The Bay of Islands is in the Far North.  You’ve got to admire the naming of places in New Zealand!!  The Far North district is pretty far north from Auckland but the drive was broken up by visiting Kiwis (the birds) and Glow-worms.

The Kiwi bird (unlike the Kiwi people) don’t travel well so you are very unlikely ever to see one outside NZ.  It was well worth the detour to see them in their darkened enclosure… like a big, round, fast chickens!!

Apparently 97% of the world’s glow-worms live in New Zealand.  This may be “fake news” because it was told to me by a guy who runs a glow worm cave.

After the wildlife detours we arrived at the town of Paihia in the Bay of Islands.  The town felt to me like one of those slightly commercialised, but still charming, Brittany seaside resorts.

Nearby is the location of the signing of The Treaty of Waitangi, signed on 6 February 1840 by representatives of the British Crown and various Māori chiefs from the North Island. It resulted in the declaration of British sovereignty over New Zealand.

A 20 minute boat trip away is the town of Russell, once called the “Hell Hole of the the Pacific” because of its lawlessness and debauchery.  None of that was evident during our visit!

An hour or so to the west is the last remaining Kauri Forest, massive trees whose wood was used to build boats and houses, and whose sap turned into sought-after amber.

The “Far North” is a fantastic place.  The weather is fantastic, the scenery stunning, and the Maori culture vibrant.  I love it!

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