Day 350 on the Road
Bus tour to Cape Reinga!
Today we are heading to the Far North of New Zealand to the famous Cape Reinga! If you like this video and want to see more 365 Days: 365 Activities in New Zealand then jump on over to our epic YouTube Channel!
Today we are bussing it to the famous Cape Reinga and Ninety Mile Beach.
It is seven in the morning, something like that, seven in the morning and it’s early and cold. But the weather looks like it’s gonna be beautiful and we’re waiting for Awesome New Zealand bus cos we’re going to Cape Reinga. It’s gonna be an entire super long day. What time do we come back?
I’m not sure I think it’s around 5 or something.
So yes, today we are joining the team from Awesome New Zealand which is the same company as GreatSights so that’s why you see a different sticker on the bus and we are hopping on the bus to Cape Reinga. It is one of the most popular day tours to do in New Zealand and we are stoked to be joining them today.
After we have been picked up straight from our accommodation at the Base Backpackers we are making our way to our first stop cos yes, there are over 400km of road to go through so there will be a lot of stuff to see along the way.
And the first stop is, the Puketi Forest. The short 10 minute walk we’re gonna be doing in the Puketi Forest right here is the easiest walk we have been doing in New Zealand so far – it’s incredibly easy to tackle it’s all on boardwalk and any fitness level can actually tackle that walk. The Puketi forest is world famous for its massive concentration of kauri trees. the Kauri trees are those massive trees you can see here on screen.The kauri trees that we are looking at are all over 1000 years old they are incredible trees. It is quite fascinating to look at them, they are super lean, super resistant and are some of the oldest trees in the country in fact and it’s really easy to realise why the early settlers in New Zealand used to cut them to make their houses out of those trees however now they are protected trees, cos you know, they are really endangered in New Zealand and it is forbidden to harvest the wood from a kauri tree. And this is another reason why the whole track was boardwalk.
Back on the bus the bus driver gives us commentary which explains to us that the kauri tree have very shallow roots so if we were to walk around the kauri tree so often as those bus tours are going, we would be endangering those trees.
We are already back on the road to the next stop on our itinerary there are heaps of stops we’re going to be checking off our list that we’re going to today and then next one is Doubtless Bay.
Doubtless bay is made up of loads of little coastal communities and little beaches and the place we are stopping at is Taipa Bay and we stop here for refreshments, and also for a bit of a walk along the beautiful golden sand beach.
These stops that we are taking on the Cape Reinga tour are an awesome insight into what the northland region is all about. The Northland region is dotted with these beautiful beaches and stunning coastline and whether seems to be good and sunny up here and that’s why they call the Northland region the Winterless North.
Back on the bus we get to sit back and relax and see the magnificent scenery go by until we reach our lunch stop for today which is Houhora.
Yep, that’s right you heard it, free lunch, the lunch is included in the tour and we are going for a classic Kiwi lunch – it’s fish and chips.
There is no better place to get Northland fish and chips the fish is so fresh it’s straight out of the sea and speaking of seas we are going to be looking at the sea while having our lunch. We are having lunch right in front of the beautiful estuary full of wildlife there are heaps of seagulls and this reminds us of very early on in New Zealand’s Biggest Gap Year where we were in Whitianga and we got all our chips stolen by a bunch of seagulls. If you guys want to check that out, we’re gonna put a card right up.
But we have a jam packed itinerary today so we take in the view stuff the last few french fries in our mouths and we are already back in the bus making our way to the crown jewel of the tour, yes, that’s right we are finally heading to Cape Reinga which is gonna be our next stop.
The anticipation is growing as we make our way to the northernmost point of New Zealand and our bus driver, kevin, is telling us all about this amazing place and how much time we get to explore the area.
It’s about a 10 minute all the way down the Cape Reinga lighthouse and along the way we get some amazing views of the coastline and the lighthouse itself there are picture opportunities all the way down but the one picture opportunity is of the lighthouse so once we get to the bottom we start taking a million photos.
A fun little feature of Cape Reinga is this sign right here with all the major cities around the world and the distance from them there’s also loads of interpretation panels telling the history of the area, as well as the cultural significance to the local Maori people.
of course the views up here are outstanding as we can see off shore islands and we start making our way up to another view on top of Cape Reinga where we can actually see the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea colliding.
On the west side of New Zealand you have the Tasman Sea and on the east side of New Zealand is the Pacific Ocean and at Cape Reinga you can see those oceans colliding and that’s what those waves are right there. It’s a really unique sight.
Although the official Cape Reinga walk is only 10 minute long it feels like we have been all over the place and with this heavy backpack I can really feel it.
So Laura you decided to take the backpack for this one, how does it feel?
Aw it’s ok it’s not that heavy cos I have the tripod in my hand and we leaft our water bottle and stuff on the bus but I just feel so sorry for you running around with a backpack on your back when you have a broken arm. It ain’t right.
Now that we have seen Cape Reinga we are back on the bus making our way back down the North Island. We are gonna be finishing our day trip in Paihia but not without stopping at a few more pitstop like this one.
Yes, probably the most popular sport to do in New Zealand is sand boarding so we can’t miss the Te Paki Stream which is this place right here with a little stream at the bottom and some massive sand dune where anyone off any fitness level can go down with a body board. And obviously the bus driver has plenty of body board for us to play with and everybody is having a go at it.
With body boarding once is never enough but to be honest climbing up the hill is quite steep and the sand is hard to climb so everybody is having one or two is a max and after all, Laura is dirty enough now.
It’s like fun to go fast but at the same time you get messy.
After taking the time to dry ourselves and get back on the bus we are now back on the road but not any road – probably the most popular road in the country. It’s called Ninety Mile Beach it’s an official highway and yes, it’s a beach.
After driving down 90 mile beach our driver is giving us lots of commentary and fun facts like 90 Mile Beach is actually not 90 miles it’s only about 55 miles which is abut 88km so it’s a mistranslated from km down to miles but they messed up the math somewhere in between.
We get the time to hop off the bus multiple times to take some awesome pictures but the main attraction of 90 mile beach is definitely driving at full speed on this beach. However I have to say this is not something you want to do in your own car the salt and sand is really bad for the engine and if you are renting a car in New Zealand, most of them don’t cover you and don’t recommend driving on 90 mile beach so taking a bus tour is the best option to explore this very unique place in New Zealand.
The views surrounding us are absolutely stunning it’s quite rare in New Zealand to be able to see that far. New Zealand is a very hilly and mountainous country so usually you see some hilly peaks everywhere but on 90 mile beach you can see almost as well your eyes can see.
We obviously take the time to take heaps of pictures and keep our bearings with the maps that have been provided use with the tour. We can check out where we are all along the way I find that super handy.
Back to civilisation. Back on the real roads.
Yes, after being on every type of road imaginable we are back on the normal tar-sealed road making our way to our next pitstop at Awanui here we visit Kauri Kingdom where all the furniture here is carved from kauri trees that’s been dug up from the ground.
So this stairs I am walking down right now is 2 and half million us dollars. Honestly, these stairs work better.
Stopping in Awanui is also a good excuse to get some healthy refreshments like these ice creams before jumping back on the bus on the last leg toward Paihia. After 11 hours this has definitely been one of the longest tours we’ve done in New Zealand but it’s been action packed and epic.
Our activity starts before sunrise this morning. We are picked up by the Fullers GreatSights bus right outside of our accommodation here at the Base Pipi Patch and yeah, that’s all I got to say about that. See you tomorrow.