Paroa Bay to Motuarohia Island

Time for food restock, a return visit to Russell was required.

Directly across from Paroa Bay was our lunchtime destination, the wildlife sanctuary of Motuarohia Island.

As always, the beauty and vibrant colours of the surrounding landscape first attracted the eye. Upon entering the small bay neighbouring Cook’s Cove, heavenly birdsong welcomed the visitor.

Steep mountainous slopes rose to greet the sky, whilst below a series of lagoons beckoned one for a closer look.

Flat kikuyu grass covered ground provided a soft bed for bare feet traversing the cove and was perfect for resting upon.

A steep winding path led us up, up, up through hardwood forest,

pines and understory shrubs, until at we exited upon its knoll where a wondrous view greeted the eye. Tui, swallows and other small birds hid teasingly within the foliage. Oh, for the macro today


Tide retreating,

shallow pools held deep greens


and golds hidden amongst mussel and oyster shells, their inhabitants long gone.

Discoveries completed, although I could have remained lost wandering and photographing within this watery world.


Interesting Facts

  • November 1769: The Endeavour, with Captain Cook on board were surrounded by Maori, who were invited on board for the purpose of trading. On departure, a small group carried with them a buoy from the ship. As was typical back then, the attitude was to shoot first, ask questions later.
  • The island is also known as Roberton Island, after whaling ship captain, John Roberton, who purchased it from the local Maori in 1839.
  • Earliest settlement has been traced back to the earliest Polynesian settlement
  • 1769 approximately 300 people resided on the island.