90 Mile Beach – Cape Reinga

12 Feb

9th February 2013

Obviously you can do this loop yourself in your own vehicle if you don’t mind flushing it with salt water and risking getting it stuck in the sand. The bus driver told us lots of stories of people getting their hire cars stuck in the sand and then getting overtaken by the tide …. not funny! Either that or you can just drive up the sealed road both ways.


Cape Reinga Tour


We drove up to Cape Reinga on the sealed road, making various stops on the way. The first one is an ice cream parlour  that does fantastic Hoki Poki. It is a creamy vanilla with honeycomb chunks ….. try it! The second stop was a beautiful bay called Tapotupotu Bay, where we had lunch and the opportunity to look around the DOC (Department of Conservation) campsite. It is an amazing beach with a small river flowing in and costs only $10 per person. A great place to stay if you drive up to Cape Reinga yourself. It is very quiet at night as there is no power this far north.

Cape Reinga has some great tide races as the currents of the Pacific and the Tasman sea meet.


North from Cape Reinga



There are beautiful views in every direction.


View west from Cape Reinga



On the way to the beach the coach stops at the dunes for some body boarding! Of course we both had a go, thinking that it would be a slow slither down the sand. It’s not, the dunes are steep and the body boards go really fast!!


Stop at the dunes


Looks higher from the top



Dune surfing



The bus then drove down the river bed and onto the beach for the return journey.


Driving on 90 mile beach


Not sure why, but there is a postbox part way along the beach.

Strangely 90 mile beach is only 55 miles long. Still it’s not the length that matters, it’s what you do on it that counts!


90 Mile beach post box


The final excitement is when the driver has to negotiate the soft sand to get on the ramp that leads to the road. It all went well and before we knew it we were back in Kaitaia picking our car up again. We waved goodbye to Tom and left him to his fruit picking.

We decided to start heading south again and found a small picnic area where camping was allowed. It was the head of some walking trails and also had some nice swimming holes.


Waipapa swimming holes




It was a nice place to free camp …. Tomorrow we are going to the Bay of Islands.









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