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Anna's New Zealand adventures

To the top and back again

NEW ZEALAND | Thursday, 7 February 2008 | Views [734] | Comments [3]

After a lovely stay in Paihia we were ready to move on and get away from the touristy areas- the plan was to head to Urapukapuka Island but it seemed a lot of effort and money just to see an island which is pretty much like the one we are on anyway... So we headed on to the area of Doubtless Bay which is less commercialised than Bay of Islands and much less busy- we also wanted to find a good spot to try out the snorkels we have bought but the first beach we camped at was a bit too surfy and churned up and although it was fun, the most I saw was a bit of seaweed. Though Pip and James had a bit of a close encounter with a cormorant! I'm not sure who was more surprised them or the bird!

Even though the campsite on Doubtless Bay (a little place called Tokerau Bay) was nice and we enjoyed the luxury of hot showers and kitchen facilities we decided to push on to the Karikari peninsular which someone had told me was beautiful. I wasn't disappointed, we found another DOC campsite on Matai Bay which was perfect for snorkling and spent most of afternoon splashing about looking at fish, sea anenomes and corals. Unfortunately on the way to the campsite we stopped for lunch to see anpother beach and left the boot open so various items were m.i.a. Most stuff was recovered but sadly Clare's snorkel was nowhere to be seen... still we all managed to share and a good time was had by all.

The next day, after a bit of a stressful moprning packing as a result of Clare and I befriending a 5yr old kiwi girl who wanted to play hide and seek/generally get under feet we headed on past ninety mile beach to the very top of N.Z and sset-up camp for two nights at another basic DOC campsite on Tapotupotu Bay. The sea here was spectacular- the wind was coming from inland creating huge waves over 12ft high and crashing against the rocks. It was mesmerising to watch. To break from our usual irritating pattern of setting out for walks at the hottest time of day, we set our alarms to get up early and after a cup of tea and bowl of porridge we set out at 8am for Cape Reinga, about 6km on coastal path.

Cape Reinga is probably one of the best places I've visited so far, especially as we arrived at about 9.30am before all the coach parties trundled up and clutter up the view. The atmosphere was so tranquil and looking out you can actually see the waves of the pacific crashing into the waves of the tasman in front of these huge sand dunes which look more like barren mountains. We spent the morning just sitting and looking (after the inevitable photo under the sign post) and I thought of you all at home as it is the closest I will be to home whilst I'm in N.Z. Only 9300 miles odd! We had eaten lunch by 11.30 as we were all out of sink after the early start and the mornings exercise so we headed home... in the heat of the midday sun (again). It was rather hot and v. steep in parts- I was starting to have a sense of humour failure but after the worst of the climb the coastline was so rugged and the breeze picked up making the rest of it quite lovely.

We were sorry to leave the isolated beach and campsite of Tapotupotu Bay but not the mosquitoes and sandflies. My feet are covered in bites but I've thus far been qood and not scratched them so they aren;t bothering me too much. We are slowly heading back to Bay of Islands and KeriKeir where I think we plan to stay with a freind of Tom's for a little bit. After a quick detour along 90mile beach we have arrived at the bottom of the peninsular and are staying in a quirky little campsite at Ahipura. Very nice and we are all looking forward to induging in a pizza for dinner tonight!

lots of love,



Tags: The Great Outdoors




Wow! It must be hot if you're finding it bothersome! Not a problem here, although we are getting an unseasonal spell of very mild weather. The scenery you describe sounds quite stunning. All well here, M & D.

  M Feb 7, 2008 5:28 PM


Glad you're having such a wonderful NZ experience! We're all very jealous (especially Rachel!) She's now back home, skint and job hunting, but with lots of great memories.

Weather here improving and Spring is definitely springing. Met a hedgehog in the garden a few days ago, and the wild primroses are out.

Looking forward to hearing more about your adventures.

Love Fiona xx

  Fiona (and Rachel) Feb 15, 2008 6:22 AM


Hey Anna, hope you are well. Sounds like you're having an amazing time. I'm so jealous of the weather! And here I am stuck in a sweaty dance studio for 12 hours a day, 5 days a week! Off to see High School Musical with my Mum and your Mum tonight so will be thinking of you. Keep enjoying yourself, I'll be reading about all your adventures. Lots of love, Fern xXx

  Fern Wilkinson Feb 17, 2008 2:08 AM

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