After a last lovely evening in Kerkeri, we said our goodbyes and started to make our way South back towards Auckland via Orewa.

We stopped off at Russell en route – the first capital of New Zealand.  Russell has changed a bit since its early days.  It was once known as “the hellhole of the Pacific” – a magnet for convicts fleeing Australia and whalers and sailors too drunk to return to sea.  Charles Darwin 1835 described it as “the refuse of society”.  It is very different now – elegant houses with white picket fences line the waterfront and there are plenty of nice looking seafood restaurants filled with retirees rather than the drunken sailors of bygone days.


Russell waterfront – ferries run every 20 minutes thought the day.

Foodie firsts:
Black Doris plums – served warm on a beautiful panacotta of kaffir lime and lemongrass which we found at Wharepuke restaurant in Kerikeri – well worth a visit –

Learning the lingo:
Flip-flops are called Jandals here – and everyone wears them with a pair of shorts – all the time!

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