Dolphins and Sand Boarding

Trip Start Jan 20, 2007
Trip End May 06, 2007

Flag of New Zealand  , North Island,
Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Up early and on our bus- The Kiwi Experience! Drove to Pahia, the Bay of Islands which is soooo picturesque and lovely, 144 islands in total so we went on a boat ride to try and spot dolphins. We were in luck! A little girls dream came true as there was a pod of about 25 of them that all came round the boat showing off. Amazing! We lay right on the bow of the boat with our heads hanging right over the edge to look down and they were swimming along with us, rubbing themselves on the bottom of the boat. Sooooooo cute! And literally could have reached out and touched them they were that close. They were loving it being all playful swimming upside down and spraying us from their blowholes and then laying on their sides so they could have a good look up at us. Incredible. And completely wild!

The next day we took a trip up to Cape Reinga which is the Northernmost point of NZ. On the way we stopped at Puketi Kauri Forest which has a collection of the 2nd largest trees in the world and also among the most ancient. Pretty massive they grow to around 50 metres tall and over 5 metres in trunk diameter.

We then continued to Cape Reinga, the place where the 2 oceans meet and visited the lighthouse. Its very sacred to the Maori people as they believe dead spirits travel here on their journey to the afterlife. Next was a pit stop at Tapotupotu Bay where I had a very refreshing (ie bloody freezing) dip in the sea) before moving on to the Sand Dunes! They were HUGE and a mission to climb up (one step forward, 2 slides back) but well worth it as we grabbed a body board and sandboarded down them. Weeeeee! I went sooooo fast it was crazy and skidded head first into a stream at the bottom. Wicked.

Then we drove to Te Paki stream (which is notorious for eating cars) and along 90 mile beach. Which funnily enough is actually only 64.5 miles... apparently back in the day the people on horseback would cover about 30 miles a day and it took them 3 days to ride along this stretch of coast, hence 90 mile beach. It was fun driving in the sand and surf along a beach, its an actual registered road aswell which is pretty random but it swallows up vehicles all the time. Then it was a tasty fish and chips before returning to our accomodation :)
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