Cape Reinga

With our three days in Russell at an end we took the short ferry ride to the mainland and drove to Kerikeri to a Vodafone store.  The internet dongle that the motor home rental place sold us didn’t work and the only store in what is referred to as the “Far North” was in Kerikeri.  The 1GB SIM card turned out to be obsolete and so the manager exchanged it at no charge for 5GB, worth $80NZ.  For the first time since the end of August, we have steady internet.

Kerikeri has many fruit orchards and sorry to say I didn’t get a picture of how the small orchards are surrounded on all sides by yew hedges as tall as telephone polls.  On the same subject (produce); it is much cheaper here than in Australia.  We are once again eating unlimited cucumbers at $1NZ/80 cents US for the big English ones.  Locally grown cucumbers in Australia were $9.98AU a kilo/$9.00US.  All the way around, food prices, as well as fuel, restaurants, camping, motels, are less here.  But if you ask which country I prefer, I would have to say Australia which is funny because I never had a desire to go there and always wanted to see New Zealand.

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After we got the internet business done we headed for Cape Reinga.  We took some little detours along the way including this gravel road to Matai Beach.

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Cape Reinga is the farthest point north in New Zealand that we can drive to and is about 60 miles from the nearest town.  We drove highway 1 to the cape but there is another route. 90 Mile Beach, actually 88km/55 miles, is officially a highway and can be driven by 4WD vehicles and special tour dune busses.

The Tasmanian Sea on the left collides with the Pacific Ocean on the right causing Tidal Races and very treacherous waters.

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You can faintly see a line where the two oceans meet

DSC 6046Cape Reinga is the most sacred place in New Zealand for the Maori. They call this the “place of leaping” where Maori spirits begin their final journey.  Since this is a sacred site, no eating is allowed here.

DSC 6049The lighthouse is electric and remotely controlled from Wellington.  The signal can be seen 50kms/30 miles out.

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Here are a few scenes from the road driving back down the cape

DSC 6064Driving 150 miles in one day is a hard day because the going is slow. Roads wind quite a bit and go up and down hills and even small mountains.  Our motorhome rental has a buzzer than sounds if Steve goes over 90km’s/55mph and I love it because he doesn’t talk back like he does if I tell him to slow down.

DSC 6071DSC 6083Sheep normally have a lot of grazing area so these must be getting ready to be sheared or something else (gulp)!

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