Sand facials


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Published: June 14th 2008
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60 Mile Beach60 Mile Beach60 Mile Beach

Coach negotating access road (stream) unto beach.
90 mile beach is badly named as its actually about 60 miles long. Appearently the wrong name was given to it by cattle drovers who estimated its length by the number of days they took to move their cattle along it. They forgot to take into account that cattle on average move slower on sand than earth. Hire cars are forbidden from being driven on it, so a coach trip was the only option for us.

A trip along a beach does not sound terribly exciting, I admit, but its one of those things you have to do when you visit the bay of Islands, apparently, so we did.

You visit a few other places of interest along the way but the highlight is the beach. It starts with getting unto the beach. I naively assumed that you would drive along a road to access it, but you actually drive along a stream bed. A fairly wide stream bed, but one whose bed is composed of constantly shifting soft sand and along which flows rivers of water, also constantly shifting. The driver used his experience, luck and probably a few prayers to select the best course to avoid getting
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Linda staying well clear of another coach making its way to the beach.
bogged down in the sand. Which can. and does. happen frequently.

He then stops if possible on one of the few patches of fairly hard sand available. Why. To allow his passengers to go sand surfing, of course. This is where you climb to the top of a very large sand dune, lie face down on a sandsurf board, a piece of poñystyrene, and launch you off. He will give you instructions beforehand on the proper techniques to be used to avoid swallowing a bellyful of sand, or sandblasting yourself a shiny new face. He will also tell you how to stop. I would advise you to make him repeat the last instructions a few times. The last few metres ate the critical ones.

I had actually intended to take part but something told me it would be worth standing at the bottom to take a few pictures of the fun. Oh boy, was I right. The first daredevil launched themselves from the top and everything went perfectly. Until they reached the bottom. They had not applied their brakes, i,e, their feet, early enough. As a consequence, when they reached the bottom of the sand, they continued travelling
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Wheres my board gone.
at a hell of a speed into the stream, through vegetation and several centimetres of water. The splash was enormous, as was the head over heels tumble they took due to the sudden deaccelaration. It contined like these for most of the other daredevils. Some were lucky and just got a soaking. Others however, used their faces as brakes, and did somersaults that would have put Evil Knevil to shame.

All the same, the adreneline rush was such that most of them enjoyed it and a few even went twice. I saw one middle aged man hit a bunch of vegetation and literally fly in the air and land face first. He staggered to his feet looking dazed, with his forehead bloody and scraped, but the first thing he did was run to his wife asking ¨did you get the photograph¨. I guess he will never forget that holiday.

After the mayham is over you go unto the beach proper and drive along it. At various points the driver will let you out to take photographs, although he may have to drive in circles to avoid getting stuck. He will also explain how the waves can unexpectably come
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I think Im dressed a bit too casually for this lark.
in, causing vehicles to skid and turn over. There were fishermen with their vehicles on the beach and he told us that a couple of vehicles a day will be lost to the sea. Sometimes its due to getting stuck in a soft patch but other causes are running out of fuel, no garage on a beach, or underestimating time need to get to one of the few exits.

All in all, a fun, interesting and informative day out and highly recommended to anybody with the opportunity to try it.



Additional photos below
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60 Mile Beach

Front contender for the wet t-shirt competition.
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60 Mile Beach

Not even a spare dry sock between them all.
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60 Mile Beach.

Our coach in background as it was unable to stop due to soft sand.
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60 Mile Beach.

Coach on beach itself with fishermans truck ahead.
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60 Mile Beach

Brendan trying fresh local shellfish, just dug from sand by driver.
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60 Mile Beach,

Now comes the interesting parting, stopping.


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