Paihia -Bobby Winters
One of my favorite group stops so far was at Paihia.
When Stu first drove us into town on the big bus I was really
amazed with the scenery. The water was an incredible blue
green, the sky was blue and the sun was white. We eventually
got into a boat which took us out of Paihia and out into the
Bay of Islands. It was really cool to see how the bay had
formed with a bunch of different sized islands scattered
throughout the middle. Our boat tour gave us a pretty quick
taste of some cool geology as we arrived at the Hole in the
Rock, which is an excellent example of a sea arch. Near the
arch was a cave which is an earlier stage in the same
geological process. We could also see a few sea stacks in the
bay which are the latest stage in the same geological process.
From our boat we could also see some large fish in the bay
which gave us a hint of the diverse sea life found in the Bay
while we were at Paihia. After the boat tour, we headed over
to the Waitangi Treaty grounds to learn about the peace treaty
that was reached between the Crown and the Maori. Basically,
the treaty is made up of three main articles. The articles
gave the Maori people sovereignty, full possession of New
Zealand and all the rights and privileges of British subjects.
It was very cool to see all of the Maori structures that are
built around the treaty grounds, including a very ornate
meeting house as well as a huge war canoe made up of three
massive kauri trees.
The next day we spent a little bit of time on the
beach in Paihia, not far from our hostel. On the beach at
Paihia we could see interesting characteristics of a
reflective beach, including berms, scarps, wrack lines, and
rills. We were also able to pick out some biological focal
points like mangrove seeds, puhutakawa trees, limpets and
catseye turbo. The grain sizes were around .125 mm and the
mix of plunging and spilling waves were only around a tenth of
a meter in height. After a pleasant morning on the beach of
Paihia, we loaded up the bus and headed out.