bay of islands, New Zealand

New Zealand's Civilization Core

New Zealand capricious
trio haka
dry maori canoe
sheep life
Across Piercy Island
Mother and daughter
Proximity observation
sheep line
a river of those
Bow view
Waitangi mast
Waitangi is the key place for independence and the long-standing coexistence of native Maori and British settlers. In the surrounding Bay of Islands, the idyllic marine beauty of the New Zealand antipodes is celebrated, but also the complex and fascinating kiwi nation.

We are in the middle of summer in the southern hemisphere. Weather arrests the North Island and the Bay of Islands. Paihia emerged as a summer warmth in such a welcoming way that it held us back for almost a week.

The same magnetism that attracted foreign visitors in catadupa, had been responsible for a good part of the large private houses in the town being now inns with irreverent names.

Morning after morning, this horde, mostly teenagers, left the barracks and headed for the nearby docks. We all shared a destination: the turquoise waters and inviting coves of the Bay of Islands, where some 150 meadow-lined islands, here and there with arboreal vegetation, dot a rounded corner of the New Zealand coastline.

Discovering the Bay of Islands

On board the “R. Tucker Thompson” – an iconic huge sailboat from the Northland region – we enjoyed one of these airy and sunny tours. We admire the rugged and grassy coast. We bathe in divine coves without a soul.

herd, Bay of Islands, New Zealand

Flock of sheep queuing to be shaded on a Bay of Islands island

We disembark at a picturesque sheep farm on the extension of a gully nestled between hills where the blue Pacific reaches so softly that it seems to be bathing, please. There, flocks of sheep suspiciously they roam the pastures in a line, looking for the shade of the few trees that the cattle raisers have spared.

As the afternoon progresses, more sailboats anchor in different coves. Successive expeditions by canoeists ply the calm sea in a communion of discovery and evasion that the relief of the Bay of Islands prolongs.

These days, sailing is peaceful and recreational. But the imagination of the French and British ships confronting each other across the two large islands of the Maori people dazzles us, just over two centuries ago.

Sailboat, Bay of Islands, New Zealand

Sailboat anchored in one of the many coves of the Bay of Islands

Russell: a den of other times

In the middle of the XNUMXth century, Russell, the village opposite Paihia, was known for the “infernal hole in the Pacific”. It attracted all that were escaped convicts from Australia, whalers and sailors who got drunk until they lost track of where their ships were moored and, soon, their senses.

When, in 1835, Charles Darwin visited there, he allegedly doubted the applicability of his Theory of Evolution, already in its embryonic stage. Instead, he described the place as averse to any social pattern.

These days, Russell, much more than Paihia, has the oldest buildings in the New Zealand. They are elegant and well-maintained testaments to British colonial perseverance, patience, and the diplomatic acumen with which the British dealt with the Maori people, until they both reached an understanding that nevertheless urged.

Waitangi's Solemn Soil

Less than 2km north of Paihia, Waitangi translates this historical reality like no other place in the world. New Zealand. There we are welcomed by Executive Director Andy Larsen. Andy guides us through the Waitangi Treaty Grounds. It introduces us to three young Maori extras from the show shown when enough tickets are sold.

But neither spectators then joined, nor did visitors abound in those historic and museum precincts of the Bay of Islands. Considering the beauty of the surrounding scenery and the leisure they provided, it would not be surprising.

a curious Hook Juvenil

Instead of the show, the shortened cast dedicates us to a small photographic production with the right poses and frightening expressions of haka, under the roof of the house waka erected to celebrate the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840.

They do it next to a Maori war canoe, the largest in the world, 35 meters long, room for a minimum of 76 paddlers, six or twelve tons (depending on whether it is dry or soaked) and a name to match: Ngātokimatawhaorua.

We appreciate the wide-eyed young people, with their eye sockets almost exploding, eyebrows raised to the limit and tongues exposed and drooping, emulating the monstrous looks with which the Maori impressed enemy tribes, including, from the mid-XNUMXth century , the European invaders of their lands.

Maori Haka, Waitangi Treaty Grounds, New Zealand

Maori extras from the Waitangi Treaty Grounds stage poses and haka expressions

Nearby, recovered from the abandonment and almost irretrievable decay in which it found itself from 1882 to 1933, is the Treaty House, the former residence of the British governor in the New Zealand.

Your wooden chalet is located opposite Te Whare Runanga, the Maori Assembly House, carved according to the traditional precepts of the native people but created as an expression of unique art, for the supreme purpose assigned to it. Together, the two buildings symbolize the partnership reached by the Maori and the British Crown.

Just a few meters away, highlighted by the sea on the edge of a vast lawn, the three flags that wave the New Zealand it had throughout its times as a nation: side by side, at a lower level, that of the United Tribes of New Zealand and the Union Jack of the United Kingdom; at the zenith, the current New Zealander.

Waitangi Treaty Grounds, Bay of Islands, New Zealand

Visitors explore the Waitangi Treaty Grounds

Finally, a family emerges from the back of the complex. Arrival at the base of the mast pays tribute to the monument, aware of the long and poignant historical process symbolized there.

British vs French vs Maoris: an intricate dispute

By the 1830s, disorder and chaos were the order of the day among His Majesty's subjects in the New Zealand. The French represented an increasingly serious competition for their claims and threatened to declare sovereignty over the Maori islands, something that worried the British and the natives alike.

As humiliating as the imposition of British settlers had proved, after an initial period of war, coexistence seemed inevitable. Above all, it was necessary to combat the further intrusion of the French.

The coexistence of colonized British and French would not be unique. They had already colonized, for example, in a condominium, the Melanesian archipelago of Vanuatu, to the despair of the powerless indigenous people.

Accordingly, on October 28, 1835, the British representative at the New Zealand and thirty-four Maori chiefs from the north of the territory met at Waitangi and signed the New Zealand Declaration of Independence.

Four years later, there were fifty-two signatory chiefs, united under a confederation called "United Tribes of New Zealand”. The understanding would not stop there.

By 1840, parts of the two great islands were about to be taken over by the French. British colonists exerted strong pressure on the Crown to make New Zealand official as a British colony. At the same time, the Maori leaders themselves demanded protection from the British.

Waitangi: the possible deal between Britons and Maori

The Treaty of Waitangi finally came to fulfill this request, but not only that. It gave the natives a series of other rights which, despite the inevitable dissatisfactions that plague all nations, persist in the New Zealand. At least on paper, Maori ownership of much of their land, forests and other properties was recognized. They were even given the rights of British subjects.

Maori Canoe, Waitangi Treaty Grounds, New Zealand

A large Maori canoe at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds celebrates the native nation.

Andy Larsen had left us for a moment to explore the buildings and other monuments in the complex. When we resume the conversation, Andy doesn't seem to contemplate any analogy with Portuguese and Spanish colonial history: “Don't get me wrong, they're not even comparable contexts” assures us that the British colonial integration in New Zealand it had been much smoother and fairer than that of the former Iberian powers.

We were aware that their efforts at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds were aimed at strengthening New Zealand's national consciousness. Still, for far too many natives, the equalization and self-determination that British colonists promised with the Waitangi Treaty remains unfulfilled.

As was the case all over Aotearoa – the term with which Maori nationalists responded to the “New Zealand” arising from the original Nieuw Zeeland of the Dutch discoverer Abel Tasman – many of the lands of the Bay of Islands that enchanted us, their coves and paradisiacal hills, aroused contestation. Above all, because they were transferred early to the possession of large farmers descended from settlers or even to the government of the Crown. So they remain, or whatever, in similar contexts.

On another morning we enjoyed the Bay of Islands, we flew over the coast along the North Island to the northern New Zealand limit of Cape Reinga. During the flight, we saw how much that succession of dunes, deserted beaches, meadows, heaths, capes and marine peninsulas glorified the disputed antipodean domain.

Difficult Misconceptions to Overcome

Differences in the Maori and English versions of the Treaty of Waitangi with regard to the detention and ceding of sovereignty led to national-level disagreements. Successive Crown governments believed that the Treaty had granted them sovereignty over the Maori.

Among Maori, the concept of absolute ownership of the land never made any sense. The latter still believe today that they were limited to granting the British the use of their land.

Numerous property disputes led to the Wars of New Zealand and that, throughout the nineteenth century, the Maori lost the lands they had controlled for centuries. This proves, even today, one of the stones in the co-existence between Maori and New Zealanders of colonial descent.

In 1975, the nation's political authorities Kiwi they finally came to themselves. The Waitangi Court was established and settled many of the claims with compensation awarded to the Maori tribes. Even if several disagreements about the terms of the Waitangi treaty remain, the treaty is considered the founding document of the New Zealand.

Bay of Islands seen from the air, New Zealand.

Aerial view of the Bay of Islands with its inlets and cutouts that are either forested or grassy.

The Maori. That of the settlers' descendants. That of emigrants from the Pacific islands who arrive there full of dreams. That of dazzled European visitors who are considering moving there. For better and worse, everyone's.

More information about Waitangi and the Bay of Islands on the respective website UNESCO.

Nelson to Wharariki, Abel Tasman NP, New Zealand

The Maori coastline on which Europeans landed

Abel Janszoon Tasman explored more of the newly mapped and mythical "Terra australis" when a mistake soured the contact with natives of an unknown island. The episode inaugurated the colonial history of the New Zealand. Today, both the divine coast on which the episode took place and the surrounding seas evoke the Dutch navigator.
Wanaka, New Zealand

The Antipodes Great Outdoors

If New Zealand is known for its tranquility and intimacy with Nature, Wanaka exceeds any imagination. Located in an idyllic setting between the homonymous lake and the mystic Mount Aspiring, it became a place of worship. Many kiwis aspire to change their lives there.
North Island, New Zealand

Journey along the Path of Maority

New Zealand is one of the countries where the descendants of settlers and natives most respect each other. As we explored its northern island, we became aware of the interethnic maturation of this very old nation. Commonwealth as Maori and Polynesia.
Banks Peninsula, New Zealand

The Divine Earth Shard of the Banks Peninsula

Seen from the air, the most obvious bulge on the South Island's east coast appears to have imploded again and again. Volcanic but verdant and bucolic, the Banks Peninsula confines in its almost cogwheel geomorphology the essence of the ever enviable New Zealand life.
napier, New Zealand

Back to the 30s - Calhambeque Tour

In a city rebuilt in Art Deco and with an atmosphere of the "crazy years" and beyond, the adequate means of transportation are the elegant classic automobiles of that era. In Napier, they are everywhere.
Christchurch, New Zealand

New Zealand's Cursed Wizard

Despite his notoriety in the antipodes, Ian Channell, the New Zealand sorcerer, failed to predict or prevent several earthquakes that struck Christchurch. At the age of 88, after 23 years of contract with the city, he made very controversial statements and ended up fired.
Tongariro, New Zealand

The Volcanoes of All Discords

In the late XNUMXth century, an indigenous chief ceded the PN Tongariro volcanoes to the British crown. Today, a significant part of the Maori people claim their mountains of fire from European settlers.
New Zealand  

When Counting Sheep causes Sleep Loss

20 years ago, New Zealand had 18 sheep per inhabitant. For political and economic reasons, the average was halved. In the antipodes, many breeders are worried about their future.
Mount cook, New Zealand

The Cloud Piercer Mountain

Aoraki/Mount Cook may fall far short of the world's roof but it is New Zealand's highest and most imposing mountain.
Napier, New Zealand

Back to the 30s

Devastated by an earthquake, Napier was rebuilt in an almost ground-floor Art Deco and lives pretending to stop in the Thirties. Its visitors surrender to the Great Gatsby atmosphere that the city enacts.
Fiordland, New Zealand

The Fjords of the Antipodes

A geological quirk made the Fiordland region the rawest and most imposing in New Zealand. Year after year, many thousands of visitors worship the sub-domain slashed between Te Anau and Milford Sound.
Aoraki / Mount Cook, New Zealand

The Aeronautical Conquest of the Southern Alps

In 1955, pilot Harry Wigley created a system for taking off and landing on asphalt or snow. Since then, his company has unveiled, from the air, some of the greatest scenery in Oceania.
Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique, Wildlife, lions
NP Gorongosa, Mozambique

The Wild Heart of Mozambique shows Signs of Life

Gorongosa was home to one of the most exuberant ecosystems in Africa, but from 1980 to 1992 it succumbed to the Civil War waged between FRELIMO and RENAMO. Greg Carr, Voice Mail's millionaire inventor received a message from the Mozambican ambassador to the UN challenging him to support Mozambique. For the good of the country and humanity, Carr pledged to resurrect the stunning national park that the Portuguese colonial government had created there.
Muktinath to Kagbeni, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal, Kagbeni
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit 14th - Muktinath to Kagbeni, Nepal

On the Other Side of the Pass

After the demanding crossing of Thorong La, we recover in the cozy village of Muktinath. The next morning we proceed back to lower altitudes. On the way to the ancient kingdom of Upper Mustang and the village of Kagbeni that serves as its gateway.
A Lost and Found City
Architecture & Design
Machu Picchu, Peru

The City Lost in the Mystery of the Incas

As we wander around Machu Picchu, we find meaning in the most accepted explanations for its foundation and abandonment. But whenever the complex is closed, the ruins are left to their enigmas.
Era Susi towed by dog, Oulanka, Finland
PN Oulanka, Finland

A Slightly Lonesome Wolf

Jukka “Era-Susi” Nordman has created one of the largest packs of sled dogs in the world. He became one of Finland's most iconic characters but remains faithful to his nickname: Wilderness Wolf.
Miyajima Island, Shinto and Buddhism, Japan, Gateway to a Holy Island
Ceremonies and Festivities
Miyajima, Japan

Shintoism and Buddhism with the Tide

Visitors to the Tori of Itsukushima admire one of the three most revered scenery in Japan. On the island of Miyajima, Japanese religiosity blends with Nature and is renewed with the flow of the Seto Inland Sea.
Moscow, Kremlin, Red Square, Russia, Moscow River
Moscow, Russia

The Supreme Fortress of Russia

There were many kremlins built, over time, in the vastness of the country of the tsars. None stands out, as monumental as that of the capital Moscow, a historic center of despotism and arrogance that, from Ivan the Terrible to Vladimir Putin, for better or worse, dictated Russia's destiny.
Tsukiji fish market, Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo, Japan

The Fish Market That Lost its Freshness

In a year, each Japanese eats more than their weight in fish and shellfish. Since 1935, a considerable part was processed and sold in the largest fish market in the world. Tsukiji was terminated in October 2018, and replaced by Toyosu's.
Tombola, street bingo-Campeche, Mexico
Campeche, Mexico

A Bingo so playful that you play with puppets

On Friday nights, a group of ladies occupy tables at Independencia Park and bet on trifles. The tiniest prizes come out to them in combinations of cats, hearts, comets, maracas and other icons.
4th of July Fireworks-Seward, Alaska, United States
Seward, Alaska

The Longest 4th of July

The independence of the United States is celebrated, in Seward, Alaska, in a modest way. Even so, the 4th of July and its celebration seem to have no end.
Hikers on the Ice Lake Trail, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal
Annapurna Circuit: 7th - Braga - Ice Lake, Nepal

Annapurna Circuit – The Painful Acclimatization of the Ice Lake

On the way up to the Ghyaru village, we had a first and unexpected show of how ecstatic the Annapurna Circuit can be tasted. Nine kilometers later, in Braga, due to the need to acclimatize, we climbed from 3.470m from Braga to 4.600m from Lake Kicho Tal. We only felt some expected tiredness and the increase in the wonder of the Annapurna Mountains.
Barrancas del Cobre, Chihuahua, Rarámuri woman
Barrancas del Cobre (Copper Canyon), Chihuahua, Mexico

The Deep Mexico of the Barrancas del Cobre

Without warning, the Chihuahua highlands give way to endless ravines. Sixty million geological years have furrowed them and made them inhospitable. The Rarámuri indigenous people continue to call them home.
Sunset, Avenue of Baobabs, Madagascar
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio

days like so many others

Pitões das Junias, Montalegre, Portugal
Montalegre, Portugal

Through Alto do Barroso, Top of Trás-os-Montes

we moved from Terras de Bouro for those of Barroso. Based in Montalegre, we wander around the discovery of Paredes do Rio, Tourém, Pitões das Júnias and its monastery, stunning villages on the border of Portugal. If it is true that Barroso has had more inhabitants, visitors should not miss it.
View of Serra do Cume, Terceira Island, Unique Azores
Terceira Island, Azores

Terceira Island: Journey through a Unique Archipelago of the Azores

It was called the Island of Jesus Christ and has radiated, for a long time, the cult of the Holy Spirit. It houses Angra do Heroísmo, the oldest and most splendid city in the archipelago. These are just two examples. The attributes that make Terceira island unique are endless.
Maksim, Sami people, Inari, Finland-2
Winter White
Inari, Finland

The Guardians of Boreal Europe

Long discriminated against by Scandinavian, Finnish and Russian settlers, the Sami people regain their autonomy and pride themselves on their nationality.
Cove, Big Sur, California, United States
Big Sur, USA

The Coast of All Refuges

Over 150km, the Californian coast is subjected to a vastness of mountains, ocean and fog. In this epic setting, hundreds of tormented souls follow in the footsteps of Jack Kerouac and Henri Miller.
Ostrich, Cape Good Hope, South Africa
Cape of Good Hope - Cape of Good Hope NP, South Africa

On the edge of the Old End of the World

We arrived where great Africa yielded to the domains of the “Mostrengo” Adamastor and the Portuguese navigators trembled like sticks. There, where Earth was, after all, far from ending, the sailors' hope of rounding the tenebrous Cape was challenged by the same storms that continue to ravage there.
Mother Armenia Statue, Yerevan, Armenia
Yerevan, Armenia

A Capital between East and West

Heiress of the Soviet civilization, aligned with the great Russia, Armenia allows itself to be seduced by the most democratic and sophisticated ways of Western Europe. In recent times, the two worlds have collided in the streets of your capital. From popular and political dispute, Yerevan will dictate the new course of the nation.
Dominican Republic, Bahia de Las Águilas Beach, Pedernales. Jaragua National Park, Beach
Natural Parks
Lagoa Oviedo a Bahia de las Águilas, Dominican Republic

In Search of the Immaculate Dominican Beach

Against all odds, one of the most unspoiled Dominican coastlines is also one of the most remote. Discovering the province of Pedernales, we are dazzled by the semi-desert Jaragua National Park and the Caribbean purity of Bahia de las Águilas.
Moai, Rano Raraku, Easter Island, Rapa Nui, Chile
UNESCO World Heritage
Rapa Nui - Easter Island, Chile

Under the Moais Watchful Eye

Rapa Nui was discovered by Europeans on Easter Day 1722. But if the Christian name Easter Island makes sense, the civilization that colonized it by observant moais remains shrouded in mystery.
Look-alikes, Actors and Extras

Make-believe stars

They are the protagonists of events or are street entrepreneurs. They embody unavoidable characters, represent social classes or epochs. Even miles from Hollywood, without them, the world would be more dull.
Cable car connecting Puerto Plata to the top of PN Isabel de Torres
Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

The Dominican Home Silver

Puerto Plata resulted from the abandonment of La Isabela, the second attempt at a Hispanic colony in the Americas. Almost half a millennium after Columbus's landing, it inaugurated the nation's inexorable tourist phenomenon. In a lightning passage through the province, we see how the sea, the mountains, the people and the Caribbean sun keep it shining.
Fort São Filipe, Cidade Velha, Santiago Island, Cape Verde
Cidade Velha, Cape Verde

Cidade Velha: the Ancient of the Tropico-Colonial Cities

It was the first settlement founded by Europeans below the Tropic of Cancer. In crucial times for Portuguese expansion to Africa and South America and for the slave trade that accompanied it, Cidade Velha became a poignant but unavoidable legacy of Cape Verdean origins.

The Toy Train story
On Rails
Siliguri a Darjeeling, India

The Himalayan Toy Train Still Running

Neither the steep slope of some stretches nor the modernity stop it. From Siliguri, in the tropical foothills of the great Asian mountain range, the Darjeeling, with its peaks in sight, the most famous of the Indian Toy Trains has ensured for 117 years, day after day, an arduous dream journey. Traveling through the area, we climb aboard and let ourselves be enchanted.
Tombola, street bingo-Campeche, Mexico
Campeche, Mexico

200 Years of Playing with Luck

At the end of the XNUMXth century, the peasants surrendered to a game introduced to cool the fever of cash cards. Today, played almost only for Abuelites, lottery little more than a fun place.
Daily life
Arduous Professions

the bread the devil kneaded

Work is essential to most lives. But, certain jobs impose a degree of effort, monotony or danger that only a few chosen ones can measure up to.
Crocodiles, Queensland Tropical Australia Wild
Cairns to Cape Tribulation, Australia

Tropical Queensland: An Australia Too Wild

Cyclones and floods are just the meteorological expression of Queensland's tropical harshness. When it's not the weather, it's the deadly fauna of the region that keeps its inhabitants on their toes.
Bungee jumping, Queenstown, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown, the Queen of Extreme Sports

In the century. XVIII, the Kiwi government proclaimed a mining village on the South Island "fit for a queen".Today's extreme scenery and activities reinforce the majestic status of ever-challenging Queenstown.