Paihia And Russell, The Bay Of Islands

Paihia Travel Blog

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On the ferry to Russell

One night wasn't really enough to see Auckland, but time is of the essence and we have had to think hard about priorities. Higher up is to see the Bay Of Islands in the Northland, close to the northern tip of New Zealand. Our 4-hour journey to Paihia where we were to lodge in the Bay Of Islands was uneventful, but for the bus driver who supplied the amusement throughout. A portly character, wearing short shorts and his socks pulled up high, he obviously enjoyed using the PA system onboard. On boarding, he announced how we were not to eat and drink on the carriage and spoke reeeaallly sloooowly. "We...will...sooon...be stopping...at our next...destination - PAUSE - Sorry about that...ladies and gentlemen.

A pretty rainbow
.. - which will be..." And so on. Anyway, after a few minutes of him saying what could be said in seconds, he announced that he could smell apples and bananas that someone was eating and asked if whoever it was could stop, as it was "ruining the journey for the rest of us." Later, he stopped the bus and walked up the aisle, looking up and down in each row of seats. Then he turned round, looked at us passengers with suspicious, squinted eyes and sniffed the air, before returning to his seat. The deadly banana or apple smuggler was never caught.

On arrival at Paihia, the historic town which has been blitzed with hostels for backpackers wanting to see the bay, we were greeted with the news that our hostel had double booked us. We were starting to get annoyed with this sort of thing happening, but luckily we were put in an employee's room and got a double bed out of it, where we would have stayed in a dorm.

The catch of the day
As breakfast wasn't supplied, we bought some comfort food - Cocoa Pops. After having bread and jam for breakfast, the staple meal at every hostel we've been at, we were dying for some recognisable cereal, and when it was served up we scoffed it down like two junkies wanting a heroin fix.

Today we spent the day exploring Paihia and took a ferry over to the other side of the bay, to the pretty historic village of Russell. I would say that the highlight of the day was the nice walk along the beach or the views of the islands from the ferry, but I have to admit it was actually the fact that a seagull dropped its load on Kyle while we were having lunch. Perhaps I should have been more sympathetic, but I wasn't, and I was annoyed she wouldn't even let me take a photo. She thought she got her revenge on Mother Nature by prodding sticks in the face of any life we could find at rockpools by the water - hermit crabs, fish etc - but I said the only way she could really do that was to return the favour to a seagull. She didn't though.

After the walk along the beach we saw a couple of guys loading up a van with their catch of the day, a 450lb (apparently) Blue Malvin. It was huge, anyway.

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On the ferry to Russell
On the ferry to Russell
A pretty rainbow
A pretty rainbow
The catch of the day
The catch of the day
View from Paihia wharf
View from Paihia wharf
Russells bay
Russell's bay
Boats at Russell
Boats at Russell
Paihia
photo by: Ils1976