Cape Reinga, Whangarei

After leaving the Coromandel Peninsula our next target was Cape Reinga up north.

On the way to Cape Reinga we stopped at Kawakawa where we visited Hundertwasser’s public toilet, the most photographed toilets in NZ.

To get to Cape Reinga we took an 4 WD bus from Kaitaia because we wanted to come back along the shore on the beach and you are not allowed to drive with a rental car on the beach. Cape Reinga is the place where the waters of the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman see meet. It is the northern most point in NZ and it is holly to the Maori people. And indeed, we saw a Maori family praying and singing close to the lighthouse at Cape Reinga.  We were lucky and had wonderful sunny weather because usually the place is sunk in fog.

Close to Cape Reinga André loved to surf down the dunes on a sandboard and then struggled up the steep slopes again for just one more ride. Awesome! Unfortunately an Indian lady who could not control her soundboard crashed into his legs!

On the way back to Kaitaia we took the beach. The ninety miles beach drive is actually 88 km long and is the fabled strip of sand that stretches from Ahipara to Scott Point, five kilometres south of Cape Maria van Diemen. It is one of the most untouched and beautiful coastal landscapes in NZ.It is officially a highway, however it is not allowed to drive with a rental car. The beach is very broad but can be accessed only at specific times because of the tides.

Back in Kaitaia we admired a wonderful kauri wood used as a stair in a bar.

On the way to Auckland we stopped then in the lovely city of Whangarei. The have a wonderful walkway by the river (Town Basin) with lots of sculptures and playgrounds. After ca 20 min walk we passed the bridge and came back on the other side of the river.

The other day we visited the Quarry Gardens, a blissful park with a lake, waterfall and a lots of Camellias and bromeliads and then we hiked to the very quiet Whangerei heads with a wonderful sight overbeaches and sea. We were very impressed to hear that the Whangarei inhabitants approved in a vote the construction of an Art Centre dedicated to the Austrian sculptor Hundertwasser.