Staying at our lovely yellow house in Waipapakauri, this was a great base to explore Cape Reigna from.
Arriving mid afternoon, we lucked out with a low tide (make sure you check the tide times before you drive on the beach) and were able to go for a safe drive along the 55 mile long aptly named ‘Ninety Mile Beach’. A strange haze was around so you couldn’t actually see for miles, but it was something a bit different to do for a while.
After that we went for a dip in the local Lake Rotokawau before heading home.
Setting out the next day the tide was in, so we had to go up Highway 1 to Cape Reinga. For some reason we expected a flat straight road….. rather than the very undulating and winding road that is.
Stopping of at the Te Paki sand dunes to have a go at sand boarding, we hired a board and had a go. Having Evie with us and it being another baking hot day, we didn’t feel like we could go into the big dune proper.
Instead we stayed close to the bottom so Evie could play in the stream.
A few goes later, wet, completely full of sand everywhere and with a bit of whiplash to add, we decided we had had our fill of sand boarding.
We made the presumption we would soon be jumping in the sea to clean off – wrong (which meant having sand in every crack and crevice until the evening!).
Cape Reigna itself was beautiful.
The colours and bizarre wave action where the Tasman Sea meets the Pacific are stunning to see.
But it is high up and it would be quite a trek down to the sea. So we had our picnic, enjoyed the view and left the most accessible northerly point.
But not before the Volvo helped another car out. Having lived to see another day, we jump-started another car back into action. The Cape is not somewhere you would want to wait for hours.
After stopping for a real fruit ice cream (why does that make it sound healthier??!)we turned off Highway 1 onto a gravel road and headed back to Ninety Mile Beach at the Hukatere Hill entry point. Now low tide, we finished our Cape Reigna trip by driving 20km south along the beach exiting again at the Waipapakauri Ramp. If the tide is right this is much quicker than the main road – and much more fun!