Monday, 1 July 2013

A Week In Russell, Bay of Islands

I've been to visit  friends in Russell.
I lived here for two years and love visiting often.
I never get tired of this unique little town...
Of Kororareka... To give it it's original name.
The little settlement at the north end of the car ferry
now known as Okiato, was the first Russell and
the first capital of New Zealand in 1840 when the
Treaty of Waitangi was signed.
In 1841 the capital was shifted to Auckland.
This is where I park my bus... In their driveway.

This is the road to the left in the photo above...
The road over the hill to Tapeka and another beautiful
little beach... Good for swimming and fishing..
And the road up to Flagstaff Hil and the famous flagpole.
The photos are very dull and cloudy...
Like the day. We had heavy rain...
Which is great for the locals who all rely on the
rain to fill their water tanks...
It was cloudy and misty and typical of
Northland winter, a mixture of rain, sometimes heavy
then warm sun and not at all cold.
But everything was sodden underfoot and the grass too soft to park or walk on.
We had spent the days mostly inside but I decided
I had to do my ritual walk around the town
and see the sights before I left... Again.

This is what in New Zealand we call 'bush'.
The rain has made everything 'green, wet and
perfumed'  a smell unique to this bush.
It's also a Kiwi area, who are very territorial birds and at night
you can clearly hear them calling to each other.

This is walking towards the town...
The opposite direction from Tapeka.
This crossroads is Wellington Street and York Street straight ahead.
On the left the Methodist church built 1913
which has finally closed after the last of its elderly congregation
died and the church was no longer used...
So it's for sale by tender...
I've just heard it has been sold to the Baptist church.
On the right the 'Immigrant Cottage... Built 1875...
It is the last of eight Government owned pre-fabricated cottages
moved from Auckland by ship and assembled on site...
All between here and the boat ramp.
They were built to assist immigrants with temporary housing.
Mr & Mrs William Williams, newly-weds, were the first people to live here
and most of their thirteen children were born
and grew up in this little house.
There was not the demand expected for these houses so
the Williams family lived there for many years.
Wellington Street to the left goes over the hill to Long Beach...

I have turned right towards the boat ramp.

I see they now charge $2 to use the ramp...
That's new!
In the distance is Paihia...
If you can see it through the mist and rain.

The sun's come out... As I walk
along The Strand... Locally known as 'The Waterfront'
or 'Front Beach'.

The wharf... Where the passenger ferries leave for Paihia and
other ferries pick up people for various trips to
the Hole in the Rock, or Swimming with the Dolphins
 and other exciting things.

Looking back... The boat ramp and in the far corner of the beach
 old Russell House built in 1889 by two brothers who also built and owned
 a fish factory, located next door, that smoked and
canned  mullet for seventeen years.
The fish factory building was moved to Matauwhi Bay and
became the Russell boat club which still functions.

The famous Duke of Marlborough hotel... The fourth one!
Originally it was the accommodation block for the Cable Station
 at Cable Bay in Doubtless Bay.
The third  'Duke' burnt down 1931.
It was  fully booked for holidays so the disused accommodation
building was barged down and set up for the holidays makers
and became the current and fourth Duke of Marlborough.
The first 'Duke' was built in 1827.
After the Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840 licensing became law.
The first 'Duke' duke was issued with the first liquor licence in  July 1840
but  burned down in 1845 when Hone Heke cut down the flag pole
 and the town was ransacked.

It has recently changed ownership and had been done up...
It's looking good now... A popular venue for weddings.

The historic  Police Station for Russell's
one policeman. A new station has been
built so this has become the policeman's residence only.

Its  history...

The amazing Morton Bay Fig...

It's intertwined trunk... About 150 years old.

Further along the waterfront... The old cannon (on the left)
arrived in New Zealand as ballast in an old sailing ship
that was  used to defend Kororareka on the day of
Hone Heke's attack on  11 March 1845.
On the right the Town Hall... The second one built on this site.
The orginal wooden buiding built in 1881 blew down in a gale in 1916.
It was replaced in 1922 after the end of World War II but
built of concrete and rough-cast... And is still standing.
  Art House movies are shown here regularly now.

Just past the Town Hall... the Village Green and War Memorial.
 Put up in 2000, it was a millennium project.
It is where the ANZAC Day services are now held.
The lists of WWI and WWII dead that are usually on these
memorials are located in Christ Church.
 It is also a 'time capsule' where all sorts of people, businesses and
children put all sorts of things...
To be opened in 100 years... or so.

I continued my walk, turning left here.
Further on along the waterfront, the conical roof is
Pompalier... The first printing business in New Zealand...
And a place well worth a visit if you are in Russell.

I walked past the old... I bet this house could tell
a story or two...

Likewise this old garage...

And the new...

More of the old... "Christ Church Russell'. Built in1835
and one of only two buildings to carefully be saved
in the 1845 ransacking fires.
The other building was the school.
It is the oldest still functioning church
in New Zealand... The grave stones tell stories
of the old history  of Russell and its early families.

This is the museum...
A collection of Maori and European historical treasures...
Easy to spend a day here.

I walked along York street, back towards home... Past the cafe...
The post box and local notice board
which are outside the book shop...
And the very popular bakery.

Past a local lady sitting out of the rain, outside
the bakery... Is she waiting for a friend, or a ride home,
or a delicious pie for lunch...

From the other side of the road... As I dodge the showers...
The Four Square...
Locally known as the 'Back' Four Square...
To differential it from the 'Front' Four Square...
Which is on The Strand by the wharf.
I have always wondered why such a small town
has two such tiny supermarkets and
they don't combine... But there it is!

The next corner is the road down to the ferry wharf...
Another small street of shops... A gas station on the corner...
A new tattoo business... The only bank...
An ice cream shop... Next door to the pizza shop...

And my favourite shop... The Antique shop...
I always have a browse in here and have been known to be tempted...
Beautiful old crystal, clothes, books, jewellery, china...

Lots of shops are closed for the winter...

Nearly home... The large house on the left... Cavali House was originally
the home of the manager of the fish canning factory, built 1889.
It fell into serious disrepair but has been been
beautifully restored by its present owners.
I continue along the road the the right of this photo...
Turn left and I'm home again...
My ritual completed... Till next time.
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1 comment:

  1. A lovely place. I've often parked down by the water's edge...