Place 69 – Day 3: Kaitaia – Te Paki Sand Dunes, The Top of NZ & Spirits Bay

Post breakfast, we were in the car and driving further up north! By 09:00, we were on our way and it was already getting warm!

We drove 1.5 hours up north to get to Te Paki stream. Here, in the middle of nowhere, there are giant sand dunes! Kim had read online that you can rent a ‘sandboard’ and go sandboarding on the dunes.

Once we arrived, we got ourselves a couple of sandboards and headed up the dunes. We were advised to go right to the highest dune to get a great view and then slide back down, which is what we did. What we didn’t realise was how incredible steep all of the dunes are and the effort it takes to get to the top, including getting sand blown in your face all the time!

Kim struggling with the dune!

We did get some amazing views at the top of the highest dune, which we soaked in whilst we relaxed after the tiresome climb!

The first sandboard down looked very high but wasn’t very fast at all.

We then went down the next hill, which was smaller but had way more speed and was great fun!

Luckily, as we were leaving, the sun got much warmer, so it was the perfect timing!

We had a drink and then drove from here to Cape Reinga, which is the top most point of New Zealand. Once we got here, we parked and walked down to the lighthouse, seeing the amazing views on the way. Apparently, two different oceans combine at this point also, which is what we assume the waves in the middle of the sea are!

We walked back to the car after seeing the lighthouse and drove to a beach over a gravel road, which took a while! The beach was called spirits bay and it was beautiful! We sat and ate our homemade ham, beef, cheese & salad sandwiches and then got back to the car to drive back to the apartment.

We chilled out for a while whilst we recovered from our tiredness and then we got back in the car and drove to the town to find food. We got a kebab each, which was an odd thing to choose but was delicious!

We watched a cabin restoration TV show and some other TV and then got packed up to leave tomorrow morning.

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale

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Place 69 – Day 2: Kaitaia – Surfing on Shipwreck Bay, Revisiting ‘Terry’ & Seeing The Shipwreck

We were up for breakfast at 08:20. When we got to the dining area at our B&B, we were asked if we wanted coffee, which we did, and we then had a selection of cereals as well as toast and yogurt. We had a yogurt each and were then offered eggs and bacon, which we had. It certainly filled us up and the coffee rated a lot like caramel but other than that, it was a solid breakfast.

When we finished breakfast we then got ready and jumped in the car to go to the beach. The weather was a bit miserable but we still risked it! We stopped at a shop and Kim rented a surfboard for a couple of hours for a really good price!

We had to the drive onto the beach to park which was actually very easy as it was compact sand.

We got onto the beach and Kim was straight in to surf. The waves had disappeared for some reason! Kim tried and surfed a couple of waves, but they then stopped coming at all, so we moved down the road to another part of the beach, where there seemed to be more waves. Kim had a lot more fun here and actually got to surf! Curtis watched on and also saw how much fog was covering the hills.

Kim finished with surfing and we left the beach to return the board.

Once we got the board back, Curtis watched hockey and Kim went out to find some lunch. Once she got home, we had some pizza for lunch.

After hockey finished, we went out to the beach again to see if we could see our new octopus friend, we have named Terry, again.

Luckily, Terry was still there and we said hello to him he also came to say hi and Kim gave him a shell.

We left Terry and went to the shipwreck which was now visible due to the tide going out. There isn’t much there, but it was cool to look at.

The weather improved, too!

We then left the beach, but not before a visit to Terry again.

We drove to KFC and got some dinner there as we were told it is actually good here, so we have it a go. It was pretty good, and we had it whilst watching TV together!

Long busy day tomorrow, but should be fun.

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 69 – Day 1: Kaitaia – An Octopus, Crabs & Clever Seagulls

We said goodbye to our HelpX hosts in the morning when they went off to work and then we had breakfast, got ourselves ready and tidied the room.

We left the house after packing the car and drove up to Kaitaia.

Kaitaia is our base town for a couple of things we want to do as it is in the perfect location.

We got to our accomodation, a nice B&B with a lovely pool and it also backs onto a river! The owner was nice enough to let us check in early and gave us some hints. It’s actually a really nice room! A little small, but really nice.

We got unpacked here and went to find some lunch.

We drove down to the town, parked up and walked around. There wasn’t much there, so we got a subway amd drove back to the room to eat it.

After lunch, we went out for a bit of the evening. We are near the 90 mile beach, which extends over a lot of Northland.

We got to a point called Shipwreck Bay, which we thought had a shipwreck there, but we didn’t see anything and we also had to either pay to park there or drive onto the beach, which we didn’t really want to do.

We drove back up the road and found the perfect parking spot (for free) and wandered onto the beach. There were a lot of rocks but we wanted to walk on them, so that is what we did! We walked towards shipwreck bay until we couldn’t go any further! Along the way, we saw fish & a lot of crabs in between the rocks.

As we were about to head back, Kim saw a crab sitting next to the water and took a bit of a closer look, whilst filming, and to both of our surprise, there was an octopus which decided it wanted the crab!

We stuck around this area for a while, watching the octopus move around and hoping it did something else. Low and behold, it did! It wanted to eat a fish, so it grabbed it.

We moved on from the octopus and then saw a seagull swoop down and grab a crab. It flew away with it and then drop it. It then picked it back up again, flew higher and dropped it again. We thought this was accidental but it turns out it was deliberate to try and crack it open, which it did!

We left the beach after walking back and stopped at the supermarket to get some drinks for the next few weeks.

We got back and watched some videos until we got hungry and then we went to one of the few places for dinner. Curtis got a steak with peppercorn sauce and Kim got a fancy chicken burger. Our food was alright but the service was awful so all in all we gave it a 5/10.

When we were back home, we watched some renovation TV shows on the TV we have in the room.

Tomorrow we have a cooked breakfast here at 08:30 so we’ll be up for that!

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale