After hard work comes reward. And so after lovely three weeks of living in Hone Heke lodge in Kerikeri, we started one of the many to come adventure road trips. We stopped at the Jandal fence and I left my old flip-flops there.
Then we decided to take a nice look over the Doubtless Bay and stopped for Ice Cream in Coopers Beach.
Our main goal was Cape Reinga - the northwesternmost tip of the Aupouri Peninsula, at the northern end of the North Island of New Zealand.
Cape Reinga is more than 100 km north of the nearest small town of Kaitaia, so as we got closer to it our phones lost connection to the outer world. Next two days we lived without calls and internet (Ou, so Scary!Ha! Ha!).
There you can see how sea and the ocean meets (Tasman Sea to the west and the Pacific Ocean to the east). From the lighthouse, it is possible to watch the tidal race, as the two seas clash just off the coast.
There are many hiking trails on the way and also many which start from Cape Reinga. Most of them are quite long, so we decided to choose one and walk a little bit of it, just to see around. We walked Te Araroa Trail just to The Sand Bay and back, but it was very beautiful. The colors of green and blue were so vibrant. After that, we decided to watch the Sunset not far from the Lighthouse. It was accompanied by wave dance on the sea and ocean meeting point.
As it was dark already we had to find a spot where to park our "bedroom" and go to bed. We choose the closest campground - Tapotupotu Camping Area. It cost only 8 NZD per person and there are also cold showers (most of the cheap campsites don't have showers).
After waking up we went to Te Paki sand dunes. The day was a little cloudy but - Oh Boy! These dunes are impressive! I felt like in the middle of a green Oasis there is a desert. I felt magical when we walked the huge dunes and could see Tasman sea from a distance.
People usually do a sandboarding here, you just need a board, road sign or anything else what you can use for sliding down the dunes. You can rent bodyboards on your way here for 10NZD or 15NZD on the spot. Other than that, you can just walk and enjoy the dunes for free.
After nice walk on a dunes we drove to Spirits Bay. I was amazed by the interesting cliff with many caves. There were horses right next to it. Fishermen were trying to catch the big fish and we could tell that they had a good luck.
Name of the Bay isn't a coincidence. The bay is a sacred place in Maori culture as according to local legend, it is the location where spirits of the dead gather to depart from this world to travel to their ancestral home from a large old pohutukawa tree above the bay.
We decided to spend a night close to the Ninety-mile beach in Utea Park. We saw a lot of wild horses on the way. Technically they are regular horses who have escaped a long time ago and have adapted to live in a wild. These ones were friendly, but there is many more in the woods, and those usually avoid the people.
Owners of the campground were very nice. They bought the land 8 years ago and only in the last few years built their own house in the dunes and started a campground business. It is a very nice place to stay. For 10 NZD per person, you can get a hot shower and even a kitchen. For 20 NZD per person you can sleep in a nice cabin.
After night accompanied by lovely wave sounds we played with kittens in a campground. After nice breakfast, we drove to Waipu glow worm caves. It is one of the free places to see these magical creatures. Don't forget headlight or a flashlight and wear rain boots or shoes you don't mind to get wet. You have to walk in a water in a dark to get to the best spot. Then just turn off the light and enjoy. They really look like stars.
After this nice experience, I met a really nice dog. It was interesting to read the note around her neck "My name is Shade. Please send me home!"
Our next stop was Auckland. So we can say that we have seen Northland, and it is very nice part of this glorious country.