Day 29: Parasailing and Waitangi

I tried out parasailing in Paihia today and it was awesome. It was a bit windy, so paired up with Cameron, who is campervanning around NZ with his uni friends. A sixty year old couple went before us and didn’t look remotely scared, which was reassuring. Until we got clipped into the giant parachute and shot up 400m into the sky.

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We managed to get video footage of the launch from the point of view of the boat and Cameron’s go pro. There’s a bit of screaming and some swearing towards the end, but it was enjoyable. At the very top it felt like we were sitting in chair lift, overlooking the bay and the beautiful NZ landscape. Later on I’ll add some aerial shots too.

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After safely landing and having a light lunch, I headed Waitangi Treaty Grounds to absorb some history and more idyllic scenery. The site is significant because in 1840, it is where the Maori tribes and the British signed the Waitangi Treaty, which outlined topics such as land ownership and citizen rights. Since there was an English copy and a Maori copy, there are some disagreements about its interpretation, so the Waitangi Tribunal is used to resolve disputes. There was heaps of interesting stuff in the museum, but my favourite part was the cultural show in the carved meeting house. We were greeted with music, singing and displays of instruments and weapons.

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Mere Kara, our guide for the cultural show

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Awesome poi skills

I took pictures of the walls and ceilings because I liked the carvings and I’m a fan of geometric prints and patterns. It turns out each of the carvings and woven panels mark a different ancestor for each tribe in the North Island. As I continued on through the grounds I came across the war canoes, there are three which were carved from Kauri trees. The cool thing is that they still work and they’re launched for Waitangi Day each year.

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Largest war canoe in the world

On the way back home I came across Paihia’s Farmers’ Market and bought some chocolate croissants  and basked in the sun for a little longer.

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Paihia Weekly Farmers’ Market

The rest of the day was fairly uninteresting, just finishing off the last of the weeds before I left to go home. I’d spent a fair amount of time trying to dig out the roots of these incredibly tough plants, but it getting too difficult so I resorted to using an axe. The last time I had to use such a weapon was when I made a pinata so thick that we couldn’t break it with baseball bats, so we ended up tomahawking it open. I was very proud, my bright pink, smiley pig, managed to withstand quite a beating, I’ll search through my folders to see if I have a picture.

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I was exhausted by the time I got to bed but I didn’t want to sleep knowing that I had only one day until I returned to Auckland to fly home. I can definitely understand how people can come to NZ to visit and end up living here, it’s too beautiful to leave so soon.

 

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