On our first morning aboard National Geographic Orion, we arose to a purple-orange sunrise above the rolling hills of New Zealand’s North Island. White-fronted terns, Australasian gannets, and welcome swallows greeted us upon arrival to Waitangi. We were able to explore the Treaty Grounds and were lucky enough to be treated to a Māori performance. It was filled with poi, rākau, and, of course, it ended with a haka.

Lunch was served back on board, and we wasted no time getting back on shore to explore the historical town of Russell. Lovely weather kicked off a lovely trip as we discovered the gems offered by coastal New Zealand. Anchors up, and we’re off to the Great Barrier Island!