After Waitangi, we drove south along the coast a couple kilometres to Paihia and the ferry to Russell, so that we could ride out to Russell for lunch. It was not the best of weather, but the ride across Bay of Islands was still nice, very scenic and not too rough.
The ferry costs $12 ($9.60 US) for a round trip, which is well worth the savings of having to drive a very long and windy route to get out there along the peninsula. The ferry departs Paihia twice an hour and returns as frequently. While we were there, the ferry seemed to be departing Paihia on the quarter hour and from Russell at the top and bottom of each hour. But even if you miss one, it is a rather short wait for the next one.
For the ride out to Russell, we sat inside because of the rain. On the return trip, we sat at the front of the open top, since the rain had stopped by then. It is lovely up there in the wind and air, and the view is wide and long from atop the ferry.
In Russell, we used another Grab One voucher for lunch at the Wharf Bar & Restaurant. Andrew had fish and chips (French fries), and I had a Angus Beef burger, my first ever. My burger was large, as was Andrew’s meal. I didn’t really find much difference between this and a regular beef burger. It was yummy, though, and too much for me to finish with all the chips (French fries) that came with it.
The restaurant itself is nice, situated right on the coast with the entire front being windows, so that you can look out on the harbour and people passing along the road. The music being played was from a local radio station, which had some songs that I liked and some that Andrew liked.
After our meal, we walked along the coast to the end of town, and then Andrew went inside the museum ($5.00). I sat on the comfortable bench at the entry and listened to music on my iTouch. While I was out there, a young man from Seattle, Washington in the USA walked up and talked with me a bit. He is attending university in Auckland and was up for the weekend to see some of North Island.
Andrew and I then walked back up town and along the coast a short distance in the other direction. Russell is really a nice little town, and if we’d had a car, there is quite a bit more to see. But the Paihia to Russell Ferry doesn’t do cars. There is a different ferry further south than Paihia which will take cars across, but for as short a stay as we’d planned, we didn’t feel a need for the car.
After our walk, we rode the ferry back to our car in Paihia and then drove back to our comfortable motel room in Kerikeri, our first full day in Northland complete.
More Northland adventures yet to come.