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Published: August 26th 2012
Come the morning in Matai Bay, although the weather was a little better than the previous day, it was still pretty poor. This however didn’t stop us from taking a stroll along the amazing beach and imagining what it would be like in nice weather in the summer months.Once the rain started to fall a little heavier, we decided it was time to hit the road, and so we set off towards Cape Reinga and the northern tip of the North Island.
As we neared Cape Reinga, the weather was still pretty dreary, and so we knew that any real walking or sightseeing was out of the question. We decided anyway just to go see what the road was like leading up to the lighthouse in case it improved tomorrow. Once there, we couldn’t resist walking down the trail towards the lighthouse for a sneaky peak and so, we parked up and off we went. The views from the top of the hill down towards both the beach and the lighthouse were really something else, and even though the visibility was pretty low due to the clouds, you could still appreciate how stunning it was here.
We decided that
even though this would be our second day in a row without a shower we would still go camp at a DOC site. This did help us save money, however it was also the closest campsite to Cape Reinga and the lighthouse, and so it just made sense really. Once there, we were a little relieved to see a few more vans parked up compared with our last campsites wilderness, and we could easily see why due to the sites location nestled in a bay, overlooking a beach.
After a good feed and a rather warm night, we awoke to beautiful blue skies and the sun glaring through the window. To make sure we made good use of the weather, we decided to have a quick breakfast and again forgo a freezing cold shower in order to get down to Cape Reigna and the lighthouse . As we were about to leave, we noticed a couple camping next to us had parked outside the cold showers and just as we pulled away, we heard screams echoing throughout the surrounding mountains. We may have been unwashed, however I think that particular shower was well avoided!
So, we made our
way back to where we were the previous day and the change in weather was huge. Because of this, we were able to get back down to the lighthouse and the viewpoints and get a much better look at the surroundings. One thing we were particularly in awe of was where the Pacific Ocean meets the Tasman Sea and you can actually see the two bodies of water coming together…. What an amazing sight!
As we got back into our van, we were approached by a Japanese family who had a bit of an issue. They told us that they hardly had any petrol left in their car, and had been told that the nearest petrol station was over 12 km away. They were hoping they could buy some petrol from us, however little did they know who they were talking to…..us?, spare petrol? Leave it out, that’s way too organised!! Not having what they were after, we felt a little helpless, however in the end, we just told them that we would follow them to the petrol station, and should they run out, we would take one of them to buy and fill up a jerry can and
then give them a lift back to their car. After following them all the way up and down the hills, they fortunately made it fine, and thanked us for our assistance. Being believers in Karma, Donna and I hoped that this good deed would be replicated should we ever need helping, and chances were, we would at some point!
Having been to the furthest point North, it was now time to come back down towards the South again. We had a vague idea of where we were heading, and decided to see how far we could get, this time towards the west coast. On the way back down, we took a turn off in order to go take a look at 90 mile beach. As we were in a rented campervan, we were not allowed to drive on the beach as this would invalidate our insurance and due to my record so far with bad luck, we decided it wasn’t worth taking the risk! After taking one look at this huge beach and fierce surf though, I was more than a little glad that we didn’t have to go on there after all, it just looked scary!
Eventually, after a good days driving and sightseeing, we pulled up at a little town called Rawene along the West coast of Northland by Hokianga harbour, and decided to park up and stay the night.
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