Photos: Kerikeri & Waitangi (North Island, New Zealand)

Next stop was north of Auckland. We were heading to the Bay of Islands and I wanted to see how kiwis grew, hehe. In the guidebook, they looked so cool! So we decided to first go to Kerikeri, which is the first permanent mission station in the country. Unfortunately, it was still too early for kiwis, so we only saw the vines (yes, they grow on vines!). Well, at least we got to go to a chocolate making shop, which was nice, bought lots of chocolates! Anyway, other than that, Kerikeri is home to two important landmarks; the Stone Store (front of Photo 1) and the Mission House (the white building behind). The Stone Store was a former storehouse and is the oldest stone building in the country. The Mission House is the oldest wooden building in the country. Kerikeri is a really pleasant town, the largest in the Bay of Islands. Its local town slogan is "It's So Nice They Named It Twice!", hehe, cute! ;D

After Kerikeri, we went to Waitangi (means "wheeping waters" in Maori), mainly to see the Treaty Grounds, where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed between the Maori chiefs from the upper North Island and a representative of the British Crown in 1840. Today it is generally considered the founding document of NZ as a nation. The following photos are of the wharenui (Te Whare Runanga) as well as the Maori War Canoe and the New Zealand flax, a plant commonly used by the Maori for things such as honey, medicine, wickerwork and traditional Maori costumes.

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