Day 357 on the Road
4×4 Off-Roading in the Far North
Today’s adventure is taking us to the remote sand dunes of the Far North of New Zealand in the most epic way possible! If you like this video and want to see more 365 Days: 365 Activities in New Zealand then simply head over to our epic YouTube Channel & Subscribe for the last remaining days of New Zealand’s Biggest Gap Year!
Update: Time Out Tours is not currently operating.
Where we’re going Laura? We are going to do some dan dune buggying.
This morning in Ahipara we are meeting Tony from Timeout tours and we are going to be off-roading in the local sand dunes.
The tour starts of pretty mellow making our way along the tar-sealed roads of Ahipara but trust us, this is mellow as this tour’s gonna get, We’re soon on the gravel roads making our way through some really crazy 4×4 tracks to an awesome viewpoint.
The crazy looking buggy that we are riding on can go through literally anything. Honestly only in the first 10 minutes of our tour we went through some tar-sealed road, bumpy gravel road and even through water but we are making our way to one of the highest points of Ahipara so we can get our bearings and see all our surroundings where we’re going to be buggying for the whole day.
Ahipara is located in the Far North region of New Zealand so all the way way above Auckland. and it is at the bottom of 90 Mile Beach which is world famous it’s literally the main attraction in Northland.
90 Mile Beach is actually the official highway here on the Far North meaning that basically vehicles and buses actually drive on the beach to make their way to Cape Reinga which is the top of the North Island.
But getting back to Ahipara we not going through all 90 Mile Beach today we are basically exploring the coastline of this beach town.
As we are making our way to the most exciting section of our tour Tony our guide is telling us that shipwreck bay which is located right here in Ahipara is one of the top surf spots in New Zealand so if you guys are into surfing consider making your way to the far north to the little town of Ahipara.
Getting back to Timeout Tours, after making our way squeezing between some headland and some ocean tide coming in from the other side over some real rocky terrain we eventually come to this long-stretching golden sand beach where Tony is amping up the speed going from tourist mode to sports mode.
We’ve now got to a super isolated area of the Far North where to be honest, we don’t even know what the name of this beach is we have no idea where we are. The only things this beach is occupied by are all the seabirds we stop for a little while to check out all the shags, stilts, herons, kingfishers, tern, seagulls and we even spot some wild horses galloping along the beach.
While the beach is an awesome way to experience just the sheer speed of these 4×4 vehicles, the real epic part of the tour begins when we start making our way up into the sand dunes.
As we turn onto the sand dunes it really feels like we’ve just drove onto another world like we’re on Mars or something and all we can see around us are sand dunes for miles and miles.
It’s incredible to thing that even after 357 days on the road in New Zealand we are still discovering completely new landscapes.
In this area it really looks like nature had a blast – it created some amazing tracks for our 4×4 ride. it goes up it goes down it created some drops, there is some uphill it’s really a lot of fun to drive around and it’s really challenging.
On top of that, Tony told us that almost every single day that he’s driving around there the sand dunes are different as they shift with the wind so from one year to another it might look completely different which is amazing.
With all this sand around us we become really sandy. At the end of the tour we actually found some sand literally inside our jacket pockets it’s crazy.
But it’s not all fun and games there are also some amazing archaeological sites in Ahipara. this site right here is an actual Maori dump this is where they put all the seashells they were eating it’s a really unique sight when touring around.
And moving on we are seeing a massive sand canyon cos there was recent storm it created a brand new sand canyon last week it’s quite amazing.
But there is still plenty of fun to be had so we are heading on the well off-road to find ourselves a massive sand dune – if you guys remember we made a tour all the way to Cape Reinga and we found ourselves a massive sand dune where we could do well some sandboarding so that’s what we are gonna be trying to do right now and Tony has found us the perfect spot so he’s grabbing the body board and Laura’s off.
I have to admit at the top of the sand dune it looked pretty steep and scary but you just have to go for it and you realise it is so much fun you can go super fast but control the speed with your feet and at the bottom it just feels so epic I want to go again and again and again.
Now that I have sand in every orifice imaginable we are back in the 4×4 buggy and continuing this 4×4 tour and the really cool thing about this tour is that it’s a complete loop we’ve not actually returning any way that we’ve already come so we’re seeing different landscapes the entire time so we’ve seen beach and we’ve seen sand dunes and next we are moving onto a different type of landscape as we make our way into the low-lying forest.
This section of the 4×4 tour really tests this vehicle to its fullest as we are making our way what seems like steps but tony seriously knows what he’s doing and knows the are super well so if you do want to have a complete off the beaten track adventure in the Far North then Timeout Tours is the way to go.
Tomorrow is our final night in Ahipara – we are going to be horse trekking on the beach I presume on the beach, I don’t know where we’re horse trekking but I fell like this is a pretty beachy place so join us tomorrow.