Trip Start Jun 25, 2011
85Trip End Dec 24, 2011
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The four of us leave Vikki's and make our way to Whitianga where New Zealand's founding treaty between Maori chiefs and European settlers was signed. (Quite apt due to the circumstances, we thought.) Mark, being a Kiwi, gets in for free. (positive discrimination.) Claire and Jo think it is a bit pants, but we still enjoy walking the grounds in the sunshine. From earlier conversations with Emma, we have heard that this treaty causes problems and is still disputed today, by mainly older generation Maori people, and the evidence of the after affect of the treaty is no where to be seen here. But there is a photo opportunity with Dina and Mark standing under two flag poles, one NZ and one British.
Our highlight of the treaty house is the 'childrens area' in a corner, which is basically a box of old fashioned toys, freaky dolls and books. The place is basically a dull exhibition of the history of the families involved in the treaty, so we wonder how kids wouldn't get bored out of their minds being brought here
We leave and decide to check out the nearby old capital, Russel. To get there we have to take a 15 minute ferry and we get into the short queue hoping that when we see the prices we can turn around if it is too expensive. Unfortunately we misjudged how small the ferry is and when we turn the corner we find ourselves driving straight on to it anyway.
Russel is a pretty little seaside town and we have a seafood lunch, Jo being served the biggest mussels she's ever seen, honestly they were bigger than her face. Bloody massive. After strolling down the peir and taking in the sites we drive back to Vikki's stopping on the way to visit Mark's half sister Michelle.