Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Russell, Northland

These Spring holidays have been dreamy!  So much for that grim weather forecast, it's all blue skies y'all.  Today definitely feels like the kind of day that we should fill with an adventure, but in reality I will be cleaning out my car (overdue) and sorting through the kiddo clothing.  Is it normal that I'm looking forward to both of these tasks?!  

If we were on an adventure mission, I might be tempted to head back to Russell.  We spent an afternoon there during the term time and it was super duper pretty.  I hadn't visited since I was a kid, was a little surprised to find nothing how I remembered it (that might be a good thing considering my strongest memories are of vomiting up chocolate ice cream, and watching my brothers being broken out of a public toilet).  

I still haven't quite worked that out in my head, but it may have something to do with arriving via car ferry this visit which makes for a far less grand entrance.  The back roads were cool though.  It meant we were able to stop in at Matauwhi Bay, a very sweet little beach lined with cute dinghys.

For a short visit it might be nicer to arrive in Russell via passenger ferry.  You'd be more limited in your explorations, but the town is so nice I don't think you'd mind.  We visited a few stores, including the local op shop and an ice cream store.  Both #worthit.  Afterwards we collected all the prettiest shells from the beach before heading home.  Romantic an afternoon as it had been, the car trip home was not.  Garland had been quietly developing an ear infection, and we had a good two hour drive to learn all about that...

Car screaming aside, I look forward to visiting again.  I'm pretty sure we only scratched the surface of what Russell has on offer.  I did bring home a roadside geranium cutting though, #souvenir.  

Cost: The car ferry was $12.50 each way, and the passenger ferry is $12 adult return and $6 child return.
Highlights: We loved Matauwhi Bay, if you're traveling by car. 
Lowlights: I had an unpleasant customer service experience at the local bakery, fyi.
Expectation vs. Reality:  As pretty and idyllic as we'd hoped.
Worth repeating: Definitely.  It would be a pretty place to book a bach and stay a few nights, too.
What we'd do differently:  I'd be tempted to travel via passenger ferry next visit, and definitely visit Russell's historic sites.

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