Bay of Islands Aerial View

Lucia and I love to spend one day a week away from home hiking and generally enjoying ourselves in beautiful places. Yesterday was one such day. First we did the Rainbow Falls waterfall walk in Kerikeri. Kerikeri is a small town with a vibrant history.

The New Zealand Tui

Recently the vehicular traffic bridge was removed from the basin in Kerikeri where the river meets the sea. A beautiful suspension bridge was built, allowing only bicycles and foot traffic. It is amazing how much nicer this area feels now that cars aren’t driving through all the time. Now, instead of traffic noise, you hear only the sound of the birds, murmurings of conversations and the clicking of cameras (and the modern digital ones almost everyone uses make almost no sound). It reminds me of the improvement to the feeling at Niagara Falls, Ontario when cars were disallowed when I was growing up. It’s great to see people enjoying themselves while walking around.

Bay of Islands A Sailors Dream

We then went on to Paihia at the Bay of Islands, a popular destination for overseas visitors. The colossal cruise ship, The Queen Mary, had been anchored there the day before. We had another hike along the Waitangi River between Haruru Falls and the sea. It was lovely to share that walk with a few humans and the prolific New Zealand native birds such as fantails and tuis. Waitangi has a special place in my heart. Not only is it the cradle of the New Zealand nation where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed my Maori representatives and the British on February 6, 1840. It was also here, on January 1, 2000, that I became a New Zealand citizen, one of a small group of the world’s first new citizens in the New Millennia. It was a touching experience.

Waitangi Meeting House Where I Became a NZ Citizen

Now that our youngest daughter is 17 (and the only one still at home) the possibility of walking days has returned, just like we did when we were first together before the girls were born. It feels great to share in this way. And it is all within an hour’s drive of home. We are so lucky.

One of the Many Beautiful Beaches in the Bay of Islands

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Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives, a startlingly poignant and inspiring real-life endorsement of the power of thought, belief and synchronicity in one’s life.

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