Paihia is a small tourist community about a 3 hour drive northeast from Auckland. Lots of touristy things yo do. Fishing. Renting kayaks. Parasailing. Hiking. Skydiving. The list goes on but I think the point is made.
Some may find it “too touristy” and I understand why they may think that. But I love this place anyway. It’s a prime gathering spot for young people from all over the world to do what it is that young people do. Drink, party, skinny dip, pair off & fool around behind the banyan tree, etc. And good for them. They give the place an exciting energy that’s contagious.
But it’s also a place for old money. Snazzy sailboats, powerboats and yachts moored in the harbour. An exclusive club called The Bay of Island’s Swordfish Club where, scotch-and-soda in hand and dressed in their finest sailing outfit, members share stories of the one that got away. And good for them too. As a motorcyclist I understand how a shared interest can bridge a gap that would seem, on the surface, un-bridgeable.
I took a long leisurely walk north of town. A road crew was drilling post holes beside the road. A bus with mostly young Japanese women in what appeared to be in their 20’s stopped and the giggling passengers posed for pictures. These Japanese girls are, well, smoking hot. And they take pictures of everything. I like their enthusiasm.
Further along, I see a couple probably in their 60’s. When they see some trash along the roadside they pick it up and put it in rubbish bin.
On the beach a woman sits reading a book. She has a blanket pulled around her. It’s too chilly to sunbathe or swim. A little boy and girl are playing in the sand with the countless shells. The boy says, “Look mom! This one has water in it!”. He skips over to mom and spills the water on her. She starts to reprimand the boy, but in an instant she has a change of heart and starts to laugh.
I love this place.
Took the old ferry across the bay to Russell to have a meander around.
Russell was, for a short time, the capital of New Zealand. It was a busy port and the trading centre until some English merchants got the bright idea of banning local Maori the right to do business. Oh, sure, the administration at the time wrote up a law that saw that everyone, regardless of background, the right to trade commercially. But, of course, the administration didn’t actually mean it. Attempt after attempt, the local Maori were turned away until they had had enough and burned everything down with exception of the houses of worship.
I learned this from Chris, the diver of a local bus tour. Good tour. Short at just around an hour but well worth going.
Fishing tomorrow. Looking for a healthy-sized kingfish. And NO BANANAS in the boat. I’ll let you know how it turns out.