Tour guides and drivers are waiting eagerly for this handbook
Below is two extracts from The New Zealand Tour Commentary 2015 by Peter Blakeborough. The eBook version of this handy tour reference will be published by Smashwords on 18 March 2015. Pre-ordering is available now via the link below.
Bay of Islands
The Bay of Islands is a place of wonderful scenic beauty. It is a system of hills and valleys that has tilted seaward over many thousands of years allowing the sea to invade the valleys and turning old hilltops into more than 150 islands. The Bay is ideally suited to big-game fishing, sailing and other water sports.
The first people believed to have come to this area were the legendary Polynesian explorers, Kupe and Toi, in the tenth and twelve centuries. They were descendants of Asians, who had migrated into the central Pacific about 4,000 years ago. There are two schools of thought on the route taken; the popular belief is that they migrated through south-east Asia, Indonesia and New Guinea. A less popular belief is that they crossed the land-bridge to Alaska and continued to South America before branching out into the Pacific. Another possibility is that both these beliefs are correct and that two migrations, from different directions, met in the central Pacific to form the Polynesian races.
Kupe and Toi may have been nothing more than mythical characters along with the Great Migration to New Zealand that is said to have followed them. It is unknown which Polynesian got here first or how many canoes followed. It is possible that only one canoe made the journey and that the journey may not have been deliberate.
The next to find the Bay of Islands was James Cook, in 1769, who described the scene as a ‘bay of islands.’ Next was a French explorer, du Fresne, in 1772. On Moturua Island in the Bay, du Fresne buried a bottle with a message claiming all of New Zealand for King Louis XV of France, not realizing that Cook had already claimed it for George III of England. To add insult to injury, du Fresne and 25 of his crew, were murdered by Maori at nearby Assassination Cove.
From the 1790’s there were occasional visits to the Bay from convict ships returning from Australia to England. They found the Bay an ideal place for replenishing provisions for the crews and obtaining backloads of timber. Whalers were also calling at the Bay from about 1800 onward.
Samuel Marsden established New Zealand’s first mission station in the Bay in 1814, and about that time, a European settlement appeared at Kororakeka – the town now known as Russell. Kororakeka was a wild town populated by ship deserters, ticket of freedom convicts, adventurers and con-artists of every description. It became known as the ‘Hell Hole of the Pacific.’ Today, Kororareka, or Russell, is New Zealand’s oldest town.
Mission stations and towns were also established at Kerikeri and Paihia about 1820 before the missionaries moved on to Waimate North in 1830.
Today Kerikeri has New Zealand’s oldest surviving building, a wooden mission house now known as Kemp House, it was built in 1822.
Although New Zealand was theoretically part of New South Wales, it was too remote for New South Wales law to have any effect and pressure mounted for a full annexation of the unruly colonial outpost. The first move came with the arrival of James Busby in 1832 with the title of British Resident but became known as the Man o’ War Without Guns. His only achievement was organizing 35 Maori chiefs to form the United Tribes of New Zealand in 1835. But in effect, New Zealand remained a lawless No Man’s Land.
The Treaty of Waitangi
A more serious attempt at establishing law and order took place in 1840 with the arrival of Captain William Hobson, with instructions to negotiate a transfer of sovereignty from the chiefs to the British Crown in exchange for the rights and protection of British citizenship. The first signings of the treaty took place in the Bay of Islands at Waitangi on 6th February 1840. It was signed in front of Busby’s house and became known as the Treaty of Waitangi . . .
And another piece from The New Zealand Tour Commentary 2015:
Gold was discovered at Canvastown by Elizabeth Pope, in 1860, and a tent town sprang up in 1864 when miners poured into the town at up to a thousand a day.
However, by 1865 the gold rush was over although a few miners stayed on for many years, but for little return. Timber milling helped keep the town alive for many years.
In 1866 four gold miners, travelling the Maungatapu bridle track from Canvastown to Nelson, were relieved of $600 worth of gold and murdered. The four murderers had already become notorious as criminals in England, Australia and New Zealand’s southern gold fields.
The Nelson district is believed to have been first settled by Maori about 700 years ago, making it one of the first areas of New Zealand to be settled. The Maori name for the area is Whakatu, meaning to build, raise or establish.
The Dutch explorer, Abel Tasman, came into nearby Golden Bay in 1642, but left after a skirmish with local Maori in which he lost four crewmen. He called the place Murderers Bay.
Nelson as a city, situated on Tasman Bay, is said to be at the geographical centre of New Zealand and, after Auckland, it is New Zealand’s second oldest city dating from 1841. The city was named in honour of Admiral Horatio Nelson, who had defeated the French and Spanish fleets at Trafalgar in 1805 . . . .