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.
Masai Mara Reservation, Masai Land Travel, Kenya, Masai Convivial
Masai Mara, Kenya

A Journey Through the Masai Lands

The Mara savannah became famous for the confrontation between millions of herbivores and their predators. But, in a reckless communion with wildlife, it is the Masai humans who stand out there.
Young people walk the main street in Chame, Nepal
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 1th - Pokhara a ChameNepal

Finally, on the way

After several days of preparation in Pokhara, we left towards the Himalayas. The walking route only starts in Chame, at 2670 meters of altitude, with the snowy peaks of the Annapurna mountain range already in sight. Until then, we complete a painful but necessary road preamble to its subtropical base.
Mother Armenia Statue, Yerevan, Armenia
Architecture & Design
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.
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.
self-flagellation, passion of christ, philippines
Ceremonies and Festivities
Marinduque, Philippines

The Philippine Passion of Christ

No nation around is Catholic but many Filipinos are not intimidated. In Holy Week, they surrender to the belief inherited from the Spanish colonists. Self-flagellation becomes a bloody test of faith
Kolmanskop, Namib Desert, Namibia
Kolmanskop, Namíbia

Generated by the Diamonds of Namibe, Abandoned to its Sands

It was the discovery of a bountiful diamond field in 1908 that gave rise to the foundation and surreal opulence of Kolmanskop. Less than 50 years later, gemstones have run out. The inhabitants left the village to the desert.
Cocoa, Chocolate, Sao Tome Principe, Agua Izé farm
São Tomé and Principe

Cocoa Roças, Corallo and the Chocolate Factory

At the beginning of the century. In the XNUMXth century, São Tomé and Príncipe generated more cocoa than any other territory. Thanks to the dedication of some entrepreneurs, production survives and the two islands taste like the best chocolate.
Pueblos del Sur, Venezuela

The Pueblos del Sur Locainas, Their Dances and Co.

From the beginning of the XNUMXth century, with Hispanic settlers and, more recently, with Portuguese emigrants, customs and traditions well known in the Iberian Peninsula and, in particular, in northern Portugal, were consolidated in the Pueblos del Sur.
combat arbiter, cockfighting, philippines

When Only Cock Fights Wake Up the Philippines

Banned in much of the First World, cockfighting thrives in the Philippines where they move millions of people and pesos. Despite its eternal problems, it is the sabong that most stimulates the nation.
Navimag Cruise, Puerto Montt to Puerto-natales, Chile
Puerto Natales-Puerto Montt, Chile

Cruise on board a Freighter

After a long begging of backpackers, the Chilean company NAVIMAG decided to admit them on board. Since then, many travelers have explored the Patagonian canals, side by side with containers and livestock.
Jingkieng Wahsurah, Nongblai Village Roots Bridge, Meghalaya, India
Meghalaya, India

The Bridges of the Peoples that Create Roots

The unpredictability of rivers in the wettest region on Earth never deterred the Khasi and the Jaintia. Faced with the abundance of trees elastic fig tree in their valleys, these ethnic groups got used to molding their branches and strains. From their time-lost tradition, they have bequeathed hundreds of dazzling root bridges to future generations.
ice tunnel, black gold route, Valdez, Alaska, USA
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

Sensations vs Impressions

Vairocana Buddha, Todai ji Temple, Nara, Japan
Nara, Japan

The Colossal Cradle of the Japanese Buddhism

Nara has long since ceased to be the capital and its Todai-ji temple has been demoted. But the Great Hall remains the largest ancient wooden building in the world. And it houses the greatest bronze Vairocana Buddha.
Santa Maria, Mother Island of the Azores
Santa Maria, Azores

Santa Maria: the Azores Mother Island

It was the first in the archipelago to emerge from the bottom of the sea, the first to be discovered, the first and only to receive Cristovão Colombo and a Concorde. These are some of the attributes that make Santa Maria special. When we visit it, we find many more.
Horses under a snow, Iceland Never Ending Snow Island Fire
Winter White
Husavik a Myvatn, Iceland

Endless Snow on the Island of Fire

When, in mid-May, Iceland already enjoys some sun warmth but the cold and snow persist, the inhabitants give in to an intriguing summer anxiety.
Baie d'Oro, Île des Pins, New Caledonia
Île-des-Pins, New Caledonia

The Island that Leaned against Paradise

In 1964, Katsura Morimura delighted the Japan with a turquoise novel set in Ouvéa. But the neighboring Île-des-Pins has taken over the title "The Nearest Island to Paradise" and thrills its visitors.
São Jorge, Azores, Fajã dos Vimes
São Jorge, Azores

From Fajã to Fajã

In the Azores, strips of habitable land at the foot of large cliffs abound. No other island has as many fajãs as the more than 70 in the slender and elevated São Jorge. It was in them that the jorgenses settled. Their busy Atlantic lives rest on them.
Sheki, Autumn in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Autumn Homes
Sheki, Azerbaijan

autumn in the caucasus

Lost among the snowy mountains that separate Europe from Asia, Sheki is one of Azerbaijan's most iconic towns. Its largely silky history includes periods of great harshness. When we visited it, autumn pastels added color to a peculiar post-Soviet and Muslim life.
Semeru (far) and Bromo volcanoes in Java, Indonesia
Natural Parks
Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park Indonesia

The Volcanic Sea of ​​Java

The gigantic Tengger caldera rises 2000m in the heart of a sandy expanse of east Java. From it project the highest mountain of this Indonesian island, the Semeru, and several other volcanoes. From the fertility and clemency of this sublime as well as Dantesque setting, one of the few Hindu communities that resisted the Muslim predominance around, thrives.
Engravings, Karnak Temple, Luxor, Egypt
UNESCO World Heritage
Luxor, Egypt

From Luxor to Thebes: Journey to Ancient Egypt

Thebes was raised as the new supreme capital of the Egyptian Empire, the seat of Amon, the God of Gods. Modern Luxor inherited the Temple of Karnak and its sumptuousness. Between one and the other flow the sacred Nile and millennia of dazzling history.
Correspondence verification
Rovaniemi, Finland

From the Finnish Lapland to the Arctic. A Visit to the Land of Santa

Fed up with waiting for the bearded old man to descend down the chimney, we reverse the story. We took advantage of a trip to Finnish Lapland and passed through its furtive home.
Dunes of Bazaruto Island, Mozambique
bazaruto, Mozambique

The Inverted Mirage of Mozambique

Just 30km off the East African coast, an unlikely but imposing erg rises out of the translucent sea. Bazaruto it houses landscapes and people who have lived apart for a long time. Whoever lands on this lush, sandy island soon finds himself in a storm of awe.
Easter Seurassari, Helsinki, Finland, Marita Nordman
Helsinki, Finland

The Pagan Passover of Seurasaari

In Helsinki, Holy Saturday is also celebrated in a Gentile way. Hundreds of families gather on an offshore island, around lit fires to chase away evil spirits, witches and trolls
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.
Tokyo, Japan catteries, customers and sphynx cat
Tokyo, Japan

Disposable Purrs

Tokyo is the largest of the metropolises but, in its tiny apartments, there is no place for pets. Japanese entrepreneurs detected the gap and launched "catteries" in which the feline affections are paid by the hour.
Coin return
Daily life
Dawki, India

Dawki, Dawki, Bangladesh on sight

We descended from the high and mountainous lands of Meghalaya to the flats to the south and below. There, the translucent and green stream of the Dawki forms the border between India and Bangladesh. In a damp heat that we haven't felt for a long time, the river also attracts hundreds of Indians and Bangladeshis in a picturesque escape.
Rhinoceros, PN Kaziranga, Assam, India
PN Kaziranga, India

The Indian Monoceros Stronghold

Situated in the state of Assam, south of the great Brahmaputra river, PN Kaziranga occupies a vast area of ​​alluvial swamp. Two-thirds of the rhinocerus unicornis around the world, there are around 100 tigers, 1200 elephants and many other animals. Pressured by human proximity and the inevitable poaching, this precious park has not been able to protect itself from the hyperbolic floods of the monsoons and from some controversies.
Full Dog Mushing
Scenic Flights
Seward, Alaska

The Alaskan Dog Mushing Summer

It's almost 30 degrees and the glaciers are melting. In Alaska, entrepreneurs have little time to get rich. Until the end of August, dog mushing cannot stop.