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.

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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 – www.foodatwharepuke.co.nz.

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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