Caroline and I left Paihia in the mid morning on that Thursday. We first headed for Doubtless Bay and then on to Cape Reinga, which is one of the most northern points in New Zealand. Unfortunately it was incredibly cloudy, windy and it was raining on and off the whole time. Double unfortunate is that Cape Reinga is in the middle of nowhere. It’s about 110 kilometers from the closest moderately sized town (meaning more than a few hundred people). The drive, as you can imagine, is insanely boring. Pretty, as all of NZ is, but boring. Lots of hills, sheep, cows, one lane bridges and curvy roads.
Anyway, we arrive and the weather is crap. I imagine on a nicer day it’s more stunning Cape Reinga is famous for not only being one of the most northern points in NZ, but it’s where the Pacific Ocean meets the Tasman Sea. Here’s the best I’ve got from Cape Reinga.
Needless to say, Cape Reinga was a bit of a disappointment. It was beautiful but just a touch boring.
After we had our fill of the Cape, we headed back south to 90 mile beach (which is closer to 90 kilometers) and then on to Ahipara. Ahipara is a tiny, tiny town, maybe 800 people. There’s no town water supply and there’s no bank, not even an ATM. “Town” consists of a convenience store, a liquor store and a cafe, which I went to twice and was absolutely fantastic.
While there, I stayed in the nicest hostel I have ever stayed in, anywhere in the world. It was across the street from the beach and was entirely redone. The kitchen even had a dishwasher, unheard of in the world of hostels.
The view from the front porch.
I stayed there for 2 nights. Caroline stayed just one night and left the next morning for Auckland. The second day I was there the weather finally cleared up and I spent many hours on the beach, sitting on the rocks, running around prancing/ dancing on the sand, climbing trees etc. It was an excellent day.
The next day I moved about 15km away to Kaitaia. There’s nothing nice about Kataia, but it was the closest town that I could catch the bus back to Auckland. The one really awesome thing was that I found a reduced priced produce rack at a fruit and vegetable store. I bought a slew of fruits and veggies. They are typically so expensive here that I don’t eat a large variety of them but I got myself some bok choy, brussesls sprouts, apples, bananas, carrots and onion for $6!! Incredible. Sad that that was the highlight of Kaitaia.
On Sunday I caught the bus back to Auckland. It was a 6.5 hour bus trip so I did not arrive in Auckland until 2:30pm.
There ends my exploration of Northland. I was there for a total of 12 days, spending 6 of those in Paihia. Overall, it was beautiful and I really enjoyed my time. There was a good mix of hiking, relaxing, moving around, working out, indulging and socializing, which is really all you ask for when you’re traveling.