Destination - Northland - Cape Reinga

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January 6th 2010
Published: January 7th 2010
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So today is the day we have booked our bus tour to Cape Reinga. Again the sun is shining and as the lady at reception said this is a good day for it! We booked our tour with Harrisons and met the bus in Kaitaia at 8.45 am for a 9am start. Seeing Kaitaia made me feel good about our choice to stay in Ahipara. While Kaitaia was pretty much a town, granted it had a lot more shops and cafe's to offer, Ahipara was the more scenic choice with the beach right outside your front door. We stopped for a pancake breakfast in Kaitaia which was a pretty yummy start to the day. It was a very cheery welcome at reception and they were busy getting the bus ready. After a quick stop in town and then at a camp site to pick up some other passengers we were on our way. Our driver from the start was full of very useful and valuable information and funny to boot.

Our first stop was the Ancient Kauri Kingdom which was a good stop to buy some postcards, which we dutifully posted to our parents later from Cape Reinga, and admire the crafts they make using the beautiful Kauri Wood. There is a beautiful staircase made from the Kauri Wood which supposedly the building was built around. It was lovely to see, the wood kind of curves and has this sensuousness about it that attracted me to it.

We then headed to Wagener Park with a beautiful Pohutukawa tree over the Houhora Harbour. It was only a short stop before heading to the beautiful white sandy, and when I say white sandy I mean it is the finest brightest white sand I have ever seen, Rarawa Beach. The feel of the sand between your toes is the best! My husband spent ages taking pictures of the hundreds of shells buried in the sand while I flung the jandals off for a dip in the water. It was definitely a highlight of the trip and we could have happily spent the rest of the day there and would rate it as one of our favourite beaches in NZ so far. Lunch was at Tapotupotu Bay, yet another lovely beach. Lunch was a simple but satisfying affair with a savory scone, cheese and biscuits and crisps. Finally we made it to Cape Reinga with it's captivating Maori spiritual tradition. The pacific ocean and Tasmin Sea meet here as well. It's a lovely walk to the lighthouse with dramatic views. If I were a spirit I would be pretty happy to jump off here too, the water looked so welcoming with it's what I like to call true blue colours! We diligently posted our post cards to Jamaica and Italy and wait to hear if they arrive successfully!

After the Cape you leave a bit of the history behind and it starts being all about having a bit of fun! We drive through Te Paki stream which is officially quick sand so I guess it is the scarier part of the route but we had no fear in our big bus! Never mind that you pretty much stop along the stream anyway to do some tobogganing down giant sand dunes. So after a quick demonstration from our driver we are let loose to have fun on the dune. Well they say it is supposed to be fun but it was a lot of hard work for me to climb up that sand dune...definitely my exercise for the day. So it took me at least 5 minutes to get up and all of a few seconds to get down and yes it was fast good fun. My husband dared to do it again but no way was I climbing up that dune again! At least I managed to take some pictures of the fun then. Then we headed for our drive along the 90 Mile Beach Highway, I great way

Ok so to be honest from the start we were a bit wary of taking the bus tour. Usually it is associated with groups of older people with limited time scales and someone telling you when and how to do things. We prefer the freedom usually and doing things our own way but to be was great having someone else drive for a change and we comfortably fit everything in...and it was overall a very relaxing, entertaining and informative experience...Thanks Harrisons!

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