Before arriving in New Zealand we were far from imagining that there were so many hiking trails, nature reserves, National Parks( almost a third of the country is protected) or perfectly maintained campsites. New Zealand is also the diversity of bird species and also the 30 million sheep scattered across the country.
With its 5 million people and 30 million sheep , New Zealand breaks all records : 6 sheep per capita and the world's largest exporter. No wonder we see them near the beaches what changes us from coconut trees and palm trees in Polynesia!
The water is still fresh (20℃) we do more hiking than swimming and there's plenty to do in the Bay of Islands!
Can't get lost, each trail is indicated and maintained regularly
with bollards explaining the history of New Zealand along the way
and when it takes a little climbing stairs make it easier to climb
to get to the point of view
with no boats on the horizon!
We continue to crisscross the paths on each island,
not yet frequented by tourists.
the only inhabitants being the birds. This one called "oyster wrestler" ( he catches the oysters and breaks them with his beak) monitors his "dulcinea"
smoldering at the beach.
Every night this duck visits us to beg for a piece of fresh bread! But don't encourage them and he leaves empty-handed when we gently chase him
where we use the dead body as Vaughan and Leslie (Off2C) lends us, is just across the street from Russell's small town, now touristy and accessible by ferry from Paihia. It has played an important role in history for having been the capital of the country for 9 months in 1841.
Then a short boat tour is a must. We wet in front of Oneroa bay beach, where a road takes us to the center of Russell.
The city is punctuated by the comings and goings of ferries that take the merry tourists for the day!
Rather than "window licking" we prefer to take a short walk in the forest among the tree ferns,
birds like this (green and coppery pigeon reflections endemic to New Zealand) doesn't seem to fear our presence
A Russel school has set up numerous "Bug Motel" in order to attract insects and observe them
Throughout the route the signs give explanations of the species of birds and the trees that surround us. The country is heavily involved in education and the protection of nature!
After walking for a few hours it's time to eat in a quiet place.
We avoid the restaurant "Duke of Marlborough" which is black and noisy to settle down at the "Garden Café" decorated with plant walls and relaxed atmosphere!
We will enjoy these islands for another fortnight before the end of the year and the rush of tourists.