Saturday, 14 November 2015

Cape Reinga - the top of the bottom of the world, where the Abel Tasman and Pacific Ocean collide!

So we woke very early and were on the bus on our way by 7.30am. We were headed today to Cape Reinga on a day tour, via some more Kauri (Kodi) trees, lunch at a gorgeous cove and back via the 90 Mile Beach. It's a day trip that is included in most Stray bus passes. It was basically everyone that was on our bus plus people from the Kiwi Bus pass. Which is Stray's rival company but more for the party backpackers and doesn't stay in as many unique locations as Stray.

So after a quick stop at some more Kauri trees where it was freezing (it was supposed to warm up later but the morning was spring fresh!) We then went on to a cafe past Doubtful Bay and then were headed up to Cape Reinga. The tour was alot of sitting on a bus but it was worth it for the places we stopped at and it gave us stunning views of the North. Basically the north is just rolling hills of green dotted with sheep and cows...lots of farms mixed in with stunning coves and bays and lakes. It's stunning. The sun was shining so it lit it up even more. We went through Keri Keri (kidi kidi) where the best Orange juice is produced. And the luckiest town in New Zealand where there have been 15 big lottery wins this year. Shame we couldn't get a ticket!!

We arrived at Cape Reinga around 11.30am and it was stunning! So Cape Reinga is where the Pacific Ocean and the Abel Tasman sea collide and you can even see the line where the two oceans meet, the Abel Tasman a bright green colour and the Pacific a deep blue it really is quite something. And there are lots of stunning bays down each coast line. The Cape part of the Northlands is all sand, that was once a seperate volcanic land that over time moved across the ocean and attached itself to New Zealand. New Zealand is rich with volcanoes and sits along the Pacific ring of fire along a major faultline. So it has stunning beauty mixed with danger. However most of the volcanoes here are now extinct but the faultline is very much active still (think Christchurch and Napier/Hastings earthquakes). The Māori belief that the cape is the point where the spirits of the dead enter the underworld. It's also where the female sea and the male sea collide in Maori culture.

After doing the stunning coastal walk down to the lighthouse, we went to a small cove 10mins away for lunch and chilled on the beach with everyone. There is a guy on our Stray bus who is travelling alone but was born disabled. It really makes you understand that anything is possible. If you put your mind into it, you can do anything you want and he's very independent and does as much as he can himself which is truely inspiring!

After this it was onwards to 90 mile beach, which is actually regarded as a state highway...on the sand! It's actually only 55miles however it got its name from when the cattle drivers used to make the journey north. It would take them 3 days to complete the journey, so 3 days = 90 miles right?! Lol 

Our crazy coach driver drove us onto the beach and right into the surf, then started doing roundabouts in it, was pretty cool but scary at the same time. It was basically a bit like Frasier Island in Australia but waaaay longer, cars driving up and down. Then we stopped for a bit and had a chance at sand boarding down the huge sand dunes. But having already tried it in Vietnam and Australia and getting sand everywhere we decided not to but appreciated the stunning scenery. Then it was on our way back to Paihia where we stopped at Doubtless Bay for fresh fish and chips. It was the stop before that everyone found out about the Paris terrorist attacks. So obviously with no form of internet and Pierrick's brother living in the area of the main attacks we were quite worried but he contacted his sister who replied back the next day saying he was safe. And luckily all of Pierrick's friends who live in Paris were safe too.

That evening we socialised with everyone down at the bar for a bit before retiring to bed. Some people were headed back to Auckland the next day and some of us were staying on one more night. We had our bay of Islands tour booked for the next day and had heard it was bad weather but later found out it was Monday the bad weather would start so was super looking forward to it!

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