Attending Waitangi Day celebrations AT Waitangi is a must-go-to event for all Kiwi.
I hear some people say it’s all protests and activism: my experience from spending 4 days in the Bay of Island’s earlier this year shows this is a false view that unfortunately is perpetuated by the mainstream news media.
What I observed was families, tourists, kiwis, groups, and just people all having a great time. It was a combo of ceremony; navy, politicians, music; opera, jazz, blues, soul, Maori Cultural shows, stalls, side shows, and of course the gathering of the ceremonial waka. These events happen over four sites (which border each other) Treaty Grounds, Waitangi National Reserve, Te Tii Marae grounds, and the beach across the road – Te Ti Bay.
And as for the proof-of-a-democracy protests: if you want to avoid them, don’t be on the one lane bridge at 130pm on the 6th Feb. For me – wished I had been able to get some photos of the annual protests … but I was too busy watching the waka and missed them all!
Here are just 75 photos (from the 5000 I took in my 2 weeks in Northland) that just give a little taste of the fabulous day – I recommend you book your accommodation early.
See some Utube re Waitangi here