We started our first full day in Paihia with breakfast on the terrace under a very bright morning sun.
Breakfast – and ‘The Luminaries’
We decided to take a ferry across to Russell. A now small and picturesque wee place, Russell was the first capital of New Zealand as well as being one of the first European settlements. By 1840, it was the largest European settlement in the country, and was an important whaling, sealing and merchant port. It was also known as the ‘hell hole of the Pacific’ due its reputation as a lawless, frontier town full of ‘grog shops’. One of these, The Duke of Marlborough, opened in 1827, is still there, though no longer full of whalers and prostitutes!
View over the bay
The bay at Russell
We visited the museum, which has a collection of rare photographs of Russell and Bay of Islands and a 1:5 scale model of Captain Cook’s ship Endeavour which, apparently, has actually sailed. After a fish and chip lunch, we visited Christ Church, which is New Zealand’s oldest existing church, and said to be the oldest building still used for its original purpose.
Christ Church, Russell, built in 1836
Sailing back to Paihia
It was a lovely and interesting day, ending with this sunset over the bay as viewed from our flat terrace.