This was just such a treat and Fiona and I had been looking forward to it.. the highlight of the trip if you like. We met the bus I was later told; was a 400 HP beast that was once a Petrol tanker but was custom made for its current purpose of ferrying people like us up to the Cape on the sand.
Click on any Image to Enlarge
The driver picked us up outside the Awanui NZMCA park along with a neighbour in the park with his two grandsons and we were off.
Jason the driver and guide was a scream and very good with the flow of interesting information that went all day.
After turning off the main road north at Waipapakauri, we headed a few k’s towards the beach before we got to the sand. The weather for the trip was perfect and once Jason had changed into 4-wheel drive, we were off up the beach… all 56k’s of it apparently 🙂 As Jason said on the commentary “ It’s the only state highway that gets a wash twice a day “:-)
About half an hour or so of cruising up the beach, we stopped and got out for stretch and a look around. It’s an amazing beach with nothing really in either direction apart from the sandhills behind.
There was a rock of the beach with a hole in like the one off Cape Brett.
A bit further on, we were heading up the Te Paki stream beside the massive sand hills where we stopped to let to let those younger and more adventurous than us to boogie board down the sand hills. Jason gave them all a few safety lessons and they were off.
They all seemed pretty happy with the occasion and about 45 minutes or so later, we set off again up the stream to rejoin the highway up to the Cape.
Next we were heading up to Tapotupotu Beach for lunch which Jason had stashed away. The road wasn’t for the faint hearted in a big vehicle and although there were a few Motorhomes there, it definitely wasn’t for me.
About an 1 hour later with a great lunch by the beach, we all headed back to the bus and Jason then took us all up to the Cape Reinga carpark to walk down to the lighthouse.
It’s about a 45-minute walk down to the lighthouse and back and quite steep in places but on a really nice track. As you go down on the left you can see Cape Maria van Diemen where the lighthouse used to be, Cape Reinga in front and the beach that we had lunch at off to the right with North Cape way off in the distance.
Click on the Gallery below for an Enlarged Slideshow
The last time I was here, I think I was 13 years old or thereabouts. We were on a family trip with a 4-wheel drive with a beach buggy on an A frame. It was a trip for a photo shoot with a friend of my Dads who was a specialist Motor Racing photographer for a magazine article. The beach buggy got stuck on top of a sandhill… think all wheels off the ground so I got to learn how to drive it while we got it unstuck 🙂
Back to the trip… it was fantastic to see it all again and all the improvements that have been made for easier access.
We were all back in the bus heading down the road for an ice cream stop and to the famous Waipapakauri where Fiona and I had a G & T to celebrate the end of a great day. We were only a few K’s north of the Awanui NZMCA park.
A fantastic day and I’m really pleased we took the option of a guided bus trip. It wasn’t expensive given what was involved and a lot of fun and entertainment. Thanks, Jason, for the great commentary and a brilliant day out.
You must be logged in to post a comment.