace of New Zealand with the Treaty of Waitangi having its signing in the area at Waitangi. This led to Waitangi being the temporary capital of the fledgling New Zealand until it was moved to Auckland in 1841 then Wellington in 1865.
The Church Missionary Society established a mission at Paihia in 1823 (following one at Kerikeri in 1819) and set up New Zealand’s first printing press in 1835. The oldest Church in NZ is located at Russell. A ferry service can take you and your car across the bay from Paihia for a visit.
Nearby Kerikeri is the largest of the towns and is central to a booming agricultural industry. It hasone of New Zealands oldest colonial buidlings in the old Stone Store. Also of significance to see is the Kororipo pâ site.
The Bay of Islands is a must see in New Zealand. It is a beautiful place with much history and has stunning views up the coast. It's also a great spot for fishing with several operators running fishing expeditions. A couple of nice beaches add to the reasons you'd want to visit here!!
Its amazing to think that Russell was once the capital of New Zealand. The capital was moved to Auckland after it was decided that Russell was crime ridden, lawless and full of drunkards. Go there now and nothing could be further from the truth. Its a quiet little place with white picked fences, quiet lanes, gift shops and cafes.
Russell was the first permanent European settlement and sea port in New Zealand.
When European and American ships began visiting New Zealand in the early 1800s the indigenous Mâori quickly recognised there were great advantages in trading with these strangers, who they called tauiwi.
The Bay of Islands offered a safe anchorage and had a high Mâori population. To attract ships, Mâori began to supply food and timber. What Mâori wanted were respect, plus firearms, grog other goods of European manufacture.
Russell developed as a result of this trade but soon earned a very bad reputation, a community without laws, and became known as the "Hell Hole of the Pacific".
The Bay of Islands is an aquatic playground with 144 islands and a myriad of secluded beaches.
Pahia is the main centre to the area and although it gets busy in peak season it is not eactly a huge place. From here you can:
Go swimming with dolphins, sailing, big game fishing and kayaking
Take the ‘Hole in the Rock’ cruise to the tip of Cape Brett
Visit Waitangi National Reserve, where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840
Look around Pompallier, in Russell, an original rammed earth Catholic Missionary House
Walk to Haruru Falls - 3km from Paihia. The water falls in a horse shoe shape - very rare and quite spectacular
Its a great place to kick back and relax for a couple of days.
So named because of the 150 or so islands which are found in the bays, this area was the site of New Zealand's first European settlement and today is a very popular tourist attraction.
Most people see the the area from one of the many cruise ships which ply the area and we are no exeption.
We go down to the quay to board the cruiser for the Hole in the Rock cruise. The boat is a nice, modern catamaran. We find our little spot on top deck where we settle down with the packed luch they provided us with and a glass of wine to watch the islands float by. It is extremely windy up here, so much so that the wine is actually blwon out of the glass, but the view is worth the discomfort.
Our first stop is Russell, then in and out of the islands and bays, out into the open sea and on towards "the hole". I am disappointed not to see dolphins, especially as the skipper said he'd not only seen dolphins this mroning, but a whale too. All we see is a measly little sunfish and a few birds!
The cruise may, weather permitting, go through the opening in the rock off Cape Brett. There is a big lead up to it, the captain slows the boat down, everybody takes their positions on deck snapping away with their cameras....
The hole in the rock is actually quite impressive. I wasn't expecting much, but its comparatively small size compared with the boat and the captain's skill in manoeuvrering the large craft rather impresses me.
have thoroughly enjoyed this afternoon's cruise and am looking forward to the subsea adventure when we stop at Otehei Bay, but it is not to be. It is not running today due to algae restricting visibility. We go for a hike to the top of the hill for a view of the surrounding bays instead.
A visit to the bay of Islands would not be complete without a visit to the hole in the rock. I would suggest you check out the weather and book on the day rather that pre book and have to endure high seas, wind or rain.
Most cruises leave from Paihia, which is a small town, in the centre of the Bay of Islands, that has good well equiped services.
Tours start at around $65.00 for a 2 hour cruise.
TIP... Avoid the weekends as the area is a weekend escape for people living in Auckland and Paihia becomes over crowded!
Address: Paiha - Bay of Islands
Directions: Follow highway 1north from Auckland. Distance is 240 km's but allow 4 hours due to winding roads.