Necessary Places

After spending hours in a tour vehicle, or wandering through a museum, market or garden, that all-important stop to take care of bodily needs is essential.

Images by RJM

It’s important to know how to properly use the facilities!

When traveling with a wheelchair, knowing where to find an accessible “Restroom / WC / Toilette” is even more important. Continue reading

Maori Bibles, and A House of Worship

At the suggestion of our group leader, I purchased a one-year membership to the New Zealand Historic Places Trust, which not only supports New Zealand’s efforts to protect their historic buildings, but also affords free entry to many trust properties located throughout New Zealand as well as Australia, England, and even a few Historic sites in the USA. For more information, visit their website.

I first used my membership in Russell, touring the Pompallier Mission which purports to be the oldest surviving industrial building in New Zealand. Continue reading

Hell Hole of the Pacific, or “Hey Sailor!”

Russell, formerly known as Kororareka, was the first permanent European settlement and sea port in New Zealand. It is situated in the Bay of Islands, in the far north of the North Island.

Russell, Bay of Islands, New Zealand

Russell, Bay of Islands, New Zealand

When European and American ships began visiting New Zealand in the early 1800s, the indigenous Māori quickly recognized there were great advantages in trading with these strangers.  Continue reading

Hole in the Rock Cruise, Bay of Islands

Our first full day in New Zealand was February 6th, which happens to be a national holiday: Waitangi Day. It was on this date, in 1840, that the Maori people signed the Treaty of Waitangi, ostensibly making New Zealand part of the British empire, affording its people the same rights as other British subjects while guaranteeing Maori rights to their own land.

Naval presence, in honor of Waitangi Day

Naval presence, in honor of Waitangi Day

Although similarities have been drawn to treaties signed between the Native Americans and those who claimed their land, the politics of Waitangi Day are not the subject of this blog. (However, we did visit the Treaty House on the 7th — after the crowds thinned — and found it fascinating and mostly accessible. And that will be a future post.) Continue reading

The Kiwi Adventure Begins!

“New Zealand is a very accessible country,” I had been told prior to my recent month-long trip there. And with very few exceptions I found this to be true. For the next few weeks I will be sharing my experiences in this beautiful land, and when one of the “few exceptions” comes up, I’ll point it out .

The Big Travel Day had finally arrived: Sunday, February 3, 2013

I had prepared for months, researching travel guides and library books, checking Tripadvisor and taking lots of notes. Continue reading