December 14, 2015. New Zealand is a British Colony. They drive on the left side of the road and have their own currency, New Zealand Dollars. Polynesians had settled on the islands somewhere between 1250 and 1300 and developed a distinctive Maori culture. Although a Dutch explorer, Abel Tasman, became the first European to sight New Zealand, representatives of the British Crown and Maori Chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, making New Zealand a British Colony.
The Bay of Islands has some 150 isles, many still secluded, and a handful of coastal towns make up the Bay of Islands. Captain Cook gave the region its name in 1769, and soon after that, South Sea whalers began to arrive by the numbers, creating the first permanent European settlement of New Zealand. Waitangi is imbued in Maori myth and legends. Then there’s Russell, the tranquil fishing town full of character and rich colonial history. Kerikeri is known for its many wineries and orchards. Also along the Kerikeri Arts and Crafts Trail, you can find unique greenstone carvings as well as artisan cheeses and chocolate.
We took the 4 hour Historic Treaty House and Pioneer Settlement tour. We visited the site where Maori Chiefs and the British Crown signed the historic Waitangi Treaty and toured the oldest Mission House and Kemp House, New Zealands’ oldest stone building. and monument to the early trading era.
As we left the Bay of Islands, we passed the famous “Hole in the Rock”.
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