Heading North to Mangonui Harbour
On 22ndNovember we finally left Opua. Our friends Norman and Sara on Norsa arrived at the weekend and joined us on our journey north. We didn’t go very far – only 3 miles up the harbour in fact. We stopped at the delightful little town of Russell, New Zealand’s first European development. It was once known as ‘the hell hole of the Pacific’ in the days when lawless whalers came into violent contact with local Maori but it’s now a quiet hamlet full of historic buildings and fascinating stories.
We walked around the pretty village in the sunshine and bought a delicious ice cream. This strange sign was attached to one of the buildings.
The next day we sailed around to Moturua Island and anchored in Waiwhapuku bay (these Maori names are so difficult to pronounce). We went ashore to walk around the island. There are many well-marked walks in NZ maintained by the Department of Conservation (D.O.C.). We walked up and down the paths, each bend giving another stunning view of the Bay of Islands and the views from the top were spectacular.
Part of the walk was across a beach which had beautiful shells and a few starfish strewn around.
We spent the next few days making our way north to Mangonui harbour. We anchored with Norsa beside the local boats. Mangonui is famous for its fish and chip shop, advertised as ‘The Best Fish and Chip shop in NZ’. We went ashore to sample its cuisine. It was indeed very nice fish and chips but I’m not sure if it was the best in NZ but I suppose the advert worked because it encouraged us to try it.
On the Sunday morning I thought it would be a good idea to walk up to the Rangikapiti Pa, an ancient Maori fortified village. We found the path and walked up to the top of the hill. On reaching the top we were rewarded with a fabulous view of the harbour and surrounding village.
Our position on 27th November