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Published: April 10th 2016
Today was a milestone day of my trip to New Zealand. I visited one of the "tips" of my 37 day, "tip to tip" journey; namely Cape Reinga, the most northerly, accessable point in New Zealand. I took an amazing, full-day, Harrisons Cape Runner tour. Was picked up at the hotel at 9, returned to the hotel at 5. A full day indeed. At a price of 50$, including a box lunch, well worth it. Given the tide was high in the morning we took the road to Cape Reinga, about 90 miles away from Kataia. First stop was a visit to Rarawa Beach, a beach with white, soft soft silica sand. Prior to reaching the cape we had our lunch at the very pretty Tapotupotu Bay with a wonderful small beach. Finally, at Cape Reinga, there is 900 metre walkway to the actual lighthouse. Cape Reinga is so situated that the Tasman Sea (west coast of NZ) and the Pacific Ocean (East coast) clash. You can visibly see the froth and wave action as the waters collide "in a boiling cauldron of surf". Many photographs of course including the signpost giving distances to other locations. Vancouver is 11,220 km away
whereas Slope Point(my southerly) "tip" is 1,500 km. That must be as the crow flies because by road Mapquest states 1900+ km and 26 hours of driving. A long way to go! Following an hour at the lighthouse we stopped at Te Paka to toboggan down the sand dunes. Rather than toboggan, I hiked further to the top for the views. This was followed by a 73 km bus ride on 90 mile beach. The driver informed us that the beach was indeed a recognized highway in New Zealand. It was a hoot zooming along the beach at 100 km an hour. We of course stopped for the mandatory 90 mile beach pictures before turning off. Oh, for the fact checkers, the beach is for some reason only 64 miles long. The final stop was a visit to the Ancient Kauri Kingdom where they sculpt using "swamp" kauri; kauri trees that have been buried for 45,ooo years. I had to purchase a small item. Merry Xmas Suzanne! A great day.
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