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December 20th 2010
Published: December 19th 2010
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Ninety mile beachNinety mile beachNinety mile beach

Actually 90km beach is more accurate!
Saturday we headed up to Ninety Mile Beach - a registered highway suitable for rugged vehicles. We probably should of listened to that last bit as Jamies poor car got stuck in soft sand after only a few metres! We did have a stroll & a paddle on the beach first though. We stuck to the roads after that & headed up to Cape Reinga where the Tasman Sea meets the Pacific Ocean & the spirits of the dead depart from this world to the next. We arrived in thick fog but luckily it was a bit clearer out by the lighthouse at the tip. After the compulory photos by the signpost we headed back down & round to Spirits Bay, or rather the far end of Spirits Bay which starts just along from the Cape. This was a beautiful pink beach, coloured by many fragments of shell littering the beach. Again we had the beach to ourselves to admire the pale sand & huge waves.

On the way back to the hostel we stopped off to do some horse trekking, we only had enough cash to pay for an hour but I think we were out longer than that
Cape Reinga lighthouseCape Reinga lighthouseCape Reinga lighthouse

& compulsory photo with the signpost
in the end. It was a lovely gentle ride through the forest with a lot of weaving between the trees and up & down steep banks. Lovely horses but they did want to go a bit faster much of the time!

Sunday was mostly driving. The weather Thursday onwards hadn't been that great but we had managed to avoid the worst of the drizzle & even got some sunshine on the beach! Sunday it just rained non-stop, but that's ok when you're driving. We broke our journey at Whangarei where we went to Zion Wildlife Gardens to visit the lions & tigres. This is the home of The Lion Man who you may have seen on tv & also Zion, the lion who played Aslan in the recent Narnia films. I have mixed feelings about this place. Many of the cats have been saved from worse places & they seemed as happy as caged beasts can be (except the black leopard who hated the rain!) but they hand feed the animals & many were hand raised & part of me feels that this is wrong for such intelligent & wild beasts. They really understand and care for their cats though and

Getting towed after the car got stuck on 90 Mile Beach!
considering the alternatives this is a great place for them.

Additional photos below
Photos: 13, Displayed: 13


Te ArohaTe Aroha
Te Aroha

Spitrits eprting this world use the roots of this lone pohutukawa tree to step ijto the water. Interesting it has never been known to flower.
Pink shell fragmentsPink shell fragments
Pink shell fragments

On the beach at Spirits bay
Misty lakeMisty lake
Misty lake

Just behind Spirits Bay -much of this area looked like Wales, especially in the drizzle & mist!
Bush clearanceBush clearance
Bush clearance

There used to be a pth through here so our guide decided to recreate it!
My lovely horseMy lovely horse
My lovely horse

This is Cindy (or Sindy - I'm not sure of the spelling!)
Lion at ZionLion at Zion
Lion at Zion

No zoom used, they really were this close to use most of the time.

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