Kerikeri and car hunt
Tuesday 26th November
We continued the historical theme for part of our second car hire day, by visiting one of the first mission houses in the country at Kerikeri, about half an hour’s drive from Opua. Here we discovered what the Maori had to gain by allowing missionaries to stay here – as yet they had no metal. They were keen to learn and use new farming equipment and techniques to increase their yields, but they also wanted rifles, not just for hunting but to use against other tribes. At first the missionaries refused to supply them, but as their food supplies ran out and their new crops were not yet ready, they had to resort to trading for food with whatever the locals wanted. All very interesting.
The rest of the day was spent admiring the scenery as we drove around, and looking in used car lots for a suitable cheap car to buy for our travels around inland, once we have hauled the boat out for storage ashore. We will be moving the boat down to Whangarei for this, so weren’t too bothered about finding a car just yet, it was more of an information gathering exercise to see what we could get for what price. It was good to have wheels for a couple of days though, and to head inland. We are looking forward to more of it soon...