I was picked up from my motel at around 7:30am, onto a bus with about 30 people already on board. We picked up another few, then drove up to the south end of the beach, with a stop for coffee along the way, arriving about 9:30. The coach drove out onto the sand, then sped northwards along the beach, giving marvellous views of the sea.
|coach seat with a view|
|“get orf my beach!”|
|Beware! No Road Markings!|
|On the beach, channelling our inner toddler.|
|Yes, I’m barefoot, too|
|a rival tour bus speeds off into the distance|
|Yes, we really were on the sand. The small white box|
by the bus door is a step: the body is very high off the ground, for some reason...
Cape Reinga, the northernmost point, arriving about noon. It was a short walk down from the car park to the lighthouse on the cape, where we could see the Tasman Sea meet the Pacific Ocean.
|the Tasman Sea (west)|
|the Pacific Ocean (east)|
|looking down the stairs|
|the staircase from the outside: a massive tree trunk|
|I really really really wanted to buy this stunning 50000-year-old-Kauri-wood table (NZ$16500 + shipping!), but didn’t for two reasons: (1) nowhere to put it; (2) NZ$16500|
|Looking up at a stunning Kauri tree. It’s difficult to get a sense of scale. The trunk is about five feet in diameter, and almost perfectly cylindrical (no tapering) up to where the branches appear.|
|beautiful Kauri bark patterns|
The day long tour, which included an excellent commentary and the “fush and chup lunch” (fascinating NZ vowel shifts throughout), cost NZ$145 (about £60). Superb value for money.
|The coach trip route (approximated along Ninety Mile Beach itself). Round trip ~440km|