The Far North

Date: 10/03/2007 | Author: Gabby

With such lovely homely accommodation in the Bay of Islands, it would have been very easy to stay put but we were so close to the far north point of Cape Reinga and the famous 90 mile beach we took an overnight side trip. We stayed in a farm backpackers in the small town of Pukenui and woke up early in the morning so we were driving up 90 mile beach by 8am. The girls found this particular drive a lot of fun - poking their heads through the sun roof to catch the lovely breezes. They didn't have as much fun as their dad though - he loved every minute of it. Needless to say I was NOT given the opportunity to take the wheel!
A quick walk to the lighthouse at the northern tip of NZ where the Tasman Sea meets the Pacific Ocean was followed by a stop at the giant Ta Paki sand dunes. Equipped with a boogie board each we didn't bother with the nursery slopes and instead headed straight for the highest, steepest dunes. We were ill prepared and had forgotten to bring water, hats or sunblock from the car. It's really hard (and thirsty) work walking up steep dunes but the view from the top of the highest peaks over the wild Tasman Sea was worth it. The toboggan rides down received a mixed reception. Dave went first and in typical bloke style, went head first - he didn't manage to pick up much speed down the slopes but did manage to pick up a face full of sand! Ella went next, and after initial trepidation, finally let go and hurtled down the slope at break neck speed - again ending up with a face full of sand (see the video clip)! Florence and I went together but on separate boards. Florence, being so little and so light, was like a cork on the board and flew down the steep long dune and in the attempt to stop herself ended up with a face full and pants full of sand and in tears! When we finally reached the bottom of the dunes, thirsty but in one piece, we had a lot of fun tobogganing on the nursery slopes - perhaps this is where we should have started!

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