Russell and Bland Bay

Dearme RussellOur journey continues.  On leaving Waitangi we decided to drive around to Russell. Yes I know we could have taken the ferry but we would have missed some of the Bay of Islands best.  When we arrived at Kawakawa we could then have taken the ‘tourist route’ through the Russell Forest but found out just in time that most of the road was corrugated gravel so we gave it a miss.

It was getting late in the day and we still did not have a place to stop over (freedom camping is a bit of a ‘no no’ up here) so we drove directly to Russell. We were lucky and found a spot at the Russell Holiday Park.

Once sorted, we walked into town for a late lunch. We ended up having lunch on the foreshore at the Duke of Marlborough Hotel, the first licenced hotel in New Zealand in 1827. We really appreciated the meal as it was our first meal ‘out’ since leaving home in mid January.  We even got ‘flashed’ up a bit. It’s funny how you don’t miss that sort of thing when it’s not around you all the time.Dearne Collection Flax

We left Russell this morning not being quite sure where we were heading but knowing we wanted to stay in the area until Thursday when we return to Kerikeri . We have ended up at a little Maori settlement at Bland Bay which is about 45 minutes south of Russell and have parked up about 20 steps from the water. I will give the fishing another attempt tonight but would have to say the east coast fishing has not been too productive.

As far as Dearne is concerned it’s just the right place that she can advance her skills in her new hobby of flax weaving.  Thank goodness it wasn’t pottery – not sure where I could put the wheel and kiln in the motorhome.

We are here until Thursday then heading back to Kerikeri for the Wine and Food Festival over the weekend.

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