Monday was a rest day and after something like four hundred, at times challenging, kilometres in the previous few days it was welcome. It’s also intended for the overseas visitors to get out into Bay of Islands on the many boat (classic & modern), jet boat, helicopter and seaplane tours available. Although Paihia, Russell & Waitangi are nice you have to get on the water to really appreciate the area.
We stayed at The Duke which is an old (again by NZ std’s) Hotel which has, to quote their website, “been Refreshing Rascals and Reprobates since 1827 and holds New Zealand’s first liquor licence”. Over the past decade or so various owners have developed it from a pub into a quality hotel. They have added modern facilities, like ensuite bathrooms, without compromising its classic character. One bonus is they offer fast free wireless to guests which is why I could upload some posts written earlier in the trip. I can recommend The Duke, it’s a nice place to rest!
I’ve been to the Bay of Islands plenty of times so wasn’t really interested in the formal tours on offer. I had thought about borrowing a bike to explore the area around Russell but rain & windy weather deterred me. Turns out gale force winds meant most of the regular tours were not running anyway. A few ventured out but soon scurried back to port.
Although not part of the itinerary Adventure South took those who were interested out to a local vineyard for a wine tasting. It was a very acceptable way to spend the afternoon, with nice views over the Te Wahapu Inlet.