Waitangi and Kerikeri

Today’s day trip took us east to the Bay of Islands.

This view is from the treaty house lawn looking out over the Bay of Islands towards Paihia.

Waitangi is where the signing of the treaty between English and Maori took place in 1840, and Waitangi Day on the 6th of February every year commemorates this first signing.

Considered New Zealand’s founding document, the history is bittersweet. On one hand, imagine if the U.S. observed a national holiday on the anniversary of a treaty between the Native Americans and the English/Americans. On the other, there were significant discrepancies between the English language version of the treaty and the Maori language version–and you can guess which side benefited.

This is the back courtyard of the treaty house.

This marae was built in 1940 for the centennial commemoration of the treaty signing.

This is the longest war canoe in the world, also built in 1940.

Then we drove on to Kerikeri, which is a beautiful little city surrounded by pastures, vineyards, and orchards. It’s also a gluten-free haven, due to the high population of Europeans.

Here is my lunch of gluten-free eggs benedict, oh my. You can get the same at the lovely Santeez.

This is Kerikeri’s Stone Store, the oldest stone building in New Zealand.

Across the Kerikeri River is Rewa’s Maori Village, a reproduction of an 18th century fishing village.

This depicts a chief’s house.

In contrast, this was the size of a regular family’s dwelling.

This is a hangi, the outdoor cooking area. Dry wood was stacked and lit, then stones laid on top which would become very hot. Food was placed on this: kumara, then green vegetables, then meat wrapped in leaves. The food steamed for a couple of hours.

All in all, it was a brilliantly sunny (if cold) day trip to remember!

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