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Sunday, 29 July 2012

Day 54 - Sunday 29th July - Trip to Cape Reinga

Today we took a coach trip to Cape Reinga the most northerly part of New Zealand.

The coach picked us up from our campsite and our first stop of the tour was just up the road in Awanui. It was Kauri Kingdom, Kauri being the native trees which have been growing for centuries until the European settlers came and starting clearing them for farmland!! Gum was also collected from these trees for varnish manufacture in the past. Kauri Kingdom is a shop full of items carved out of the wood from staircases and furniture to coasters and decorations.

Luke and I enjoying a Kauri chair, the darker wood behind us is the back of the next give you idea on size

Kauri tree stump staircase

A beautiful carved Kauri decoration

Once back on the coach we headed for 90 mile beach which is actually 90km not miles! There is a highway up the beach which is where we drove.

The beach highway

90 mile beach, 90km in length

Our coach

On the beach were hundreds of people collecting scallops and seaweed as well fishermen in the torrential rain. We had an opportunity to collect scallops too and Luke found our first one of the day.

Luke's first catch of the day, a fresh scallop

Very dedicated seaweed collectors in the pouring rain

At the top of the beach the coach has to drive up a stream (or river as it was today) back to the road. Once on the road we stopped for some sand tobogganing for the dedicated who did not mind getting pretty wet.

The stream we drove up

Sand tobogganing

The tour took us further north to the very end of state highway 1 at Cape Reinga where there is a lighthouse and is the joining of two seas, the Tasman and Pacific Ocean. Thankfully it had stopped raining, although it was blowing a gale but that did not stop us walking to the lighthouse.

View from Cape Reinga

Cape Reinga Lighthouse

The lighthouse but note the man to the left of the lighthouse, thats how strong the wind was there!!

View from lighthouse

Us at the lighthouse ... do you remember another photo of the two of us looking like this?
...our windy wedding day!!

From the most northerly point the tour took us south via the main highway and not the beach road (as the tide was now high). We stopped off at a few places but it was really blowing and pouring with rain, so not a lot more was seen.

A wet view on the return trip

Our coach took us back to our campsite via the Kauri Kingdom for another look at the huge tree stumps.

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