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Cape Reinga to Maitai Bay - Day 66

An impressive Lighthouse, awesome Sand Dunes, disappointing Ninety Mile Beach and a pretty Bay

21 °C

This morning we braved the cold showers for the first time. It wasn't freezing cold, but definitely not particularly warm either, and I jumped in first. So, so cold! Andrew was impressed that I just flung myself into it, but I think he thought it mustn't be too bad because I'd managed it. He realised soon enough and shouted "Jesus, it's frickin' freezing!" when the cold water hit him.

Another first was that I drove the camper! It was strange because it was an automatic but apart from that it was easy. I took us up to the Cape Reinga lighthouse, which is also the point where the Pacific Ocean meets the Tasman Sea. This is also a spiritual place for Maori, where the spirits of the recently deceased depart.

It was a short walk to the lighthouse, but we ran up and down the hill instead and immediately regretted it - it was steep and too hot! Plus were not very fit! The views were very pretty and the lighthouse had one of though 'distance to...' signs. We're so far away from home!

Next stop was Te Paki Sand dunes for some body boarding down them. We hired a board for about 15 dollars, then made our way across the sand to the biggest dune. I went first, carrying the board while trying walk up sand - not an easy task! Every step I took, I slid back half the same distance and about half way up wind started to come into play and the board was trying to get away from me! Eventually I got up there, with Andrew laughing at me and out of breath. It was a long way down from here! But I jumped on the board and slid down using my feet as brakes, so I didn't go too fast.

Andrew wasn't laughing when he tried to walk up the sand dune! It really was hard work. When he slid down though, he didn't use his feet as brakes at all, and whizzed down the dune and past me for another few metres! We had another few goes before leaving, getting fast each time - it was too tiring getting up the dune to do much more! (The videos are better, which we'll get online when we return home)

While we were up here, we thought we'd go and see 90 mile beach, which is actually only about 73 miles long. Cars and buses drive on it, but our rental agreement doesn't allow us to do that, so we just had to drive to it instead. There are lots of ways to get to 90 mile beach but the way we went took us down the longest, bumpiest gravel track we've ever driven on, so long we almost turned back because we thought it couldn't possibly be the way. We got there and it was just another beach really. I guess driving down it is the fun and point of it?

We then went across the east side of the Northland to Maitai Bay campsite, because we wanted to explore Doubtless Bay tomorrow before heading to Bay of Islands the next day. The campsite was really pretty, with two beaches, its a shame it wasn't warmer so we could have taken advantage of it. Andrew did get into the sea though, but it was so cold.

Posted by staceywaugh 05:07 Archived in New Zealand Tagged beaches sea lighthouse sand_dunes sand_boarding

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Looks like you having an amazing time. I remember schlepping up that sand dune! Tiring but good fun whizzing down on the board! Hope you are enjoying Oz x

by Lucy

We are thanks Luce! Omg I thought I was going to have an asthma attack at the top!! But really fun coming down :) Oz has been better than I expected, except yesterday when it rained the entire day! Hope all is well with you xxx

by staceywaugh

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