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Day 5 – Ninety Mile Beach and Cape Reigna

October 20, 2012

What a fantastic day we have had – we woke to blue skies and sunshine and it remained like that for most of the day. We decided to take a coach tour rather than drive and that was the right decision as we would not have been able to experience what followed. Firstly we drove down on to 90 mile beach, though it is actually only 55mls long!!! This is a picture of one of the coaches driving through the water of the Tasman Sea. We virtually drove the entire length of the beach with our driver keeping an eye on the rising tide level. There was one scary moment when we came to point in the beach where a rock formation meant the passing point was going to be tricky as the tide was already lapping up to the rocks. We around it and watched as other buses waited their moment of opportunity, it was like standing close to the shore line waiting for the moment to make your move without getting your feet wet.

A bit further on there was the opportunity for some sand dune surfing.Ninety mile beach has sand dunes lining its entire length, but there are some just a bit further back which are massive. Brenda being the adventuress one didn’t hesitate to collect her toboggan and with many others climbed up the steep sand dune so as to toboggan down. I have to say she did a great job and would give her 10/10 for effort and 8/10 for technique and style. Not bad for an ‘oldie’!!! (Note to self – I should have taken my video camera with me as that would have shown better than a still shot, even better I could have used my iPhone …. doh!)

We continued our travel across to the west coast of this peninsula and where land meets the Pacific Ocean which was like a mill-pond. We stopped at one of the many coves for lunch and it was so peaceful and tranquil. It’s one of those places that if you lived in NZ you could quite happily go to for a great holiday.

Cape Reigna was our next destination. This is where the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean meet and is often referred to as the tip of NZ though it is quite the most northerly point. I guess we could say we were disappointed with what we saw as it was a calm day and there was very little action going on between these two massive oceans. However, the views were spectacular and well worth the visit. We also took the opportunity of a little bit of exercise as we walked down to lighthouse and then had to walk back again – that was enough exercise for one day!!!

All through the tour our drive Robin was informative and had a great array of jokes to keep us laughing. His knowledge of this fascinating peninsula and it’s heritage was excellent. Throughout the tour we stopped off at various locations for photo opportunities and also at a small shop in what we would probably describe as a hamlet. This shop sells whopping big ice-creams at  less than half the price we pay for on in the UK. Brenda loves her ice-cream so this was a welcome stop as you can see from the photo.

Our final stop was at a place the call the Ancient Kauri Kingdom. The living Kauri is a native protected tree and the Ancient Kauri is the oldest swamp Kauri found in NZ and is the oldest workable wood in the world. These fallen trees have been buried and and preserved underground in swamps for more than 45,000 years. The Ancient Kauri’s are made into furniture, fine art and crafts. It requires a trained eye to recover the best grain and texture and it is not cheap but is certainly beautiful to look at. If you are interested you can find out more at http://www.ancientkauri.co.nz.

So we come to the end of another fabulous day and it just seems to get better – and we still have another 25 days to go in NZ. Tonight sees us planning for the next few days with the possibility of meeting up Tom Blakeley one of the young men we have got to know in our Church back in Basingstoke. Tom is in NZ for a year with the intention of travelling and do a bit of work. Looks like we might be in the same location in the middle of next week, so it would be great to meet up with him.

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