It’s been a while since I was last able to post about my local trips around New Zealand! Last February, we went on a road trip to the Bay of Islands to celebrate our friend’s birthday. We left Orewa at around 9:30pm, and drove all the way to our bach in Russell. We arrived at 1:30am. The next day was dedicated to a Sand Safari tour! I must say that for $50 per head, the whole trip was definitely worth it. Our tour guide was great fun, we had the whole day for sight-seeing, and it also includes a picnic lunch of club sandwiches, muffin, tea, coffee and cold drinks! It was actually my second time on that tour, the first time around was with my family and family friends. I was still very much entertained though, and I was very happy to be able to revisit all those tourist destinations again!
One of our major stops was Cape Reinga, where the spirits of the Maori ancestors last visit before they leave our earth. We were lucky to have beautiful weather that day so we saw where the Pacific and Tasman oceans meet! Just look at how the blue of the sky and the ocean kind of just fuse into each other! No editing here! 🙂
Before leaving Cape Reinga, I’ve also decided that I wanted to have my very own tree planted in the area! You might remember this from a post I had a while back:
We had a quick picnic afterwards by the beach before going on to… the Te Paki sand dunes!!! I absolutely love the sand dunes! The scenery is just magnificent (I am not exaggerating). Mountains of sand everywhere… and contrasted to a bright, blue, sky, you’d get the feeling that you were lost in some amazing desert (although thankfully, no one got lost during any part of the trip).
I highly recommend going up the dunes with a board or a sled. I’ve tried both. It’s intense. The climb is quite tiring because you’d be slipping, but once you reach the top, I guarantee the view is breathtaking! I would have loved to stay longer if we had time, but sadly, our tour guide had other plans, so we did what we could. This is also the reason why I didn’t mind going with the Sand Safari tour again… because I knew that the sand dunes would be on the agenda and they supplied all your sand-boarding needs!
It was really nerve-wrecking once you were up there, and looking down on the slope, but don’t worry, you’d land on a puddle of water down below to help slow down your descent!
Might I also mention that after boarding down twice, my camera broke. It was a good thing I had a relatively cheap digi-cam with me then, because being able to take those photos up the dunes were just sooooo worth it!
To finish off our trip, we headed to the 90 mile beach for a little play around the water, and more picture-taking.
We were all exhausted by the time we headed back to our bach (via ferry!), but very, very happy! That night we had home-made pizza, tacos, wine and cake! It was the first time that we had a road-trip of this kind, where in we actually rented a bach and all. It was pretty successful! Even if we did just stay for 2 nights and 3 and a half days.
More on Day 2 in the next post! 🙂