Sunday, November 18, 2018

Visiting the town of Russell

[Kyle]Our first stop after leaving Opua was Russell, known previously to the Mauri as Kororareka or “sweet penguin”. They have penguins here. We haven’t seen any yet.

We anchored in the bay of Matauwi - just a short walk around the corner from Russell

Russell was the site of first European contact with Aotearoa (New Zealand) and briefly served as New Zealand’s Capital before it was relocated to Auckland and then to Wellington. The town’s history has passed through several phases as a rough and lawless whaling port and the site of several important skirmishes in various Mauri/European wars. Now it has settled down as a quiet and quaint tourist stop that can be taken in completely in half a day of ambling around. We found it to be very charming.

Christ Church looks very basic, but embedded in the stained-glass window borders are quaint features of whales, penguins, ships, etc.

We went to the museum and the other one and made a point of stopping in for a drink at New Zealand’s very first pub, located in the Duke of Marlborough Hotel. To some the Marlborough is also considered the oldest pub in New Zealand - that is if you ignore that it has burned down four times in since it opened in 1827. Russell also has the countries oldest church (one that Darwin actually contributed to the building fund of).

We were the only tourists for our tour of the Pompallier mission house (with printing press and tannery, and beautiful gardens)
Not the case at the Duke of Marlborough Pub - that was much busier!

Mostly, we just enjoyed strolling around under the shade of big, leafy trees, looking out at the beautiful seaside scenery. This is, of course, an activity that is best appreciated with an ice cream in one hand.

{Maryanne: It is so nice to be a tourist again. After the rush of activity on arrival, we now have a short window of dedicated 'fun' before our scheduled haul out. I'm loving it!}

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