Top of the North - Part 2

We got up early Easter Sunday morning to make the journey north to Cape Reinga.  The morning was rainy so we decided to keep driving as long as it was raining and stop at the sites on the way home.  Luckily, it cleared relatively quickly and we were able to stop at most sites on the drive north.  First up, Rarawa beach which is known to have the whitest sand in New Zealand.  The beach was gorgeous but also overrun with some sort of fly (it didn't bite us but you literally could not open your mouth without inhaling one).  Somehow we managed to get all the way to the water before the flies attacked...but it didn't take us long to get back to our car!

Beautiful white sand that was super soft!
Next stop, surfing on the Te Paki sand dunes.  I'm not going to lie....this was scary (especially considering the warnings I received from a colleague at work regarding broken arms)!  We hiked up the sand dunes hauling our body boards.  The whole way I was only thinking about how steep they were!  We surfed down a few before Justin took a hard tumble which scared me and almost broke his glasses.  It was so fun though we couldn't be deterred and surfed a few more on our hike back to the car.  I don't have pictures from the top as we didn't take our camera but the dunes were super steep and tall so we really flew down them!   Here is a video link of what we may have looked like.

Hard to tell scale from this but these dunes were huge!

Headed out for sand surfing
We finally made it to Cape Reinga around 1 pm.  The Cape was beautiful and we got some beautiful blue skies while we were there.  From the Cape, you can literally see where the Tasman Sea meets the Pacific Ocean.   The water is rough in this area making the meeting of the opposite tides visible.  Maroi legend says that the Cape is the spot where the souls of the dead entered the underworld.  

From Cape Reinga

I think I was traveling alone this trip

Tidal race where the Tasman meets the Pacific

View of the lighthouse at Cape Reinga
After the Cape, we had a picnic and headed back to Ahipara.  We took a refreshing swim/body board when we got back before dinner at the only local cafe.  I actually swam without a wetsuit as the water is quite a bit warmer than the ocean near Auckland.  It was another relatively early night since there is not much to do while camping once the sun goes down.
Completely different sunset tonight over the same spot
We took the long way home on Monday along the west coast of New Zealand in order to see the Kauri trees in Waipoua Forest.  We visited Omapere and Opononi and ended up taking a car ferry as it was the only way to continue along the highway.  We had lunch over looking the Hokianga Harbor.  Shortly after lunch, we visited the giants of the Kauri forest, Tane Mahuta and the four sisters.  Tane Mahuta meaning Lord of the Forest is said to be somewhere between 1,200 and 2,500 years old and is the largest living Kauri tree.

Ah, there he is....on the car ferry

Lindsay in front of Tane Mahuta for scale

The four sisters


CrazyUncle said...

I like the Four Sisters. I like the shot of The Meeting Point. The Cape Reinga Lighthouse is nice. You should have just stayed and kept taking photo because...

both of you are crazy for surfing down those dune.

Still, this is a cool trip you took. Keep enjoying your current home.