Four Seasons in one day
16.12.2005 22 °C
After collecting our transport from the airport we headed up state highway one (SH1) to Paihia, Bay of Islands. A pretty long drive with Tracey and I sharing the driving which was an experience as I hadn't driven an automatic for a while and tracey hadn't really driven at all for a long time before this trip.
The weather was well, lets call it changeable. We got caught in a massive shower on our lunch break but eventually made it to the Beachside Holiday park after about 5 or so hours.
After a small panic about whether we had any bedding / towels or etc ( which we did ) we ventured into Paihia a few miles away to pay for our trips for the following two days.
* Hole in the Rock / Dolphin watching cruise
- Cape Reinga and Ninety Mile Beach.
The next few days were rather eventfull weather wise but a great laugh and real good fun anyhow.
The Hole in the Rock cruise out to Cape Brett was an adventure, especially for me as I am not that fond of boats to be honest. Tracey was loving the cruiser bobbing up and down on the waves on the way out, but feeling rather green on the way back. We did get to see some Dolphins, unfortunately we couldn't get to close as their was a smaller craft closer to the Dolphins already. At "The Rock" we managed to get up along side but not go through as the trip normally would as the sea was too rough.
That afternoon was spent visiting Whaitangi where the very controvesial treaty between the Maori and English was signed and the Harurur Falls just up the river. The weather had actually cleared by then and it was quite a nice afternoon.
Next day was an early start. We were collected by our Dunerider vehicle and set off for 90 Mile Beach with about 20 other passengers and a rather talkative guide Paul, who was great. After a brief stop to view some Kauri trees ( the second largest tree type in the world ) we were lucky enough to get onto the beach going up to the Cape. All the vehicles before us had missed the early tide and so had to drive back down the beach. It was great fun being in this 4 wheel drive monster , blattin' up the beach , and stopping for photos now and then.
Some bright spark had managed to get his old Merc stuck in the beach the day before so we all took pleasure in taking photos of that submerged and tossed around.
Finally in the afternoon the weather cleared and it was off for a spot of Dune riding ourselves which involved troggin' up a larger sand dune and then coming down on what can only be likened to a tea-tray. We have some great movie footage of that ! A spot of lunch and then it was off to Cape Reinga itself, which is the most northern most point of NZ, a sacred Maori place where spirits of the departed leap off for the after life after travelling together up 90 Mile Beach. Quiet possibly the most stunning and beautiful place I've been to.
On the return we were promised , and definately got the best fish 'n chips of our lives ( Blue Nose fish )at a small village called Manganui. That evening was a riot as a storm broke out with full on thunder and lightening and we thought the campsite was going to flood. Queue comical Kiwi's running around in their shorts in the pitch black trying to control excess amounts of water !