Friday, December 24, 2010


The day dawned bright and blue in the morning. Unfortunately we weren’t up and about in time to appreciate this, and by the time we had arranged ourselves to go out there were a few clouds around. Still, it looked to be a warm and sunny day.

We set off on foot for the Waitangi Treaty Grounds – about a mile outside the centre of Paihia. The Treaty Grounds cover the area where the Treaty of Waitangi, the founding document of the New Zealand Nation, was signed in 1840.

On the way we spotted the usual oystercatchers and red-billed gulls, and also a pied cormorant, which is endemic to Australia and New Zealand.

Pied Cormorant

The estate contains a Visitor Centre; the Treaty House; the Naval Flagstaff, which shows where the Treaty was signed; a Maori meeting house, Te Whare Runanga; and a Maori Waka (canoe).

NZ residents can enter for free, but we didn’t have anything with us to prove that we lived here, so we paid the entrance fee and went in to watch a short film about the signing of the treaty. We then took the elevated walkway through the native trees towards the Waka.

Having lollygagged in the morning we found that we didn’t really have time to do full justice to the tour, so we took a few photos of the Waka and flagstaff.

The Waka Ngatokimatawhaorua

Nicola with historic flagstaff

Fortunately, our tickets are valid for a return visit, so we will go back on Sunday to look around the Treaty House, Te Whare Runanga, and the rest of the grounds. We walked back into Paihia for a spot of lunch at the Café Over The Bay, where we sat at the upstairs balcony looking out into the bay, and anticipated the rest of the day.

1 comment:

  1. Great photos there.

    A merry Christmas to you.

    Have a lovely time.